On May 26, 2019, I received an early morning visit from the Victoria Police Homicide Squad. Being a lawyer, I thought it must be about a client. I wish it was.
My 25-year-old daughter, Courtney Herron, had been killed.
As a parent, my worst nightmare had been realised. I'd lost my child; my first-born, my only daughter.
The following weeks were a daze. I kept hoping it was not true.
"My daughter's name is etched into Melbourne's consciousness."
Courtney was a powerful advocate against gender-based violence.
It is a tragic irony that an evil man — an accomplished and violent perpetrator against women — took her life. And in such horrible circumstances.
She had met her killer, Henry Hammond, the previous evening. He approached her to ask for a cigarette. They shared a conversation, went out for a meal, went to a gathering with her friends. Then, as they walked together through Royal Park that night, he took her life.
When Courtney’s body was found, it took Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius to reference that this was "about men’s behaviour (to women)." He was right.