A man holds a placard which reads "I am Charlie" to pay tribute during a gathering at the Place de la Republique in Paris
A man holds a placard which reads "I am Charlie" to pay tribute during a gathering at the Place de la Republique in Paris January 7, 2015, following a shooting by gunmen at the offices of the magazine. Gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, renowned for lampooning radical Islam, killing at least 12 people, including two police officers in the worst militant attack on French soil in recent decades. The French President headed to the scene of the attack and the government said it was raising France's security level to the highest notch. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Crowds have gathered in Australia and New Zealand to remember the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. In Australia, more than 1,000 people attended a vigil in Melbourne organised by a member of the French community. New Zealanders mourned for the victims in a vigil held at the French embassy in Wellington.

More than 100 people gathered in Wellington including French expats and travellers paid their respects to the 12 people who were shot in the offices of the French satirical newspaper, Stuff.co reported. Candles were lit during the vigil with some people in the crowd holding up signs of "Je Suis Charlie", which means "I am Charlie" and has become a trending hashtag on Twitter. Others began singing the national anthem of France during the vigil.

The French embassy had previously announced that the French government will hold a three-day mourning period. A condolence book was also provided at the Wellington embassy. French expat Geoffrey Lamarche had brought a sign with a list of the names of people who were killed. He also wrote the message "I support freedom of expression." He told Stuff.co that his heart goes out to the Charlie Hebdo journalists and their families.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown also paid her respects to the victims and condemned the attack as a threat to freedom of speech. She said people have the right to practice their own religious beliefs. She called the Paris shooting as a "barbaric" act done in the name of religion.

Meanwhile, thousands of people also gathered in various cities in Australia to remember the victims. Maeva Siena, a member of Melbourne's French community, organised a vigil at the city's Federation Square. She also knows someone who survived the attack in Charlie Hebdo. According to ABC, Siena said her friend worked at the French satirical newspaper and was the Paris office when the gunmen shot dead 12 people. She was grateful her friend was alive and confined to the hospital for treatment.

Nearly 2,000 French nationals gathered in Sydney's Martin Place, where the Lindt siege took place, to hold their own vigil. The mood turned more somber when the names of the victims were read followed by a moment of silence. The crowd also sang the French national anthem. Christophe Lascourtier, the French ambassador to Australia, told the crowd in Sydney to not surrender to terror and terrorism.

Contact email: r.su@ibtimes.com.au