International student Aiia Maasarwe spent her final hours socialising with new friends in Melbourne and enjoying events in the city she’d called home for five months.
Arun Chandran, who ran a social meet-up group, told AAP she came to the event at Flagstaff Gardens for an hour until 8pm where she spoke with everyone gathered.
“She is very social, very down to earth – not like many people you meet,” he said.
“She is a role model for the group.
“I hope we do not see this happen again. For someone to do this, it is heartless.”
Ms Maasarwe then went to a Melbourne comedy club and was heading home, speaking to her sister by phone, at the time she was attacked.
The 20-year-old suspect, understood to be a self-described aspiring songwriter and rapper, was being questioned by police on Friday night as Ms Maasarwe’s father spoke of his “special girl” at a vigil in Melbourne.
“All the time she think positive, she happy. She can make everything even from the worst situation happy and joke,” he said, noting she enjoyed her time in Melbourne.
Mr Maasarwe said Australia hadn’t been safe for his daughter, who he’d planned to visit at the end of the month, but was grateful for the mourners paying their respects.
“I will have this image, disaster. My worst dream. I have good dream, nice dream to be with my daughter not this situation,” he said with reddened eyes.
In an earlier vigil on Friday, he’d shared that his dream to be with her had simply been taken away.
“I want to be with her more time but someone decided I cannot be,” he said.
“I wish, I hope, I pray she is now in a more nice place, than this place, and in the paradise.”
She had been attending college on the grounds of La Trobe University.