Gold Coasters to gather for candlelight vigil in memory of Kelly Wilkinson

Hundreds of Gold Coasters are expected to come together today to remember mother-of-three Kelly Wilkinson.

The 27-year-old was allegedly set alight and killed in the backyard of her Arundel home on Tuesday morning, with her three children, all aged under nine, present at the time.

Ms Wilkinson’s estranged husband Brian Earl Johnston has since been charged with her murder and remains under police guard in hospital.


Kelly’s tragic death has sparked an outpouring of grief across the country, especially from those in the tight-knit community of Arundel who are expected to gather this afternoon for a candlelight vigil.

All Gold Coasters are being invited to attend the special event, which is taking place on the Gold Coast Titans training oval at The Club at Parkwood Village.

The community vigil begins at 4.45pm, however residents are being encouraged to gather from 4.00pm.

Bonney MP Sam O’Connor said those planning on attending are also being urged to wear Kelly’s favourite colour, green.

“Let’s show Kelly’s family our whole community is with them as they go through this,” Mr O’Connor said.

“They’re asking people to wear something green because it was her favourite colour.”

The vigil is expected to include a statement from Ms Wilkinson’s family, a prayer and one of Kelly’s favourite songs.

“We’ll then light candles at sunset in memory of Kelly,” Mr O’Connor said.

There’s calls for a wide-ranging review into the domestic violence system following Ms Wilkinson’s death, with police confirming she sought help several times in the weeks before her murder.

Speaking to reporters last week, Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd admitted the system had failed Kelly.

“We haven’t come to that conclusion yet… but ultimately it’s a failure… A woman has died,” Assistant Commissioner Codd said.

“Somewhere along the line, she had engaged with the system, with us, and we were unable to prevent this from occurring”

Assistant Commissioner Codd confirmed Queensland Police are conducting an internal review into the events leading up to Ms Wilkinson’s death.

“I think it’s important that we examine to what extent it is a systemic failure,” he said.

“We’re certainly going to make sure we look to improve and correct any parts of the system that we control.”

A fundraising page set up to help Kelly’s three children has now raised more than $200,000.

To donate, click here.