Bondi stabbings: Prime Minister thanks brave heroes during Sydney attack

Claire Sadler
The Nightly
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks on the shocking Bondi Junction massacre where seven people are dead including the attacker after he went on a stabbing rampage.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has thanked the brave heroes during the Bondi attack, including the police officer who ended the rampage when she took down knifeman Joel Cauchi.

Albanese on Sunday night offered condolences to victims and their families and also thanked those who risked their lives to help others in the stabbing attack that unfolded at the Westfield shopping centre in Bondi Junction.

He especially gave thanks to NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott, who shot dead mass murderer Cauchi.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Australian ethos of helping one another was on display in the dark moments of Saturday. 60 Minutes
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Australian ethos of helping one another was on display in the dark moments of Saturday. 60 Minutes Credit: News Corp Australia

“Tragically, amidst the carnage and atrocity that was yesterday, we do have as well to give thanks to some of the best of our Australian characters that were shown,” he told TV on Sunday night.

“The inspector, Amy Scott, who ran towards danger, risked her own life to end the carnage and to take this perpetrator out.

“The other Australians, too. The footage I’ve seen of the man with the bollard is outstanding. He could have very easily retreated.”

The heroic men with the bollards are Silas Despreaux and Damien Guerot. They had just arrived at the shopping centre to go to the gym when they witnessed people running.

The pair then saw Cauchi stabbing random shoppers. They each grabbed a bollard and held him off.

Albanese said the unknowns surrounding the attack when emergency services were called to the scene signalled “the bravery they were showing”.

Bondi stabbing tributes
Anthony Albanese and Chris Minns (centre) have laid flowers near the scene of a mass stabbing. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

“The men and women who wear our uniforms every day, whether that be the Australian Defence Force or our police and emergency services, deserve our thanks each and every day because they put the lives of our fellow Australians before themselves. We witnessed that yesterday.

“The police officer who ended the siege had no thought; quite clearly, she entered the shopping centre by herself, not knowing what she would be confronted with.”

Six people were killed in the attack, and many others remain in hospital with extensive injuries — including a nine-month-old baby.

Albanese said the coming weeks would be a very difficult time for not only the families that lost loved ones but also the whole nation.

“My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives. My heart goes out to you as a human being, but as Prime Minister, every Australian is thinking of you at what is a very difficult time,” he said.

“It is important over the coming days that people be allowed to express their grief. If need support they should reach out, it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a necessary part of healthcare.”

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