Vic Islamic Council withdraws from deradicalisation program after attack

The heart-broken mother of 36-year old Kai Hao, also known as “Nick” Hao, flew from China to Melbourne upon learning of her son’s tragic death.

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The 63 year-old, who doesn’t want to be identified by name, says she is devastated.

“The child is for my old age and now I have lost my support. I will go back to China now and all I will bring back is my son’s remains.”

Flowers and cards have been placed outside the serviced apartment in Brighton, in Melbourne’s southeast, where the recently-married father of one worked as a receptionist.

Also present on Monday night was a 36 year-old woman, who was held hostage before being released unharmed.

The two police officers seriously injured in the gun-fight are recovering in hospital after minor surgery.

The family of deceased gunman Yacqub Khayre, a Somali refugee, say he had been fasting for Ramadan and, despite his extensive criminal history, appeared quite settled in the days leading up to the attack.

The 29 year-old Khayre once participated in a de-radicalisation program funded by the Victorian government and endorsed by the Islamic Council of Victoria.

Just yesterday the state’s corrections minister, Gayle Tierney, told parliament the program would be extended by four years and would be delivered by the Islamic Council of Victoria.

But the Islamic Council of Victoria says that statement is incorrect.

Spokesman Adel Salman says the Council is withdrawing its stakeholder support, and directing resources elsewhere.

“We’re looking to expand our focus on youth and youth issues, family violence, women’s issues, capability and development across the Muslim community and engagement with our partners across the broad spectrum.”

Mr Salman says the Council will provide advice and assistance if requested.