The mother of a young Newcastle woman who was murdered during an alleged domestic violence incident is calling for more to be done to protect other women and children from harm.

21-year-old Mackenzie Anderson was fatally stabbed in front of her young son at her unit in Mayfield on the 25th of March, 2022.

Her ex-partner has been charged with murder and remains before the courts. 

A memorial bench was officially unveiled in Mackenzie’s honour at Gregson Park in Hamilton this morning. (Monday the 11th of December, 2023). 

Her mother Tabitha Acret, said change needs to come from the top and the bottom. 

“My daughter’s death garnered a lot of media attention and…it was quite overwhelming at the time, but that’s how every death should have been be treated and not every death is treated like that; sometimes it’s a small blurb, sometimes we don’t hear much at all…and we count it,” she said. 

“That’s not what I want; those families don’t want their children forgotten, but we also just don’t want to keep seeing it happen.” 

Ms. Acret is calling for both “upstream” and “downstream” approaches to violence, whereby charges and sentencing is tightened for offenders, and children are educated from a young age about right and wrong behaviors. 

She hopes the seat will serve as a reminder about how much needs to be done in order to protect other women and children from violence. 

“We just need to keep the conversation going.” 

Friends, family, Newcastle Councillors and local domestic violence services came together together to unveil the seat this morning, which can be found on the western boundary of the park, near the Samdon Street entrance. 

If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text 1800 RESPECT