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EDITORIAL: Attacks far-reaching

The media reports of the Bondi Junction attacks were difficult to watch on the weekend – the footage of the offender filmed on people’s mobile phones, the interviews with witnesses and those traumatised at the shopping centre, and the massive emergency services response that ensued.

Stories of a dying mother trying to save her baby, both having received stab wounds, giving the nine-month-old to strangers to assist.

The mother, later identified as Ash Good, who grew up in Echuca, was one of six victims in the stabbing attack.

It is incomprehensible that this sort of attack has occurred in Australia.

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The fact the situation occurred at a shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon is so relatable to a majority of the population and makes it hit home with a punch.

It could have been any one of us in that situation. 

Watching those television interviews with people who were forced to escape to the safety of locked-down shops, hiding in storerooms, hearing gunshots as the police officer shot the attacker but not knowing if those gun shots were also coming from an attacker. 

It was a traumatic situation for all – but particularly children and young people at the shopping centre.

The photo of the man, presumably a father, who put eye masks on his children as they exited the shopping centre made a real impact – attempting to shield them from the horrors many were forced to walk past as they made their way to safety.

The ripple effect the attack has caused will be far-reaching and, sadly for many, long-lasting.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declared Monday a national day of mourning for the victims.

Many people are grieving and shaken – not only those who were at the scene and the many family and friends of the victims – but this type of tragedy can affect the general public. 

Beyond Blue chief executive Georgie Harman said people could experience a wide range of
feelings and emotions when shocking events happened in a community.

She said feelings of shock, grief, immense sadness, anger, fear and helplessness would be felt across Australia.  

“These feelings are normal as people try to process what has happened, and it will take time for emotions to settle, but it’s never too early to seek support if you are feeling distressed,” she said.

Ms Harman said it was also important to look out for any longer-term mental health impact in the coming weeks and months and people having prolonged feelings of distress should seek mental- health support.

Feeling overwhelmed, numb or detached; unable to focus or plan ahead; having a short fuse, or feeling irritated; constantly tearful; intrusive memories or bad dreams; and replaying the event over and over are all signs of long-term effects.

Research suggests a link between exposure to distressing events and mental health issues, and it’s important to be ready to support children, and respond to their questions about what has happened.

Ms Harman said children looked to adults to learn how to respond, and people should encourage questions and explain it is normal to feel scared or worried and remind them they are safe.

She said it could help to focus on the powerful acts of humanity such as the acts of bravery by police, as well as shoppers and staff who came to people’s aid. 

• People can access Beyond Blue Support Service by calling 1300 22 4636 or by visiting

The entire April 17, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!