Two shops in William Street

Elie's Cafe, July 26, 2015

Elie’s Cafe, July 26, 2015

Yesterday afternoon it was cold and wet and squally in Bathurst. A grey sky; raindrops on the car windows. We park in William Street and I get out to take photographs of two shops: Elie’s Cafe and two doors down, Bathurst Real Estate. It is Sunday afternoon, wet and quiet, but there are a few people on the footpath stopping, like me, to look at the heaped flowers and read the messages. Bathurst is a town that has had a piece blasted out of it; a bit of its ordinary daily life shot to pieces. There’s a function on at the town hall. You think you’ll just pop in to Elie’s beforehand and grab a – no you won’t. Not that cafe.

There’s still the sign on the front door. It’s the sign that went up on the day of the news of the murder-suicide, or probable murder-suicide. Officially, we don’t know exactly what happened. Officially, we won’t know until the coroner’s report. “Due to unforeseen circumstances…” says the handwritten sign, delicately.

Unofficially, it’s pretty clear what went on. Not just a senseless explosion of random forces that left a cafe proprietor and a real estate agent dead on a living room floor in Kelso, but the murder of a woman who wanted to leave by a man who did not want her to leave.In Australia this year we’re already up to more than 50 women dead at the hands of their partners.

Tribute to Nadia Cameron

Tribute to Nadia Cameron in the window of Bathurst Real Estate, July 26, 2015.

The police are apparently exploring a “separation theory” in this case. Like “unforeseen circumstance”, “separation theory” doesn’t sound particularly scary. It doesn’t convey the terror, the horror, of murderous rage. Nor, for that matter, do the words “family violence”. There’s something slippery about these words. There’s a sense of an all-in ruckus, as if all the members of a family were overturning tables and throwing punches. When what we’re usually talking about is one man – with a gun, or a knife, or a blunt instrument – and his terrified hostages.

I can’t help brooding over this. I’ve just read, almost in one sitting, Helen Garner’s book about the man who drove his three children into a dam on Father’s Day. All he wanted to do, as his children drowned behind him, was go to his ex-wife’s house to tell her what he’d done. To make her suffer.

I’ve been thinking about that phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. With more than fifty women dead already, with the year only halfway through, this is laughable. It’s clearly the other way around.

17 thoughts on “Two shops in William Street

  1. Victoria Brew

    Thank you for this. Time to stop tip-toeing around it. I came here to avoid being one of the women in this terrible statistic.
    The truth is, people, that even charming men kill their partners and ex partners. You cannot know what a relationship is like from the outside, no matter how fond people seem in public.

  2. Hedy Bryant

    Tracy thank you for this important reminder. There’s a fine line between forgiveness & compassion & surfacing this important issue. We can do both – we must forgive & feel compassion however in doing so we must not sweep this important issue under the carpet, under the veneer of a united but silent community. To do this is to deny mercy & justice to the women who continue to suffer domestic violence & sometimes ultimately murder. Beautiful women such as Nadia. By surfacing & creating conversation & dialogue about this issue we can work together as a more united & compassionate community to create generative solutions.

  3. Damo

    I’m a big believer that a man should be innocent until he is PROVEN guilty however I’m cross at our local news paper for adopting this convenient “no gossip policy” it’s gutless to say the least. They did not shy away from coverage of recent murders in Lithgow or Oberon. Why shirk your journalistic responsibilities because you used to buy coffee off the alleged perpetrator.

  4. m

    I had a lovely boyfriend, a friend of a friend, a few years back but I wasn’t ready for the pace he wanted to move at so I broke things off. The lovely boyfriend tried to drown me in a neighbours pool and followed me around trying to drag me into his car multiple times before a friend made me go to the police. But 3 months later all the mutual friends wanted their normal social life back and they didn’t want to leave him out so more than a dozen people who had been my closest friends for nearly 10 years stopped talking to me. Even the one that took me to the police. That was the part that I didn’t survive. I may look like I’m still here but I’m a shell.

