A Noongar woman who died after she was allegedly assaulted in Perth’s CBD has been identified as Maria Williams, an advocate for the homeless who gave evidence at a parliamentary inquiry last year.
- Maria Williams was an advocate for the homeless and gave evidence at a parliamentary inquiry last year.
- She was a spokesperson for the House the Homeless advocacy group
- 50-year-old Marsha Maria Eades has been charged with unlawful assault causing death
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article contains images and names of people who have died.
Ms Williams, aged 53, was found unconscious at a car park near the intersection of Wellington and Pier streets at about 1:50pm on Monday.
She was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance but did not survive her injuries.
Police have charged 50-year-old Marsha Maria Eades with unlawful assault causing death over an alleged altercation with Ms Williams.
Ms Eades appeared briefly at Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday, where she was asked by Magistrate Gavin MacLean if she understood the charge.
She shrugged her shoulders as she told the magistrate, “We had a fight”.
Family releases statement
Ms Williams’ family said in a statement released on Wednesday that they were in shock.
“This did not have to happen,” they said.
“She had a heart of gold and she would help anyone.”
Ms Williams was visiting Perth from her home in Albany at the time of her death.
A mother and grandmother, she was a spokesperson for the House the Homeless advocacy group, and gave evidence at a parliamentary inquiry into the financial administration of homelessness services in October last year.
She told the committee of the trauma she had seen in her own family, including deaths in custody, and the families of others.
“I have been fighting the system for nearly 45 years,” Ms. Williams told the committee last year.
Flowers and a T-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag were placed at a memorial in the car park where Ms Williams was found.