Cassius Turvey will be remembered
A REFLECTION or remembrance space not only of her son, but also an inspiration for other young children, is how Cassius Turvey’s mother Mechelle likes to remember the memorial unveiled in Midland on Tuesday.
The remembrance plaque depicts 15 qualities that Cassius embodied and wording put together by her niece Rachel and her daughter, (Mrs Turvey’s granddaughter) Sharlise who went and sat in the area and thought about the concept.
She said it was really important that not everything was about Cassius, so the wording on the plaque was a message to all other children that in the 15 short years that Cassius lived they too could have those qualities, if they didn’t already have them.
The 15 qualities are sharing, sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, respectful, courageous, confident, teamwork, encouraging, kind, loyal, leadership, empowering, integrity, trustful, responsible and supportive.
Mrs Turvey highlighted the impact Cassius had with his friends and his family, especially the old people with his respect values while he was living and the impact he was still having on them.
“He would go to the old nanas, and he’d hug them while the other kids stayed back, he would go to the pops and shake their hands. He wouldn’t run away, he would stay there and he would yarn. That’s how Cassius learnt how to be respectful, that’s how he learnt his culture.
“I carry everything for Cassius now – I wish I didn’t have to but I live for him now and the fact is he’d be really proud of me doing what I’m doing to help other people.
“He had a saying ‘mum’s on a mission’.
“It’s been pretty full on for the past year but I would do anything for my son.’’
She outlined why she chose Weeip Park for the remembrance plaque.
“Pretty much most nights and in between here and the Swan City Youth Service they’d come and throw some hoops here and get home very late at night, so that’s why I’ve chosen this area because it’s not just somewhere Cassius used to venture to but also his friends as well.’’
The cloth used to veil the memorial was created by Cassius’ friends from Swan View Senior High School, where he attended.
The unveiling was held on October 31 as Halloween was Cassius’ favourite day of the year.
“Christmas and birthdays were a little bit okay but I think for Halloween he just loved getting out to the houses, meeting other kids as well – I think he just liked stepping out into the community and getting a hell of a lot of lollies.”
Mrs Turvey finished addressing the crowd at the memorial by thanking friends, family and the wider community for their support.
“People come and say sorry for your loss and I just whisper in their ear gently, ‘he was everyone’s loss’,” she said.
The Cassius Turvey memorial was created by his family and the City of Swan as a space where young people can gather to remember Cassius and reflect on the extraordinary impact he had on people's lives.
THE unveiling of the Cassius Turvey memorial will take place on October 31 at Weeip Park from 4pm to 6m.
Cassius’ mother Mechelle Turvey said her son’s favourite day was Halloween, a time of creativity, community and coming together.
“Join us as we celebrate his life and unveil the Cassius Turvey memorial, a space where young people can gather to remember Cassius and reflect on the extraordinary impact he had on our lives,’’ she said.
“Dress in your Halloween best or wear something that reminds you of Cassius’s unique style.
“Following the unveiling, enjoy refreshments, music and the company of friends and loved ones as we celebrate Cassius.’’
FAMILY and community members have gathered at Cassius Turvey’s memorial tree in Middle Swan to pay their respects on what should have been his 16th birthday.
Flowers, cards and wreathes were laid at the memorial tree after encouragement from Cassius’ loved ones.
Cassius’ mother Mechelle Turvey and his friends Mohammed and Tishawn thanked everyone who visited and paid their respects at the memorial.
“We’re grateful for the support from the community, family, schools and everyone else who wished Cassius a happy birthday,’’ his friends said.
Ms Turvey said some of the people who paid their respects and left flowers and gifts were people who did not know Cassius.
She said she just wanted to thank everyone from all his family and to say that Cassius’ memorial tree was for everyone to attend at anytime.
“Sometimes people don’t go there because they see family there and they think it is intrusive,’’ she said.
“Actually if people are parked there and won’t get out of their car I can invite them (to) come and sit with me.”
She visits the memorial tree a couple of times a week.
“I go when the sun is going down because I like the light.
“It’s a special moment when the tree lights up because Cassius loved sparkly lights.’’
Cassius and his niece Saraia were born on the same day in the same hospital and a private shared birthday gathering had been held with many of Cassius’ friends and family.
She said although it had been a highly emotional day it was important to for her to acknowledge the occasion.
Cassius was allegedly attacked with a metal pole as he walked in Middle Swan in October last year. Four people have been charged and are due to face trial in 2025.
