Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sydney Events

The events that occurred yesterday and overnight in Sydney’s CBD were simply inconceivable. Like most people this morning I stood in front of the TV utterly dumbfounded that such sadness could ever be visited upon our country.  

The time for questioning “why” will come, but for today our immediate thoughts should be with the victims and their families.  

While it is nearly impossible to make sense out of this tragedy, can I just say how proud I am of the CQUniversity community of staff and students today. I have been watching our University rally around our Sydney-based staff and students with incredible support and comfort. But in particular I am proud of the way the University has rallied around our Muslim staff and students during this time. I cannot imagine what CQUniversity would be like without the rich and vibrant contribution made by this extraordinary group of individuals, and if ever there was a time to let them know this, it is now.  

There is always the risk that events like these could bring out the worst in our communities, opening the doors to hatred and intolerance. But I am overwhelmed by the way CQUniversity – indeed by most of Australia – has rejected this reaction, reaching instead to compassion and understanding. The most beautiful thing I saw this morning was the number of my colleagues tweeting the #Illridewithyou hashtag on Twitter – a simple message supporting Australian Muslims feeling apprehensive about riding on public transport today for fear of reprisal. This reminded me that despite the horrors of overnight, we remain the lucky country.   
I wish all readers of this blog a safe and happy Christmas break with your loved ones.


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