analysis

Bondi Junction is a colourful mix of different cultures, it will be forever changed by massacre

Jenni O’Dowd
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Paramedics push stretchers into the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre to retrieve the injured after the stabbing incident in Sydney.
Paramedics push stretchers into the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre to retrieve the injured after the stabbing incident in Sydney. Credit: DAVID GRAY/AFP

Bondi Junction boasts a name most people in the Western world recognise.

It’s Sydney’s shopping mecca, a bustling hub where commerce and culture converge.

And now, its name is synonymous with horrror.

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Located less than an eight-minute drive from the iconic Bondi Beach, Westfield Bondi Junction is the go-to Sydney shopping centre.

Long gone are the days when young people strolled the streets of Paddington to find the latest designer clothes; now, Bondi Junction attracts everyone — teenagers, young men, and women, and, of course, many families with its range of cinemas and play areas.

One of my relatives visited from Spain a few weeks ago and, at 28, wanted to try on clothes from the top Australian designers. Everyone recommended Bondi Junction, and she spent a few happy hours strolling through the shops.

Like millions of others right now, I can only shudder to think if her visit was today.

And thank God my daughters and their friends — all fans of Bondi Junction — chose today to stay home

The images of parents clutching their children, bodies lying in blood, are just too much to bear.

The news that a mother and her baby were stabbed. Who does that? And why Bondi Junction for this horrific attack?

We may never know, but it’s guaranteed to always be busy (particularly on weekends) attracting a diverse range of people from all areas of Sydney.

Weekends are also the time young people congregate, often coming after a trip to the beach. Newly trending shops such as the Alana Maria and Arms of Eve have opened stores, alongside favourites among teenagers, such as Brandy Melville, and the usual range of retail shops, supermarkets, and many eating areas.

Bondi Junction is considered one of Australia’s most affluent suburbs with the median house price an eye-watering $2.9 million.

But it is also heavily populated with apartments, housing commission, and backpacker hostels, drawing in a melting pot of different cultures.

You don’t look at Bondi Junction and think “westie” or “posho” or “leafy suburb”.

There are so many different cultures living there it’s a vibrant tapestry of people earning a range of incomes lucky enough to have Bondi Beach on their doorstep.

Yet, amidst, the usual bustling energy of this colourful hub of activity, tragedy has struck, leaving us grappling with questions that may never be answered.

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