Fund to help family of Derbyshire backpacker killed in Australian knife attack

Mia Ayliffe-Chung (photo supplied by Tommy Martin / PA).

Mia Ayliffe-Chung (photo supplied by Tommy Martin / PA).

A fund has been set up to help the family of the Derbyshire woman killed in a 'frenzied attack' while backpacking.

Miss Ayliffe-Chung, from Wirksworth, died after being stabbed at the Shelley's Backpackers hostel in Home Hill, near Townsville, Queensland at around 11.15pm local time on Tuesday, August 23.

French national Smail Ayad, 29, has been charged with her murder as well as two other counts of attempted murder, 12 counts of serious assault and one count of serious animal cruelty.

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Friends of the young woman have set up the crowdfunding page to support her family at this painful time, and have already raised over £3,00 of their £5,000 target.

Judith Ryan said on JustGiving: “Following the horrific murder of Mia in Australia yesterday we would like to offer some kind of assistance to Rosie and the rest of Mia's family with any expenses that may come up so please, even if it is just a couple of pounds, let’s try and help."

Mia's family paid tribute to the 'amazing young woman with an adventurous spirit'.

In a statement on behalf of Mia's mother Rosie Ayliffe, her partner Stewart Cormack said: "Mia was full of the kind of open-minded compassion for life that you don't see that often. It felt as though she was reminding us all of the beauty and possibilities we each have that we should live life to the full.

"Mia was a rare person who saw beyond race, creed and belief. She would always treat others with dignity, respect and kindness.

"As a peaceful person Mia had huge respect for everybody. She would not want to be the reason for any hostilities caused by any misrepresentations of the events."

Her sister, Nicola Chung, said from their father Howard Chung-Yep's London home: "She was bubbly, carefree and had trained to be a nanny because she loved children."

Scarthin Books, where Mia worked in Cromford between her studies, paid tribute to her on Facebook. The post read: "We're all deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Mia, who had worked in the bookshop cafe during her studies as a high school pupil and as a college and university student. She was a much-loved and highly respected young woman and our thoughts go out to her family and many, many heartbroken friends. We feel immensely privileged to have known and worked with her."

Police said the young woman - a former Chesterfield College and Buxton & Leek College student - received multiple stab wounds, and a post-mortem examination is due to be conducted today.

Popular young woman missed by so many friends

Miss Ayliffe-Chung went to Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth and Ecclesbourne School in Duffield. She had studied a course in childcare at Buxton & Leek College and is believed to have been travelling in Bali before visiting Australia for the second time in a year.

Head of Pastoral Care at Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth, Paul Lovett, said: "Everyone at the school is shocked and saddened at the news that Mia has lost her life in the most tragic of circumstances. We knew Mia as a student with so much joy and energy who was well-liked by her friends and teachers.

"She joined our school in Year 9 and flourished here both in making strong friendships and in achieving high level GCSEs. Mia was a bubbly student who was energetic, caring and who immersed herself in life, enriching the school environment she contributed to. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this most difficult of times."

Rachel McVeigh, Childcare leader at Buxton & Leek College, said: “Mia studied Childcare and Education at Buxton & Leek College from 2012 – 2014. She was a bright and hardworking young lady, whose bubbly personality and sense of humour endeared her to everyone she encountered. Mia had a zest for life and was free spirited, with a keen desire to travel. We are devastated and extremely sorry to hear such tragic news. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are working with local authorities and providing support to the families of a British national who was killed and another critically injured in an incident in Australia. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time”.

Visit JustGiving's site here to donate in support of Mia's family.