Facing my daughter’s killer, and finding forgiveness. It’s what Mia would have wanted | Rosie Ayliffe

Facing my daughter’s killer, and finding forgiveness. It’s what Mia would have wanted | Rosie Ayliffe

The Guardian

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Whether or not people thought I was mad for being able to forgive, I didn’t care, because it was consistent with Mia’s values, writes Rosie Ayliffe

British mother Rosie Ayliffe thought her 20-year-old daughter Mia AyliffeChung would be safe backpacking around Australia in her gap year. But in 2016 when Mia sought to extend her visa and had to work 88 days on a farm, catastrophe followed. Four days after Mia moved into a hostel in Home Hill, Queensland to take a job on a sugarcane farm, she was fatally stabbed by French national Smail Ayad, 29. Another young British backpacker, Tom Jackson, died later of his wounds sustained while trying to protect Mia.

Through the grief of losing her only child, Rosie Ayliffe learned about the treatment of young farm workers, of stories of harassment and exploitation, and so began a campaign for change in the 417 visa requirements and greater protection for young workers. In this excerpt from her book, Far From Home, she writes about confronting her daughter’s killer for the first time.

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