THE WA Police Force will work closely with Mechelle Turvey to implement new victim engagement training for new recruits and serving officers.
In October 2022, Ms Turvey tragically lost her son Cassius, following a violent attack which shocked the nation.
As both a mother and a community leader, Ms Turvey showed exceptional strength in a time of unimaginable personal grief. Her training session – titled ‘Take 5’ – provides a greater insight into the needs of victims of crime.
WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch said caring for victims and showing them respect, was a fundamental consideration for police.
“Mechelle is one of the bravest and most selfless people I have ever met and I thank her for showing us all what police and the community can accomplish when we work together, for proving that good can come out of even the most unimaginable tragedy, if we are brave enough and committed enough to make it happen,” Mr Blanch said.
Ms Turvey said she had never been quiet on matters that stir her heart, and she had chosen not to hate but to make differences for others through her life experiences.
“I was not happy with some police actions and lack of care shown in traumatic times, after my son Cassius was subjected to senseless violence and later died. So, when Commissioner Blanch asked if I would like to address my concerns as a victim of crime training new recruits, I said yes.
“I have titled the training session ‘Take 5’ as it only takes either five seconds or minutes to genuinely show you honestly care rather than just ticking boxes to do your job.
Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen Cleal of homicide has been an immense support to all my family.
“My family were present to support me at the first session. I know Cassius is proud of me, he had a saying that builds my daily resilience ‘Lookout … Mum is on a mission’,” Ms Turvey said.
Published Echo News June 23, 2023
CASSIUS Turvey’s mother Mechelle has delivered a powerful message to the young people affected by his death.
On Tuesday during an appreciation announcement she said while she was there to carry on Cassius’ legacy of being a mentor and leader, who people went to when they had a problem, she would not do it alone.
“You kids in Midland are going to help me, you understand what I’m saying?
“Cassius would not want people mourning day and night for him.
“That’s why he had that smile on his face. He had hope.’’
She said Cassius may not have had all the answers but he gave everything he had to be helpful.
On October 13 last year the Noongar-Yamatji boy was walking with friends in Middle Swan when he was allegedly attacked with a metal pole.
After five days in hospital Cassius was sent home where he suffered a seizure and two strokes.
He was placed in an induced coma but died on October 23.
This year the four people charged with his murder have pleaded not guilty and are due in court again next month when a trial date is expected to be announced.
In honour of her son Mechelle Turvey gave $20,000 each to Koya Aboriginal Corporation, Binar Futures and the Swan City Youth Services along with $5000 to the Lawnmower Boys.
Deagan Reynolds of Herne Hill and Tishawn Penny of Stratton said Cassius started Lawnmower Boys in Year 9 and asked them to join.
“It definitely stopped going on after he passed but we wanted to start it up again for him as a dedication to him,’’ Tishawn said.
The teenagers said it was tough carrying it on without their friend.
“Yes, it definitely is, because he was the one that usually knocked on the doors.
“Us boys were a bit shy to do it, but yeah.’’
Published Echo News March 24, 2023
ON Harmony Day the proposed memorial concept design to remember the life of 15-year-old Cassius Turvey was unveiled at Weeip Park.
A special event was held on Tuesday where Cassius’ mother Mechelle Turvey announced the design of the reflection space honouring her son’s legacy and the young people he grew up with, which included a memorial plaque with 15 qualities he embodied in his 15 years.
“We have taken into account the legacy that Cassius had within his 15 years and how we look at bringing that forward and how we inspire other young ones within the community, throughout Midland and communities across our country and hopefully globally,” Ms Turvey said.
Ms Turvey, Cassius’ aunty Robyn Corbett and uncle Roger Turvey selected their niece Rachel May and her daughter, Cassius’ niece, Sharlise Gibson to assemble the written words for the plaque.
“Together we looked at a message that mum sent to nana Mechelle, it was about how uncle Cassius inspired people and how in his 15 years was such a big influence in his family, friends, school and in his community,” Sharlise said.
“Uncle Cassius had a way of making everyone feel valued no matter who they were or where they came from.”
The pair whittled down a long list of values and qualities Cassius embodied down to 15, symbolising Forever 15.
The words are; courageous, confident, respectful, teamwork, encouraging, sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, kind, loyal, leadership, sharing, empowering, integrity, trustful, responsible and supportive.
