'18 too many': Candlelight vigil for baby Beau Bradshaw
UPDATE 8PM: A BRIEF but powerful moment of grief was shared online tonight, as the Mackay community came together to mourn six-month-old Beau Bradshaw.
Seated next to a fluffy teddy bear and a pink candle, Broken Ballerina Foundation founder Jules Thompson hosted the quiet virtual candlelight vigil on Friday night August 7.
"Beau was one of 18 children taken too soon," Ms Thompson said.
"One of 18 taken in an alleged act of murder or manslaughter in Australia this year.
"That's 18 too many."
Ms Thompson said any allegation of domestic or family violence was "appalling".
"But when it's a baby or child, that's when it's really disturbing," she said.
She lit a candle then called for a minute's silence as music played.
Ms Thompson ended the video in a tearful farewell to those who joined her in the virtual vigil.
She encouraged anyone in an abusive situation to reach out and seek help.
"Do not think that living a life where you're living on eggshells or living in fear is normal," she said.
"It's not until you break that cycle that you realise how bad it was."
Beau was found unresponsive on the afternoon of June 2 and died two days later in hospital after donating his organs.
His father was this week charged with murder and grievous bodily harm.
EARLIER: A TINY flickering candle will memorialise six-month-old Beau Bradshaw whose life was cut short in June.
The Broken Ballerina Foundation has announced a virtual candle lighting ceremony for this Friday, two months after Beau's death.
Founder Jules Thompson said the ceremony would allow the community to come together, just days after Mackay police arrested Beau's father Ayden Bradshaw.
The 24 year old dad faced court on Tuesday accused of murder and grievous bodily harm to Beau at East Mackay.
His case is set to be mentioned again in October.
Ms Thompson said Beau's death was a tragedy that needed to be acknowledged.
"It's such a sad situation," Ms Thompson said.
Ms Thompson said she had waited to hold a vigil for Beau Bradshaw to see if a criminal case was announced.
She said the court case highlighted the need for conversations about family violence generally in the community.
"Unfortunately domestic violence is a scourge on society," she said.
"I wish the government would take domestic violence as seriously as COVID."
Ms Thompson said the signs of domestic violence were not always bruises and scars.
"There's so many forms of domestic violence," she said.
"I used to wish I had visible signs so I could say 'look, he's hurting me.'."
"Quite often it's psychological or financial."
Ms Thompson hoped a conversation around family violence would inspire victims and their perpetrators to seek help.
The virtual candlelight vigil would begin at 7pm on Friday August 7, livestreamed over the Broken Ballerina Facebook event.
Ms Thompson encouraged residents to also hold their own private ceremonies.
"I hope to see all of Mackay lighting a candle for Beau," she said.
If you or someone you know has had experience in an abusive relationship, or with domestic violence, please seek help from the following numbers and organisations:
DV Connect Womensline: 1800 811 811
DV Connect Mensline: 1800 600 636
Sexual Assault Helpline: 1800 010 120
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Domestic Violence Action Centre: 4642 1354
Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service: 1800 88 77 00