Up to 10,000 people gathered to mourn the loss of the 22-year-old Melbournian.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on June 19, 2018

Princes Park was the site where Dixon’s body was discovered last week. Police have charged a 19-year-old man over her rape and murder.

Dixon’s death has shocked a nation and sparked debate about violence against women.

Dixon was considered a promising young talent in Melbourne’s famed comedy scene. She was walking home from a gig on the night of her death.

People began gathering at the park from around 5pm with candles, floral tributes and written messages.

Around Australia, satellite vigils also took place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and several locations across regional Victoria.

Some of the vigils also commemorated other women who had been violently killed. At the Sydney vigil, held at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park, the names of 30 women murdered in Australia over the past year were read out and a silence was observed for each of them.

Tiara Shafiq, one of the organisers of the Princes Park vigil told the gathered mourners: “Tonight is a moment to reflect.”

There were no speeches at the event but the floodlights were turned off with those gathered illuminated by candlelight. A local choir sung Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was among the mourners to place flowers at the memorial in the park.

Nicky Barry, who was with the Comedy Women’s Association, remembered Dixon as a “mighty woman,” who was “smart and articulate with a black sense of humour”.

Melbourne’s Town Hall was lit up in orange to coincide with the vigils. Orange was chosen as it is the colour the United Nations has used to symbolise the end of violence against women.

Despite the outpouring of grief over Dixon’s death, organisers of the vigil said they had needed to remove “terrible and vile” comments from its Facebook event page.

Police are also looking into the vandalism of the memorial site. Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said they would study CCTV footage in an effort to track down the culprit or culprits.

Eurydice Dixon commemorated in parliament

On 18 June 2018, many members of the Australian House of Representatives spoke powerfully about the death of Dixon and the broader issue of gendered violence.

Labor MP Catherine King offered a chilling account of the fear engendered by violence against women.

“There wouldn’t be a single woman in this place and beyond who has not experienced that awful moment of fear when your spine turns to ice and your heart starts racing at a million miles an hour.

“It might’ve happened walking home, going to your car in an empty car park, heading down a corridor, in your hotel room or opening the door to your home.

“For women who are experiencing family violence, that fear is a constant.”

Member for Jagajaga Jenny Macklin said that one woman in Australia dies every week from violence by a partner or former partner.

“Walking home alone at night isn’t a privilege; it’s a right,” she said.

“Everyone has the right to be safe. Women are not responsible for the decisions of men who attack them. Women have every right to walk safely in our streets and parks.”

Responding to a question from Greens MP Adam Bandt on whether Australia should do more to change men’s behaviour so that everyone feels safe, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that both sides of parliament were united on the issue.

“What we must do, as we grieve, is ensure that we change the hearts of men to respect women… We must ensure that our cities, our towns, our country – everywhere is safe for every Australian to walk and work, whether it’s a park, whether it’s a workplace or whether it is in their own home. That is our commitment.

“I believe, Mr Speaker, that I speak for every honourable member in saying we must never, ever, ever tolerate violence against women. Eurydice Dixon, we mourn her loss, we grieve with her family and we say never again.”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten also offered his sympathies to Dixon’s loved ones.

“We remember that they’re not mourning a statistic or a cautionary tale; they’re grieving for a person – a funny, smart, clever woman with passions and opinions, friends and family.”