Mother of domestic violence victim felt dread on wedding day

Hervey Bay woman Lisa Keem was murdered in her Point Vernon home.
Hervey Bay woman Lisa Keem was murdered in her Point Vernon home. Contributed

DREAD isn't a feeling any mother wants to have on her daughter's wedding day.

But as Rosie Foster watched her daughter Lisa Keem marry the man who would one day kill her, all she wanted to do was run away with her.

"I just wanted to say to her 'let's go'," Rosie said.

It has been almost seven years since Lisa was murdered by her estranged husband Richard Giardina at her Point Vernon home on July 14, 2008.

Her burnt body was found in the back of a car in bushland in New South Wales the next day.

In March 2011, Giardina pleaded guilty to pleading guilty to murdering Lisa in the Maryborough Supreme Court and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Rosie has spoken out about the tragedy, in support of the Chronicle's Terror at Home campaign, which includes a petition aimed at educating the public, toughening laws and increasing awareness about domestic abuse.

>> Click here to sign our petition against domestic violence

Rosie said that she herself never really took notice of the issue of domestic violence before Lisa's death.

Now she tries to share the message to end violence whenever she can, including appearing on Channel 9's Inside Story and speaking about Lisa's death.

Rosie said the Chronicle's campaign would help educate the community.

She said the issue could be pretty confronting for the public.

"Every three minutes a woman is victimised," Rosie said.

"It can happen to men as well."

Rosie said she had supported other campaigns to try to educate the public as well, including a campaign that went viral - #whyistayed, which allowed victims of domestic abuse to share their stories.

In the years since Lisa's death, Rosie has felt the impact of her daughter's loss in her own life and in the lives of her other children, Lisa's siblings.

"I see it in the way they grew up, having to deal with it," Rosie said.

"It affects everything.

"The horrific nature of her death is hard to deal with."

Rosie said these days she didn't give Giardina much thought at all, choosing to focus instead on the memories of her beloved daughter.

"She was just fun," Rosie said.

"She had a great personality, an infectious laugh.

"She was intelligent and artistic.

"She had been to university and she had worked as a graphic artist.

"She was very loving and family-orientated."

Rosie was in court the day Giardina elected to plead guilty to Lisa's murder and said she felt numb watching him.

"I just felt he took the easy road out," she said.

Rosie knows Giardina could be out of prison in just seven years time.

"He could still go on to meet someone," she said.

"And he's still breathing.

"I'm not sure I'm for the death penalty but I do think he should spend his life in prison."

Topics:  daughter domestic violence hervey bay maryborough mum petition terrorathome

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