SYDNEY – Hundreds of people attended a memorial service Wednesday for a young South Korean woman brutally murdered on her way to work in the city of Brisbane last weekend.
Eunji Ban, 22, was allegedly beaten to death at Wickham Park in Brisbane’s central business district Sunday morning as she made her way to the hotel where she worked as a cleaner. A 19-year-old man has been charged with murder.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk told the remembrance that the death of Ban, who had come to the country about six weeks ago to study English, “reminded how precious life is and how fragile it can be.”
“Eunji, as she came down this street, was just in that moment in time in the wrong place,” he said.
“Today we all share in the sorrow brought about by this horrific crime.”
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, who met with Ban’s relatives after they flew to Australia, said the government would assist the family in handling the tragedy, which is not thought to be racially motivated.
“Their daughter had come here and . . . we as a community were meant to be providing a safe place for them,” Newman said.
“She had saved, I was told yesterday, for about a year to come here. It was her passion to come to Australia — she loved the whole idea of Australia and coming to Queensland.”
In 2012, about 27,000 South Korean students were enrolled in Australian education institutions, the third-largest group, behind Chinese and Indian students.