ACT News


Walkers remember Tara Costigan at end of National Family Violence Summit

Canberrans came out in force to demand an end to the cycle of family violence at the second Tara's Walk for Change.

Friday's showers gave way to clear skies on Saturday morning, ideal for the four-kilometre walk in memory of 28-year-old mother of three Tara Costigan, who was murdered in her Calwell home in February last year.

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Remembering Tara Costigan

Family of Tara Costigan remember the day she was brutally killed.

Australian of the Year Lieutenant General David Morrison (retired) joined Ms Costigan's uncle, and chief executive of the foundation bearing her name, Michael Costigan in leading about 1000 people around the Lake Burley Griffin shoreline.

Supporters started at the Patrick White Lawns between the lake's edge and the National Library of Australia, before walking through Lennox Gardens and back along the shoreline to the starting point.

A one-minute silence in memory of Ms Costigan and other victims of domestic violence preceded the walk.

Mr Costigan described domestic violence as Australia's "national disgrace" and announced plans to make the walk an annual event, as well as to expand beyond Canberra in future.


"[Family violence] is not something that will just go away; we need to remain determined [to eliminate it]," he said.

Lieutenant General Morrison, who came to prominence for his campaign against sexism in the army, was named as a patron of the Tara Costigan Foundation on Saturday.

This year's walk aligned with the end of the inaugural National Family Violence Summit in Canberra, a three-day program hosted by the Tara Costigan Foundation featuring front-line workers, political leaders and experts.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten addressed the summit earlier in the week, which also featured discussions about media involvement, warning signs, root causes and legal perspectives on family violence.

During his speech, Mr Turnbull said Ms Costigan's death and story was a reminder of the reality of those caught up in the scourge of domestic violence.

Ms Costigan's ex-partner, Marcus Rappel pleaded guilty to her murder in the ACT Supreme Court last month.

Sentencing for the charge is expected to take place later this year.