An emotional tribute has been held in Perth for a woman and her two children who were killed in their Ellenbrook home earlier this month.
About 150 people attended the vigil for 48-year-old mother Michelle Peterson, her son Rua, 8 and daughter Bella, 15.
Many attendees arrived on motorbikes having taken part in a charity ride ahead of the service to raise money for the Peterson family.
‘We may never have the answers’
The Member for Swan Hills Jessica Shaw addressed the gathering, dominated by members of Perth’s Maori community.
“Many of us will have been lost for words over these part few days,” Ms Shaw said.
“Many of us have asked why these tragic events have occurred.
“We may never have answers.
“But if nothing else, the way our community has come together in the face of these tragic events shows us that none of us need face these situations alone.
“Let our reaction to this tragedy be to cherish, to hold tightly our family and friends.”
‘Love your children. Teach them well’
Maori elder Jake Moanaroa expressed his condolences to the Peterson family and urged the community to learn from the tragedy.
“Love your children. Teach them well. Teach them the best things in life,” he said.
“We don’t know when the time is for us to leave this earth.
“It can come suddenly. It can come painfully. But at the end of it all brothers and sisters, we know that our Lord loves us.”
A haka was performed and traditional songs were sung as mourners lit candles and wrote messages to be passed on to the grieving family.
The mother and her children were allegedly murdered by Ms Peterson’s 19-year-old son Teancum Vernon Peterson-Crofts.
He appeared in court last week and was remanded to a secure mental health facility.
Private funeral services will be held for the victims in the coming weeks.