The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Wednesday 28 April 2021
PORT ARTHUR 25-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
25 years today. Yet it still seems like only yesterday our hearts were shattered on that terrible Sunday.
28 April 1996. Port Arthur.
35 innocent people taken from us. 23 more wounded in that heinous and cowardly act.
To call to mind the names of those who died is heart-breaking.
Victims as young as 3 and as old as 72.
Among them “a lovely, devoted couple”.
“The happiest girls in the world”.
An “adored Nanna”.
A “humble man” who “simply wanted to serve.”
And a woman who “brought joy and warmth to all who knew her.”
Today we remember and send our love to all those who still bear the scars of that terrible day. The families and friends of those who died; the injured, the survivors, the first responders and all those who witnessed and were impacted by the unspeakable horror of that day.
We remember the incredible bravery and selflessness as well – the family members who sought to shield and protect others.
We pay tribute to the strength, resilience and courage of the local Tasmanian community and to all those who could never forget but still found a way to heal.
We look to the light that was found from the darkness of that day. Light like the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, which Walter Mikac named for his two daughters he lost that day, and which is dedicated to keeping children safe from violence and bullying.
We also give thanks for the courageous response to this terrible event by former Prime Minister John Howard and former Deputy Prime Minister, the late Tim Fischer, supported by then Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley, who put in place some of the strongest gun laws in the world today, that have served to keep Australians safe.
May Walter, and all the families of the victims taken from us that day, be comforted and renewed on this day.