A ‘hero’ is how the community will remember HIV activist, Chris Polden. He was one of the victims of last week’s random stabbing rampage in Melbourne’s inner east that left three dead, including the attacker who was shot dead by police.
Chief Commissioner of Police, Graham Ashton, praised Chris, 59 , who in his dying moments phoned the police, alerted them about the attack and described the attacker, leading to his apprehension.
“He made the call because obviously he is worried about the community more than himself. He is worried about what else this guy is going to do. I think it’s a tremendously brave act,” Commissioner Ashton was quoted as saying.
Chris was an early board member of the AIDS Housing Action Group (AHAG) and an “activist and supporter of the HIV positive community right up to his untimely death”, Thorne Harbour Health (formerly the Victorian AIDS Council) said in a statement on social media.
“The selflessness and concern that Chris showed as he lay dying was characteristic of the man who was an active member of his community, contributing to the health and wellbeing of others. In a community that can sometimes be divisive, Chris was well respected and liked by his peers,” the statement said.
Simon Ruth, Thorne Harbour Health CEO, paid tribute to the legacy that Chris left behind.
“Chris was such a brilliant example of those in our community who regularly contribute above and beyond expectations. It is clear by the events of that fateful night that he bravely and heroically considered the needs of others instead of his own. His is a serious loss to our community and he will be missed,” Ruth said.
According to Victoria police the stabbing spree started around 10.40 pm on Wednesday March 11, 2020, when the attacker, now identified as Mohammed Ibrahim, 34, from Roxburgh Park, approached a Protective Services Officer at Jolimont Railway Station.
Ibrahim engaged the PSO in a conversation before slashing him across the face and arm and fleeing.