Sharlise said the pair wanted the words on the plaque to help people not only reflect but feel safe and comfortable.
“We even came out to the park here and would read out loud what we came up with, when it didn’t sound great we wrote it again and again,” she said.
“Finally we felt we had something to give nana Mechelle…then we read it out one last time and we couldn’t help but smile and feel good.
“We were smiling because it felt like uncle Cassius was here with us and was smiling too.”
A second event to unveil the final installation is being planned.
Published March 10, 2023
A MEMORIAL concept to remember the life of Cassius Turvey has been approved by the City of Swan and two dates have been set for its unveiling at Weeip Park.
Following a motion put forward in December by councillor Cate McCullough for a commemorative space to remember the 15-year-old, Cassius’ mother Mechelle Turvey has worked with the city’s reconciliation action plan advisory group (RAPAG) to discuss location and memorial concept options.
At Wednesday night’s council meeting staff recommended that council endorse the installation of a sign with specific wording chosen by Cassius’ family members, a community event to unveil the concept as part of Harmony Week on March 21 and a second event to unveil the final installation at Weeip Park.
In an argument against the recommendation, councillor Aaron Bowman questioned the cost of the memorial estimated at $30,000.
“The report states that the cost of $30,000 of which $2400 if for signage and design, the rest being $27,850 is the construction of the sign and installation,” he said.
“I asked for a breakdown of these two costs which staff now advise since the agenda forum they have a quote for $9300 for the sign, what is the estimated installation cost?
“Staff have now advised they are confident the cost will be significantly below $30,000, what is actually being requested?... the cost of the sign installing seems overpriced.”
Cr Bowman also grilled the suitability of the concept design itself.
“The sign on page 68 does not provide the appropriate respect as it to me looks like just another sign that is used to name parks which is evident from the example provided.
“Where is the remembrance and reflection space which I thought was wanted, surely we can do better.”
In her right of reply Cr McCullough hammered home that the concept was to be decided on by Ms Turvey, her family and Elders with the RAPAG.
“My motion was that the city’s RAPAG work with Mechelle Turvey, it was her request that they would liase with her in memory of Cassius and look at what was the priority and what was of ultimate significance to Cassius,” she said.
“Mechelle felt as a mother of Cassius she knew what he would want and what would be of greater benefit to the community and her vision for the young people he played with, worked with and had grown up with.”
The staff recommendation was carried 10 - 5.
Published Echo News January 27, 2023
THREE more people have been charged with the murder of Noongar-Yamatji boy Cassius Turvey.
Mitchell Colin Forth (24) of Chidlow, Brodie Lee Palmer (27) of Wundowie and Aleesha Louise Gilmore (20) of Herne Hill faced Perth Magistrates Court last Friday where their charges were read to them.
On October 13 last year Cassius was walking with friends along Patterson Drive in Middle Swan when he was allegedly attacked with a metal pole by 21-year-old Jack Steven James Brearley.
Cassius spent five days in hospital before being sent home where he suffered a seizure and two strokes.
He was placed in an induced coma but died on October 23.
The trio join Mr Brearley, who was charged with unlawful wounding, later upgraded to murder.
Mr Brearley was also accused of attacking a 13-year-old on crutches, who was with Cassius at the time.
In the days and weeks after Cassius’ death, thousands gathered across Australia at more than 40 vigils and rallies to remember his life.
At the Perth rally Cassius’s mother Mechelle Turvey called for an end to violence and support for local youth.
“I don’t want any more violence, I am the only person who can get justice for my son…violence breeds violence, I want calm and peace,” Ms Turvey said.
“I want a kids matter program that instils empowerment in my Midland community.
“We want these kids matter programs to begin in Midland where a significant proportion of the population are indigenous, which hopefully spread across the country at pace for lost and troubled young souls.”
In December the City of Swan approved plans for a remembrance space in Weeip Park to honour Cassius and early this month Ms Turvey accepted a volunteer advisory role with the WA Police to help victims of crime.
Forth, Palmer and Gilmore are scheduled to appear at Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on March 29.
Published Echo News December 16, 2022
PLANS for a commemorative space in Midland’s Weeip Park to remember the life of Noongar-Yamatji boy Cassius Turvey are in discussion.
City of Swan councillor Cate McCullough has put forward a notice of motion which was due to be discussed by the council on Wednesday, December 14 but was adjourned until the next day.