  5. Sarah

    This is such a difficult and traumatic event for everyone. It’s very hard to talk about, let alone consider as an awful reality. Many people in the Bathurst (and wider) community will have been affected in some way, personally, as a result of their prior experience, or simply as a patron of Elies.
    It’s unutterably awful that we need to raise this issue (again) and talk honestly about the very real likelihood that yet another woman has died at the hand of her partner.
    I hope that wasn’t the case. I don’t know the facts. But I have an awful feeling it’s true.
    Good on you Tracy for getting the conversation going.

  6. Debbie

    Our family is living in a nightmare. My beautiful stepsister was stolen from us and yes she was murdered. Thanks for your written words. Bless all those whom have suffered. Debbie Majella ????????

  7. s

    O the pain of all left behind. This need’s to come into the Light and be told not kept in the shadow’s. We need to stand against this and what I have read she was a beautiful Soul inside and out and to those whom think this cannot happen to you or anyone in a family it can. Some survive, some do not as precious Nadia. As I read all the comments she has some vey beautiful strong people whom love her and are standing for her and God bless you all.

  8. michelle

    So much hurt n suffering because of a cowardly man’s act of extreme violence that took a beautiful soul away to fly with the angels.
    Thank you Tracy for your article n bring it out in the open.
    Not only is Domestic Violence done behind closed doors, so is acknowledging it has happened in this sad little town n some people should be ashamed of themselves by not acknowledging n reporting it because they new the perpetrator..
    What about the victim Nadia n her family??

  9. Brett

    He was not a man ,a man treasures his girl .He was not a dog,for a dog would of protected her.He was an evil gutless thing ! My thoughts are for the victim her name was NADIA AND HER FAMILY

  10. Petra

    Takeout the coward killing himself and it’s a cold blooded different to Milat!!! Why should we expect the local press to report how it would if it were the likes of a victim in the housing commission areas or surrounding districts. The advertising dollar is just too precious and in all honesty with the crimes in Bathurst of a heavy horrid nature, It fails to come to task. Look at the missing people and the coverage Brad Hosemans ‘alibi’ recieved! The crimes, drugs, missing people and violence and one Journalists history of supporting those generally in the spotlight of being on the defence! Even some of their own reporters have been know to commit crimes under the domestic violence act against women! Why is this murderer being portrayed as high profile? He was a coffee shop owner! Everyone who comes to town for major events must eat and some famous persons have chosen to eat at that cafe,. They didn’t chose the cafe for the owner. They chose because of convenience and the murderer to an opportunistic moment to ask for a picture. So not high profile until now! Cold blooded violent predator! Murderer to say the least!

  11. lionel

    Elie Issa wasn’t a great business man or person for that matter. He paid mainly cash in hand, sucked up to people he thought he could benefit from. He hide his controlling abusive side from general public. He murdered a innocent woman in cold blood. PIG

  12. l

    Elie Issa wasn’t a great business man or person for that matter. He paid mainly cash in hand, sucked up to people he thought he could benefit from. He hide his controlling abusive side from general public. He murdered a innocent woman in cold blood. PIG

  13. Rod

    After the ‘ no gossip policy’ from the local press, why doesn’t Bathurst take a clear LOUD stand on domestic violence and NOT purchase the paper until it retracts its selective choice to not report how it would on any other crime in Bathurst! Let’s stand up to domestic violence and speak loud and support Nadia and the thousands of other women and men suffering mental and physical abuse and stop giving the paper our money!!

  14. Marty

    I wonder what her first partner was like, and if it would have been better had she stayed with him…
    So many seem to be caused by break ups, but break ups of relationships that would be better if they were never started.

  15. Marty Kendrick

    I wonder what her first partner was like, and if it would have been better had she stayed with him…
    So many seem to be caused by break ups, but break ups of relationships that should not have been started.

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