Candlelight vigil to honour Bondi stabbing victims

Samantha Lock |

Hundreds are expected to gather in Bondi for a candlelight vigil for the victims of a mass stabbing.
Hundreds are expected to gather in Bondi for a candlelight vigil for the victims of a mass stabbing.

Picturesque Bondi Beach will be the fitting backdrop for a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of Australia’s worst mass killing in years.

Six people died and six remain in hospital after 40-year-old Joel Cauchi went on a stabbing spree at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on April 13.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather in Bondi early on Sunday evening.

It’s a setting best known for its throng of tourists, busy beaches and families out for the weekend.

Westfield Bondi Junction
Five of the six people killed in a stabbing attack at Westfield Bondi Junction were women. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

But from 5.30pm, a more sombre scene will take shape as mourners gather to reflect on the victims of the deadly rampage.

A first-time mother defending her baby, the daughter of a millionaire advertising guru and an on-duty security guard were among the six people killed in the attack.

Five of the six killed were women – Ashlee Good, 38, Dawn Singleton, 25, Jade Young, 47,  Pikria Darchia, 55, and Yixuan Cheng, 27.

Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old refugee who fled persecution in his native Pakistan, was also killed.

At least 12 others – including nine women – were taken to hospital after suffering stab wounds in the attack.

Six people remain in hospital, including a nine-month-old baby girl.

The vigil will begin with a minute’s silence in honour of those whose lives were lost.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said it would be an opportunity for those attending to lean on one another during what had been a terrible week for the city.

Bondi beach
Mourners are being asked to bring candles to a vigil at Bondi on Sunday evening. (Brent Lewin/AAP PHOTOS)

“I think if we can stand together during these difficult periods, we can send a message that there’s far more good people in this city than there are bad actors and than there is evil,” he said on Saturday.

Attendees are being asked to bring candles.

Counsellors and mental health first aid will be available on site.    

A temporary floral tribute remains in place at Oxford St Mall in Bondi Junction.  

A formal memorial service will occur at a later date while plans are in place for a permanent memorial to honour the victims.

A major coronial inquiry is also under way with a heavy focus on the adequacy of NSW’s mental health funding and support.

Bolstered by up to $18 million in extra funding, the inquiry will look at the police response and Cauchi’s interactions with NSW and Queensland agencies.

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AAP