The father of slain international student Aiia Maasarwe says he is living his "worst dream" having to come to Australia to collect her body.
Saeed Maasarwe on Friday attended a silent vigil along with hundreds of mourners on the steps of the Victorian parliament hours after police arrested a man in connection with the death of his 21-year-old daughter.
"When I see people here like this, huge people, support us and give us good feeling about Australia and the community here in Australia we appreciate all of them one by one," he said.
He had expected to come to Melbourne at the end of the month to spend 10 days with his daughter, not bring her home to be buried.
"I will have this image, disaster. My worst dream. I have good dream, nice dream to be with my daughter not this situation," he said behind reddened eyes.
"She was special girl. All the time she think positive, she happy. She can make everything even from the pest situation happy and joke. She is very friendly. She is really very, very happy.
"The smile the way she talking for everything, she looking to do everything in the best way. If it is not the best way she don't do this way."
Mr Maasarwe said his daughter had enjoyed living in Australia for five months but this was "the very worst" and he said he didn't think Australia was safe.
He then sat holding a burning candle in the middle of the mourners dressed in black, greeting those who came to his side.
Before leaving he took yellow flowers and notes with him.
Aseel, a woman from the Palestinian community, told the crowd through tears she did not know Aiia but felt her loss.
"We are all Aiia. It might happen to all of us," she said. "We don't want to lose any more Aiias."
Reejuta Dey told AAP she felt for Aiia's family.
"It's terrible what has happened to someone who had come so far for a beautiful life, it is so unfair," she said.
Earlier in the day hundreds also gathered at La Trobe University to remember Ms Maasarwe, whose body was found at the northern suburb of Bundoora earlier this week.
The security of students was being ramped up, university vice chancellor John Dewar told the vigil.
Some attendees at the evening gathering will get on the 86 tram to her makeshift memorial in Bundoora.
"A 21-year-old just making her way in the world, with her whole life ahead of her. A student on her way home after a comedy show with friends," Premier Daniel Andrews tweeted on Friday.
"Victorians are united in sadness. In anger that this bright young woman's life was taken from her."
The 20-year-old man arrested in connection with Ms Maasarwe's death is being questioned by detectives.
Australian Associated Press