Melvern Kurniawan: University of Sydney stab victim identified as ‘brilliant’ neuroscience specialist

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
Melvern Kurniawan, 22 (pictured left with his family ) was allegedly stabbed in the neck and back with a kitchen knife by a 14-year-old boy at the University of Sydney at about 8.35am on Tuesday Unknown
Melvern Kurniawan, 22 (pictured left with his family ) was allegedly stabbed in the neck and back with a kitchen knife by a 14-year-old boy at the University of Sydney at about 8.35am on Tuesday Unknown Credit: Unknown/Supplied

The man who was stabbed outside the University of Sydney campus in Camperdown on Tuesday has been identified as a “brilliant” neuroscience specialist.

Melvern Kurniawan is a 22-year-old who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology.

He was on his way to conduct research at the Brain and Mind Centre on campus on Tuesday when he was allegedly stabbed in the neck by a 14-year-old.

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Mr Kurniawan received immediate assistance from witnesses after the attack.

It’s alleged the 14-year-old boy used a kitchen knife to attack Mr Kurniawan, sparking panic and fear throughout the campus as it was plunged into lockdown.

Mr Kurniawan is now with family and recovering at home.

“He is doing fine, really fine,” his mother Desi told The Daily Telegraph.

“He doesn’t want to talk about it for now, just recover first”.

NSW Police and Forensic investigators carry bagged items at the scene of an alleged stabbing at University of Sydney, in Sydney, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING DAN HIMBRECHTS
NSW Police and Forensic investigators carry bagged items at the scene of an alleged stabbing at University of Sydney, in Sydney, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING DAN HIMBRECHTS Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

A group of Mr Kurniawan’s friends told the publication: “He’s the smartest guy we know … he’s got like a brilliant mind. It’s awful this happened.”

The boy was dressed in military-style cadet fatigues when he walked onto the university grounds and allegedly launched the attack which police say was random.

An investigation by counter-terrorism police into the attack is entering its third day after fears were raised that the boy may have been radicalised by extremely violent content online.

Police say they do not believe the boy was motivated by religious reasons.

No charges have been laid against the 14-year-old boy who remains under arrest.

NSW Police and Forensic investigators bag items found at the scene of an alleged stabbing at University of Sydney, in Sydney, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING DAN HIMBRECHTS
NSW Police and Forensic investigators bag items found at the scene of an alleged stabbing at University of Sydney, in Sydney, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING DAN HIMBRECHTS Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley revealed the 14-year-old was charged over another incident in 2023, but the case was dismissed in court.

She did not state what charges he had faced, but said he had been engaging with a program run by the Community and Justice Department.

“We have to make sure that we wrap services and support around these kids who are being radicalised online and their families,” Ms Catley said on Wednesday.

“To parents, to carers, if you’re a coach of a kid or if you’re their teacher, if you see behaviour that changes, then say something, come forward and let us know, because we cannot help if we do not know.”

With AAP.

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