The father of a 10-year-old girl killed in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall rampage has urged parents to embrace their children and remember what’s important.
Tony Hakin addressed a public memorial on Tuesday, one year after his daughter Thalia died in the mall.
“She was a heart and soul of our family, this cowardly act has shattered our lives,” Mr Hakin told the gathering.
“Go home, pick up your daughter, even if she was naughty, remember she is the reason why we sacrifice.
“This little girl along with five others were heroes in their own way, because they died so we can understand what the risks are.”
The twin sister of another victim, 22-year-old Jess Mudie, says she misses her beloved sister every day.
“I loved doing anything with her. I miss the really small things, like us just watching period dramas together,” Emily Mudie told the gathering.
Matthew Si’s wife Melinda Tan said her 33-year-old husband dropped their daughter at day care and never came back.
“I have had to adjust to a new life that will always be missing a loving husband and father,” Ms Tan said in a video message.
The older brother of Japanese man Yosuke Kanno spoke through an interpreter to say Mr Kanno suffered horrific injuries, and he doesn’t know if he can ever accept his death.
“I must say it is regrettable that it all came down to this, despite the fact that the suspect had been held in police custody at one point,” Junpei Kanno added.
Premier Daniel Andrews said Victorians won’t forget January 20, 2017.
“As one small note left at the scene put it simply, and profoundly, ‘We may not have known you but we will always remember you’,” he said.
Six people were killed and dozens more injured when a vehicle ran down pedestrians along the city’s busy pedestrian mall.
Alleged driver Dimitrious Gargasoulas has pleaded not guilty to 39 offences, including six counts of murder and 38 of attempted murder, over the rampage.
The victims also included three-month-old Zachary Bryant and 33-year-old Bhavita Patel.
More than 150 members of the public made their way to the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton at midday after undergoing bag checks and sweeps by metal detectors.