Over the past few weeks Victorians have been stunned with raw grief. Many of us have lost close loved ones in tragic circumstances, but Tom Meagher’s grief is something that I simply cannot begin to contemplate. I wish to place on record my sincerest sympathy to Tom Meagher, Jill’s mother and father and her other family and friends. So many words have been written, so many words have been spoken and so many tears have been shed as we have all identified and continue to identify with Jill Meagher. I am sure members of the Victorian community have had and will continue to have a heightened sense of care for each other. But this care for one another needs to be strong, resilient and full of purpose. Violence against women in our community cannot and will not be tolerated by any one of us.
Whilst women will have a renewed sense of the need for personal physical protection and we will continue to talk to our family and friends about new and safer measures for protecting ourselves and others, we will not stop going out, walking, using public transport, socialising or going to work during the evenings. We all want safe communities that allow us to enjoy life without fear. As we have all got to know a little more about Jill Meagher we have learnt that she loved life, had very loving relationships with many and embraced the best that life had to offer. As legislators and community members we owe it to Jill Meagher to ensure that all women live long, happy, fulfilling lives without fear, day or night, inside or outside the home. Vale, Jill Meagher.