Australia

'We are a nation in pain': Tears and anger at Brisbane vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children

Hannah Clarks parents Lloyd and Suzanne Clark embrace during a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children. Source: AAP

Residents in Brisbane have gathered for a vigil to mourn the deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three children.

Mourners have heard of the heroic and loving nature of mother Hannah Clarke at a vigil in south Brisbane to remember her and her three murdered children.

A heartbroken community on Sunday evening stood by the family and friends of Ms Clarke and her children Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey who died at the hands of Rowan Baxter.

A woman in the crowd sheds a tear at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children
A woman in the crowd sheds a tear at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children.
AAP

Baxter murdered his children and former partner by setting the car they were in alight while Hannah was doing the morning school run.

About 1000 people gathered in a south Brisbane park for Sunday evening's vigil.

Hannah Clarks parents Lloyd and Suzanne Clark are flanked by Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk and Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll.
Hannah Clarks parents Lloyd and Suzanne Clark are flanked by Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk and Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll.
AAP

Dressed in pink, Hannah's father Lloyd and brother Nat, thanked the crowd for their support.

"We would have felt lost without all your support," Lloyd Clarke said.

"I don't know how we can repay such kindness."

Hannah Baxter and her three children, Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3.
Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three.
Facebook

Many who addressed the crowd spoke of Hannah's courage and love.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Hannah was able to give a detailed account of the attack while fighting for her life.

Mourners are seen during a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, at Bill Hewitt Reserve in Brisbane, Sunday February 23, 2020. (AAP Image/Sarah Marshall) NO ARCHIVING
Mourners are seen during a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3.
AAP

While many tried to remember the best of Ms Clarke and her children, many could not hide their grief over one of the state's worst acts of domestic violence.

The children died at the scene while Hannah died in hospital.

The Red Cross comforts a woman at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children
The Red Cross comforts a woman at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children.
AAP

Baxter died from self-inflicted injuries, say police.

A mass of flowers and children's toys were laid at the front of the vigil, while hundreds of condolence messages have been written by a community still in shock.

Nikki Brookes was a friend of Ms Clarke, and had to hold back tears as she addressed the crowd.

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21 February: Hundreds rally in Brisbane to call for an end to domestic violence
21 February: Hundreds rally in Brisbane to call for an end to domestic violence
 

She called for the community to not turn a blind eye to domestic violence.

"We are a nation in pain," she said.

Hundreds turn out for a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children.
Hundreds turn out for a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children.
AAP

"Don't back away from your friends for the sake of convenience.

"Time's up on domestic violence."

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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