Balloons for Bella to remember murdered Petersen family

Murdered teenager Bella Petersen.
Murdered teenager Bella Petersen.

A PRIVATE memorial for a “sweet girl, precious boy and loving mother” will be held at an Ellenbrook oval on Friday to say goodbye to the murdered Petersen family members.

The memorial, Balloons for Bella, is planned for 8.15am at the Ellenbrook Secondary College (ESC) where the 15-year-old was a student.

With the intention for the memorial to pay tribute and honour Bella, her mother Michelle (48) and brother Rua (8), the event received some criticism on social media for encouraging the use of helium balloons.

Bella, Michelle and Rua will be remembered at a memorial in Ellenbrook.

In a post on Facebook, community members were told to bring helium balloons to release and flowers to lay in memory.

Not taking anything away from the intention of the memorial, community members encouraged people to bring bubbles and biodegradable balloons instead.

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Balloons for Bella has been organised by friends of the teenager who believed ESC had taken a lack of action for remembering the Petersens.

“We’ve taken it into our own hands as the school is doing nothing to remember the sweet girl, precious boy and loving mother we’ve just lost,” the post read.

“So bring your balloons, any photos and memories you have and let’s say our goodbyes to a loving friend and family.”

In a statement sent to Community News, the ESC parent and community association said, “as a school community we are all in shock over this tragedy and are still coming to terms with it…we will support the school in whatever they decide is appropriate.”

A Department of Education spokeswoman said the private memorial service would be for students, staff and parents who wish to pay their respects.

“Parents are invited to stay for a morning tea at the college to hear about support available for students as well as advice for supporting their children when dealing with grief,” she said.

“The school wishes to give the students the opportunity to pay their respects and grieve in private.”