TODAY |

'She loved people' - father of Israeli student killed in Melbourne pays tribute to daughter

International student Aiia Maasarwe loved Melbourne, the city where she lost her life and where today police arrested a man in connection with the 21-year-old's death.

The 20-year-old suspect is being questioned by detectives as Ms Maasarwe's emotional father welcomed news of the arrest and revealed details of his ever-smiling daughter.

"She loved this city and the university ... very much," Saeed Maasarwe told reporters as he visited the site where his daughter's body was found on Wednesday.

"I had a plan to come at the end of January ... to be together with her for vacation with her sister, the older sister, to be with her for two weeks or 10 days.

"We want to go to many places here in Australia."

Mr Maasarwe travelled to Australia after the news his daughter, a Palestinian Arab of Israeli citizenship, had been found dead in the northern suburb of Bundoora following a night out with friends.

Detectives said she suffered a "horrific" assault.

"She is all the time smiling. She loved people. She had very big opinions, her mind open for everything," Mr Maasarwe said of Aiia.

"She liked to study different cultures, different nationalities."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the death as the "most despicable of crimes".

"Every woman in Australia, every person in Australia, should be able to travel home in safety," he told reporters.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also expressed his sadness.

"She should have been safe here. And I am heartbroken she wasn't," Mr Andrews tweeted.

The first in a number of planned vigils for Ms Maasarwe was held on Friday at La Trobe University, where she attended college.

Mr Maasarwe waited until the crowds had left to inspect the tribute to his daughter - a framed photograph surrounded by candles and flowers.

"I feel very sad from one side but from another side when I hear this support and this help from the people, from the community, from the police, this is makes the suffer feel at least a little more better," he said.

Another event is planned for Melbourne's Parliament House today when attendees are asked to wear black and remain silent.

Organisers want the vigil to serve as a public objection to violence against women.

Ms Maasarwe's death is not the first time Victoria has been left reeling by such a tragedy.

It follows the murder of aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon, 22, last year and previously the deaths of Masa Vukotic, 17, and Jill Meagher, 29.