Bondi Junction attack: Anthony Albanese offers French ‘bollard man’ Damien Guerot Australian citizenship

Peta Rasdien
The Nightly
2 Min Read
From the harrowing scene at Westfield Bondi has emerged stories of true heroism. Two men used bollards to try to stop the killer, running towards danger in a desperate attempt to save lives.

Anthony Albanese has offered one of the heroes of the Bondi Junction attack Australian citizenship and commended his heroism in trying to stop mass murderer Joel Cauchi during his bloody rampage.

French citizen Damien Guerot, now nicknamed “bollard man”, had just arrived at the shopping centre to go to the gym with his friend Silas Depreauz when they saw people running and witnessed Cauchi stabbing random shoppers.

Both grabbed a bollard to fend Cauchi off as he attempted to go up an escalator toward a children’s play area.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Their brave actions were captured on video and beamed across social media, drawing worldwide praise.

“I’m not gonna lie, I was scared but you cannot just like stay away and not do anything,” Mr Despreaux told 7NEWS.

“He looked like, just — just determined to kill people.”

Mr Guerot added: “We didn’t think, it’s like you couldn’t think at that moment, just like adrenaline.”

“The eyes were like empty eyes. (Cauchi) was like, uh, it wasn’t there.”

Supplied Editorial A bystander armed with a bollard tries to stop the armed man on an escalator at Westfield Bondi. Picture : 9 News
One of the Bondi Junction heroes comes face-to-face with mass murderer Joel Cauchi. Credit: Supplied

It is understood Mr Guerot’s visa expires in a month and an online petition had been launched to grant him Australian citizenship.

Bondi Junction Bollard man Damien Guerot
Bondi Junction Bollard man Damien Guerot Credit: linkedin/supplied

At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Albanese thanked Mr Guerot for his “extraordinary bravery” during the mass stabbing in which six people died and 12 were injured.

“With regard to the French citizen, the French national, Damian, who people saw with such bravery on Saturday, I say this to Damian — who is dealing with his visa applications, that you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like,” Mr Albanese said.

“This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would, of course, be a loss for France.

“We thank him for his extraordinary bravery.

“It says a lot about the nature of humanity at a time when we are facing difficult issues, that someone who is not a citizen of this country, stood bravely at the top of those escalators and stopped this perpetrator from getting onto another floor and potentially inflicting further carnage on citizens.

“I think that on Saturday we saw some of the best of human character at the same time as we saw such devastating tragedy. And I thank Damian for his extraordinary efforts.”

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 28-05-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 28 May 202428 May 2024

Shattered daughter of gunman claims police ignored her firearm pleas