For everyone who walked down Sydney Rd Brunswick yesterday it was undoubtedly the last thing we wanted to be doing.
But we did it all the same. Did it because we needed to state clearly and unequivocally that this is not us – that Jill Meagher’s violent and senseless death is not what we are as men, as people, as a community.
We did it because we needed to say that violence against women is never acceptable. Not under any circumstances.
We did it to affirm that Jill Meagher and her life mattered, that she and her lifer were important and meaningful to us.
We did it because sometimes grief and sorrow and anger is better shared than borne alone.
And we did it to look for answers to that ultimately unanswerable question. Why?
I have had preliminary discussions with the State Member for Brunswick Jane Garrett, Moreland Mayor John Kavanagh, Brunswick Police, and White Ribbon, and intend to have a joint forum about community safety in Brunswick in the next few weeks.
The intention of the forum will not be to promote fear or hysteria, but neither should it sweep anything under the carpet. It should be a clear-eyed and honest discussion about how we are travelling in terms of public safety, and what positive things we can do to make this community safer.