news

"I'm shaking right now." Friends and family remember Bourke Street victim Jessica Mudie.

Jessica Mudie was visiting Melbourne from Sydney on Friday, January 20, when she found herself walking down Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD.

The 22-year-old, who was working as a consultant for Marsh, an insurance company, was looking forward to 2017. She had spent Christmas with her family, Boxing Day at the beach, and New Year’s with friends in some of Sydney’s most beautiful spots.

Just three weeks ago, she was excited to meet an actor from Criminal Minds at Catalina Rose Bay.

"How to start 2017," she captioned the photo. Image via Instagram.

But Jess's Melbourne trip would end in unimaginable tragedy, when a man driving a red Holden Commodore deliberately drove into pedestrians on Bourke Street at 1.30pm on Friday afternoon, killing five people. Among them, a three-month-old boy, a 10-year-old girl, a 33-year-old father, and "bright bubble of joy," Jessica Mudie.

Touching tributes have poured in from Jess's family and friends, who are trying to come to terms with the unfathomable devastation of her passing. In a statement from Jess's family, she is described as the "most badass daughter and sister," and "one of the strongest people we know."

"We are constantly inspired by your love for everyone around you and the lengths you will go to for the people you love,"  it read.

"Best family photo I could find," she wrote of the photo on the left. Image via Instagram.
ADVERTISEMENT

On her social media pages, Jess's friends and family have left messages for their "beautiful girl."

"Wow just wow... I am shaking right now," wrote one friend, while another wrote, "Rest in peace Jess. Your death won't be in vain. Reforms will happen."

Another said, "Rest in peace beautiful girl, you don't deserve this."

Jess, who grew up in the southwest Sydney suburb of Liverpool, attended Holsworthy High School. In a statement posted to their Facebook page on Sunday evening, the school described her death as "incomprehensible," and extended their "deepest sympathy."

"On behalf of all Holsworthy High staff, students and the wider community we send our heartfelt condolences to the Mudie Family at this very sad time," read the statement.

"Besties," she captioned this photo. Image via Instagram.

Her boss at Marsh was also deeply affected by her loss. CEO Scott Leney said the company were "shocked and saddened" by Friday's events, and said she had "a bright future ahead of her."

"Marsh colleagues across Australia join Jess’s loved ones and friends in their grief and mourning," he said.

Over the weekend, people all over the country grieved for the innocent lives lost on Friday. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the site of the rampage on Sunday, and assured the people of Melbourne, "We are with you in solidarity, we are grieving with you, we are mourning those whose lives have been lost."

"This is a sad day. It is so sad. The loss of our fellow Australians in such a shocking, wanton criminal attack is a tragedy," he said.

Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews announced a vigil at 5.30pm on Monday at Federation Square.

"Our hearts have been broken by this," he said.

A Bourke Street Fund has been set up to help families impacted by the tragedy. For more information or to donate, click here.