Brisbane mother-of-three Hannah Clarke was determined to move on from her troubled marriage when she and her children were horrifically killed by her estranged husband.

In an Instagram post widely shared by friends following her death, she described herself as being a "strong woman" who didn't want to be seen as a victim.

"I am a strong woman, I don't sit around feeling sorry for myself nor will I ever let anyone mistreat me again," she wrote under a photo of herself cuddling her daughters.

"I don't respond to people who dictate to me or try to bring me down. I am a survivor not a victim.


"I am in control of my life and there is nothing I can't achieve. My girls will grow up being strong women who understand their worth."

Clarke's post was shared by friends following her death. Instagram image / supplied
Clarke's post was shared by friends following her death. Instagram image / supplied

Clarke, 31, and her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey, 3, were killed when 42-year-old Rowan Baxter torched the family car on a quiet Brisbane street before taking his own life.

It is understood the couple had separated in November and were working on custody arrangements.

Clarke had previously spoken to Queensland Police about "domestic violence issues", Detective Inspector Mark Thompson confirmed on Thursday.

Clarke's heartbroken brother, Nat Clarke, said the former gymnast had been excited to move on with her life after escaping her "monster" husband.

"The last thing my sister said to my wife was I'm so excited this year will be great," he told friends and family on Facebook.

"All she ever wanted was happiness," a fundraiser set-up to help the family said.

In a series of text messages obtained by The Courier Mail, Clarke had told a friend earlier this month she had "made the right decision" to leave.


"I'm so glad I got out when I did," she wrote, adding that she had a DVO (domestic violence order) against Baxter.

Hannah Clarke with her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3. Photo / News Corp Australia
Hannah Clarke with her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3. Photo / News Corp Australia

The deaths of Clarke and her three children have shaken the local Brisbane community and sparked an outpouring of grief across the country.

"My heart goes out to the families and community going through this tragic time and the emergency responders confronting what would be a shattering scene," Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted on Wednesday.

Clarke's substantial social media following is also grieving.

"Hannah was someone I've known and connected with on here for a number of years and she was a deadset legend," Instagram fitness blogger Krista of @fithappymummy said.

"(She was an) inspiring mum, wife, partner, gym-owner, fitness professional, absolute legend of a person, and it is so, so sad that her life and her children's lives have come to this.

"Especially for the mums in the fitness industry … she was a legend, she was so cool."

But outraged domestic violence campaigners say more needs to be done to stop the scourge of violence against women in Australia.

Clarke is the eighth woman to die in Australia from violence against women this year, according to the gender equality group Destroy The Joint.

"To prevent violence against women, we need a shared, consistent and mutually reinforcing approach, where all levels of government, business and the community contribute to creating a safer Australia built upon respect and equality," Our Watch, a national, independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to ending violence against women, said on Facebook.


If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: (06) 3555 906
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.


If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice:
• National Network of Stopping Violence:
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent.

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