Caroline Stuttle’s family say they are grateful for the kindness and support of the community in the 20 years since she tragically lost her life while visiting the Bundaberg Region.
A moving memorial service and plaque unveiling was held today, April 10 2022, to mark 20 years since her death following an attack which saw her thrown from the Burnett Traffic Bridge.
In the two decades since her passing Caroline’s family has honoured her memory through Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation which promotes safe travel practices.
Her brother Richard Stuttle said the family was incredibly moved by how much the people of Bundaberg cared and how they had taken the family into their hearts.
“We will always feel deeply humbled about how our family was received by the people of Bundaberg,” Richard said.
“Their love and thoughtfulness meant a great deal in 2002 when we were dealing with the loss of Caroline and the amazing support through her murder trial in 2004.
“We were made to feel welcome from the first moment we stepped foot in Bundaberg, this completely changed our preconceptions of the place and the Australian people.
“We offer our greatest thanks for people’s kindness and generosity in the subsequent years and with the memorial today.
“The memorial is a wonderful tribute to Caroline’s life and legacy, we feel that it also highlights the love and sentiment of the people of Bundaberg showing a wonderfully caring and supportive community.
“It is because of support like this that we felt empowered to continue our work with Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation and our mission to help people travel in a safer environment.”
Caroline’s mother Marjorie Marks said it was a great honour that her daughter was remembered in the Bundaberg Region community after 20 years.
“As a family we are very touched about a new memorial in Caroline’s memory, we have appreciated all the hard work Bundaberg has done in supporting our charity in Caroline’s name,” Marjorie said.
“Caroline is always in our hearts but her legacy will live on to keep our travellers safe.
“We hope one day to be able to return and say a big thank you in person.”
Richard said over the last 20 years the family had worked to promote the importance of travel safety to help keep young people safe when travelling.
“Our message for all young travellers will always be to ‘follow their dreams’.
“Go and experience as much of life as possible.”
He has donated copies of his book Chasing Rainbows – the Stolen Future of Caroline Ann Stuttle to local libraries to thank the community for its support.
“I felt the book was incredibly important, not only to show the people who Caroline was and the positive steps we had taken to help us deal with such a devastating situation.
“It is a privilege to have my book on the shelves of the library.
“My hope is that the book would be available for residents who knew Caroline’s story and would like the opportunity to find out a little more about the person she was and the work we have done with the charity.”
The new Caroline Stuttle memorial plaque is located in Buss Park, at the corner of Bourbong and Maryborough Streets.