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Mechelle Turvey, mother of Cassius, takes on voluntary advisor role with WA Police

Rhiannon Clarke -

WARNING: This story features the name of a deceased Aboriginal person, which has been used with the permission of their family.

Mechelle Turvey, the mother of Cassius Turvey, has accepted a volunteer advisory role with Western Australia's police to help victims of crime.

Cassius Turvey was only 15-years-old when he was attacked while walking home from school; he died 10 days later from his injuries.

His death sparked a national outcry for justice and action to tackle racially motivated crimes against Indigenous communities, especially children.

Mrs Turvey has campaigned for justice and change, with making appearances at rallies and candle-lit vigils.

On Thursday, Mrs Turvey stood next to the memorial tree which lies a few metres away from where the attack on her son took place.

She calls the memorial "The tree of love" and it has become a place where the community can pay their respects and remember Cassius.

Mrs Turvey spoke about her new role with WA Police as an advisor, a position she was offered days ago.

"There's violence all across this country…. I feel it more now because I've gone through that life experience of losing Cassius," she said.

"I am here for the community as a whole. If I can help people to navigate how they should be working with the police, how to [do] better policing in WA, then I am down for that," she said.

Mrs Turvey said the impact on Cassius' friends who were with him when he was attacked was another motivation for her to take on the role.

"After the incident the boys were left to their own devices, in a way the police and the ambulance had left and they had to find their own way home," she said.

"Some of my suggestions would be to contact family or arrange for, if not the police, then another group to be in their presence. Because they're left with that trauma on that day…what do they do with it?"

Cassius's friends were left traumatised from witnessing terrible violence against their friend. Mrs Turvey said that are now slowly coming out of their "shell of sadness".

In her new unpaid role, Mrs Turvey said she most likely would be working with new officers and supervisors with WA Police.

With her personal experience, Mrs Turvey hopes to bridge the gap on how to manage relationships with victims of crime and their families.

"With me, they're able to take on my life experiences and maybe alert them to how families are actually feeling," she said.

"And maybe in some of their questioning or their operational views, they might be traumatising us even further."

"That's where I come into it."

Mrs Turvey said she hopes her son's legacy will live on and wants people to remember him as a boy who had a big heart and beautiful smile.

She credited her son for being a friend to many and someone who was always there to support and help those who were in need.


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