“A memorial will stand as a reminder of Cassius Turvey: an emerging, inspiring and gentle leader who even in his short life, has left a significant legacy in our communities, across our nation and the world,” Cr McCullough said.
Cassius’ mother Mechelle Turvey said she would be honoured for the council to back her commitment to keeping her late son’s memory alive.
“It makes me, my family and Cassius’ peers feel more part of the community, there is something for everyone,” she said.
“What I’m trying to do as a mum and as a wife of my late husband is to get that legacy going forever and children can adapt that legacy as well.”
Ms Turvey said selecting Weeip Park as a memorial site for Cassius, where he spent four nights a week playing basketball, would allow his family and friends to reflect on treasured memories and strengthen the community.
“It’s not just about Cassius’ family and friends coming to this space, it’s about everyone as a community coming to this space and having ownership within the community, I want it to be empowering to other people as well.”
If the memorial goes ahead Ms Turvey hopes to engage a young local poet as well as local artist Jade Dolman, who designed Cassius’ coffin to create the reflective space.
“I would like to work with a young poet on some inspirational words with a focus on leadership and Kids Matter,” she said.
“To let kids know this is where you play, where you can come when you’re feeling down or you’re struggling at school or home, whatever it may be this is a space you can come to, shoot some hoops, have a look at the reflective space and think of Cassius.”
As she continues to brainstorm concepts for the space Ms Turvey has been working with the City behind the scenes to give teenagers and young adults a platform to share their concerns through her vision the Kids Matter Program.
“I want to set up a steering committee where teens are on there as well so they have a voice.
“I would like for any teenagers that are willing to sit around the table and give their views of what is required, and what they do or don’t want to email me directly.”
Providing children of all ages with an opportunity to enter positions of leadership is at the heart of Ms Turvey’s quest to support young people.
This week she attended Middle Swan Primary School to accept a donation of more than $2000 for her family, surprising students in the process.
“I said I cannot accept this money and I turned around to the children and gave the money back to the school to buy sporting equipment, as long as they can pick those items out.
“Now they will have a committee with the children to figure out what equipment they need so that leadership continues.”
To submit an expression of interest into the steering committee email kidsmatterpro
Published Echo News November 4, 2022
Cassius Turvey’s mum, Mechelle, stood up in front of thousands at Monday night’s candlelight vigil to insist that she did not want her son’s death to be used as an opportunity to stir racial arguments.
“I want to make this really clear, we know racism exists but do not use my son’s tragedy as a platform to blow your trumpets,” she said.
“Blow them in your own choir, do not blow them in my son’s choir.”
Mechelle, a former Aboriginal Liason Officer, said it did not matter the colour of Cassius’ skin, only that we stand together to stamp out violence against everyone.
“And I just want to put this message out stronger, stronger and stronger, kids matter,” she said.
“Black, white, brown, pink, yellow, it doesn’t matter.
“We are all the same, we are all one people on this planet.”
Mechelle also spoke about the impact her son’s death had had across Australia and further afield as rallies and vigils were held in cities around the country and overseas on Wednesday.
She also went on to talk about Cassius’ name, which was chosen by his older brother, Jay, after Cassius Clay, the name Muhammad Ali was born with.
“I would like to thank my son for giving him that name as that name represents Cassius to the tee,” she said.
“Just like Muhammad Ali was, he wasn’t just strong in the boxing ring, but he took his strong words to the community and to the world.”
Mechelle thanked everyone for loving Cassius “whether you knew him or not” and spoke about the 15 fire boxes that were part of the ceremony, representing Cassius remaining “15 forever”.
“Justice for Cassius,” she said.
Published Echo News November 4, 2022
IN the fading light on the last day of October, eight days after the death of Middle Swan teen Cassius Turvey, thousands gathered in a show of solidarity at Midland’s Weeip Park.
The candlelight vigil brought together friends, family, mentors and strangers from right across Perth, not just in remembrance for the 15-year-old but also to send a message to the nation.
“I have no doubt we are standing at a crossroad for this nation,” Cassius’ uncle and Uniting Church Reverend Mark Kickett told the crowd.
“It is now time for us to look deep into our own souls and to have an understanding of what now needs to take place if there is indeed going to be healing.
“If there’s going to be a new way forward, if there is going to be an opportunity for us to be truly one nation now is an opportunity.
