The plaque is inscribed with 15 qualities that Cassius embodied, but Mechelle insists it’s not just about Cassius.
“It’s for other kids to read those qualities and for them to think about how they can have those qualities themselves, or what they might already be proud of,” Mechelle explains.
Cassius was known in his community for his respectful nature. He even founded the local business the ‘Lawnmower Boys’, which saw him and two friends cut people’s lawns for no set price.
“One lady paid what he thought was too much money, so a few weeks later he went back and cut her lawn for free,” Mechelle remembers.
“His school principal tells me Cassius was the only child who’d ever attended his school who opened the doors for teachers and students.”
In the year since losing Cassius, Mechelle has done everything she can to ensure her son’s legacy lasts. She’s developed victim engagement training, called ‘TAKE 5’, for the Western Australia Police Force to better help victims of crime.
She’s also been awarded the Female Elder of the Year at Midland NAIDOC for her work in bringing communities together.
“The work I do is to make Cassius proud of me,” she says.
“He was always proud of me. Whenever I was going to do something he’d say, ‘Mum’s on a mission.’ Now I’m on a mission for him. I want his legacy to live on.”
At the unveiling of the memorial, some of Cassius’ closest friends will talk about their beloved mate. There’s one thing Mechelle knows they all remember.
“Cassius was always smiling,” she says.
“He was a child of hope.”
The Cassius Turvey Memorial will be unveiled on October 31, 4-6pm at Weeip Park, Midland.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders requiring crisis support can call 13YARN (13 92 76).