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How Naarm paid respects to Cassius Turvey in emotive advancement league vigil

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Some 2000 people descended on the vigil for the murder of Cassius Turvey took place at the Aboriginal Advancement League in Thornbury in Naarm (Melbourne) on Wednesday evening.

Colours of the aboriginal flag spattered through the crowd, as they gathered outside to watch the proceedings of the vigil from a screen outside of the building.

The proceeding began with Mandy Nicholson, a Wurundjeri-willam (Wurundjeri-baluk patriline) artist and Traditional Custodian of Naarm and surrounds.

Ms Nicholson said Cassius' death was felt deeply by First Nations people across the country.

"I start to imagine the young ones in my community, all I can imagine is my niece coming home form school and getting murdered," she said.

'We are a huge ocean, many drops in that ocean, but we are still the same."

Federal Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe took to the stage to chastise the "relentless" racism in Australia which killed Cassius and many before him.

"Over the last two weeks, the world has come to know through the circumstances we know: racism," she said.

"It has left us all with this pain in our hearts and a knot in our bellies."

Cassius's cousin Sam Turvey reflected on a powerful anecdote about Cassius' desire to contribute to the community in a meaningful way.

He also shared words from Mechelle Turvey, Cassius' mother, in which she shared her deep gratitude for the hueg outpouring of support following her boy's death.

"I remember one day he mowed two lawns, and he said to me 'I wonder if anyone else wants their lawns mowed," Sam said.

"I said to him, why don't you go around and ask, so he did.

"It was getting dark. He didn't have his phone on him. When he returned, I said - 'where have you been all day?' Cassius said, I just mowed fifteen lawns."

There was a fire burning ceremony at the end of the vigil, as a collective call for justice and an end to racism left a forlorn audience trickling out of the gates.

Laura Lindsay spoke to what the ceremony had meant for her, as someone who works in safeguarding in Victoria.

"This is such an unnecessary moment in time for this young person and family," she said.

"It's 2022. We take one tiny step forward and a hundred million back."

The 21 year old man who attacked Cassius has been charged with murder, and is now facing two more charges - aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm and stealing.

Story by Briana Charles


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