“Our community, your presence here, tells me strongly that is exactly where we are at and it’s time for us to speak into that space, to our politicians, to our parliaments, and it’s time for the voice of Aboriginal and Islander First Nations peoples to stand up and to be heard and to be counted.”
Cassius was walking along Patterson Drive with friends at about 4.30pm on October 13 when it is alleged a 21-year-old male approached the group and assaulted him and another boy, 13, with a metal pole.
Cassius spent five days in hospital before being released and sent home, hours later he suffered a seizure and two strokes.
He died in hospital on October 23.
“When [Cassius] was a little boy he said to his two big brothers, ‘one day I am going to be famous and everybody is going to know my name’,” Mr Kickett said.
“We are here to celebrate that, and we are here to begin a new journey as one people because our hearts and our minds are now together as one – This is his story.”
Despite the pain and suffering, felt by everyone attending Monday night’s vigil, the feeling in the air was not one of hate, but one of compassion.
“The greatness of community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its people,” Cassius’ basketball coach and mentor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker said.
“The Dalai Lama says compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
“Have a look around at all the people here tonight, this is community, Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal, male, female, young, old and everyone in-between this is what the Swan community is all about – it is about all of us.”
She further added that he was now with his father, who died only a month ago, in heaven.
“His dad called him, his dad needed his angel right beside him in heaven,” she said.
“He was too special to be here with us, he needed to be in the Kingdom of God alongside his father.
“I can feel Cassius standing right next to me with his funny smile that lit up the path in front of him, he was a gentle giant and a beacon for all of us.”
Before the formal proceedings a Welcome to Country was conducted by Noongar and Yued Elder Uncle Ben Taylor who said while their koort (hearts) were saddened and in pain at the loss of Cassius, his spirit would always be with his mother Mechelle and his friends.
The oval was then covered in smoke as 15 fire pits were lit, one for each year of Cassius’ life, for a cleansing ceremony.
“Take a piece of that leaf and crush it, put it in your mind what you want from it,” ceremony leader Joe Collard said.
“Use the elements of fire, water and sky for a healing.
“The karl is the fire, it has a dreaming it has a story.
“Everyone has an opportunity to share in the smoke and participate in this healing ceremony.
“We will get justice, but we will be smart about it.”
If you need help services are available, reach out to Headspace Midland or Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Midland.
Published Echo News October 28, 2022
On his favourite day of the year, Halloween, 15-year-old Swan View Senior High School student Cassius Turvey will be remembered with a candlelit vigil at Midland Oval, just a few kilometres from where he was fatally bashed on October 13.
Cassius was walking home after school along Patterson Drive, just off Lloyd Street, when a black Ford Ranger pulled up alongside him and some friends.
The car was allegedly being driven by a female whom police have not laid charges on.
Twenty-one-year-old Jack Brearley was in the passenger’s seat.
“It will be alleged that the male exited the vehicle and ran toward the group before assaulting a 15-year-old boy with a metal pole,” detective senior sergeant Stephen Cleal from WA Police said in a press conference earlier this week.
“The 21-year-old man from Middle Swan, previously charged with unlawful wounding, has now had that charge upgraded to murder.”
Cassius spent five days in hospital before being released and sent home.
Hours later he returned to hospital after suffering a seizure and two strokes.
On October 23, he succumbed to his injuries.
There has been an outpouring of grief throughout the community since news of his death was made public and a GoFundMe page has so far raised almost $300,000 to go toward funeral expenses and “the fight for justice for Cassius”.
“We are seeking funds to cover his funeral, legal costs for criminal compensation and justice,” the page read.
News of his death has spread across the country with rallies now being planned in Perth, Geraldton, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Broome on November 2, as many are now calling for tougher laws for vigilante and hate crimes.
On Wednesday Police Commissioner Col Blanch said Cassius was “an innocent victime of a violent attack.
“He was simply spending time with his friends when he was assaulted,” he said.
Cassius was a member of the Koya basketball community run by indigenous community advocate Cheryl Kickett-Tucker in Midland.
“We are totally devastated of the passing of a bright but humble beacon in our community,” she said.
“Cassius was an absolutely gorgeous human with a smile that lit up the path ahead of him.
“We are going to miss him dearly.”
Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time of the alleged incident to come forward by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Jack Brearley appeared in Midland Magistrates Court on Monday.
“Our hearts (koort) are broken…but our spirit will rise because of Cassius,” Professor Kickett-Tucker said.