Contributed from Victoria
The brutal rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon has drawn thousands in Melbourne to a vigil at the murder scene. Others attended memorials in other places.
It has moved the whole of Australia.
The young and up and coming comedian was walking home from a gig at the Highland Bart in the CBD, when she was attacked, and her body left in a soccer pitch, at Princes Park in North Carlton, and later found by passers by. Nineteen-year old Jaymes Todd has been charged with the crime.
Along with the sadness, there has been an outpouring of anger. It has direction too. The determination to do something to foster respect for women has gripped the community. This has been building for some time, and the killing of Eurydice Dixon, has lifted it a bit higher.
As a lot of people have been saying, attacks like this are the worst and most graphic expression of the disregard for the equality of women deeply embedded in society. Too often this leads to the imposition of control through violence. Some progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go.
It is also about more than this. We live in a society where the concept of self is t distorted to the point, where we live in a jungle where each is too often over concerned with narrow self-interest. There is not enough space for caring about each other.
This is a jungle, where those who prey on others wear the trappings of success. The sense of community has been downgraded and positive human interactions are not valued highly enough. Respect for others has suffered and mental health issues are one of the outcomes.
To rebuild respect for others, and this includes between the sexes, we need to recapture a sense of community. There is a need to come to understand that we depend on each other to meet our own interests. We must to learn to appreciate that by looking out for others, we help ourselves.
By building empathy and shifting away from extreme individualism, the world is made safer for us all. In this context, we are not two sexes with different status, but equal human beings.
When thousands of people come together, take part in something bigger than themselves, and collectively stand to make a difference, we are on the road towards change. That this rises in the face of a tragedy is a good thing. We must also find ways to bring this into everyday life, at work, at home and in the streets.