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Address at the ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Martin Place siege, Sydney

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15 December 2015

Ceremony to Mark the Anniversary of the Martin Place Siege Martin Place, Sydney



A whole city grieved. A whole city woke in shock.

A whole nation resolved to answer hatred with love.

To answer those who seek to divide us with solidarity. To extend our love, our sympathy, our passionate commitment to be united, to the families of Tori and Katrina. And to all of us, to show that we were stronger, are stronger, will always be stronger, than those who seek to divide us, who seek to use violence to confront us.

Our love, our unity, triumphs.

Thousands of Australians came to this place with their messages. Here are some.

A message for Tori and Katrina:

‘It's people like you, Tori and Katrina, that restore my faith in mankind, and inspire not only me but a nation to be better people, to take the time to care for strangers, and to show true courage and kindness. You have touched us all.’

And another note, for the families and friends:

‘There are no words for such a tragedy. No words to offer your family and friends to fill this void. However, you have brought a nation together. Let's hope this love, respect, mateship and caring lives on in Australia.’

And a note for our police:

‘May this tragic event bring out the very best of us in a community, united in our grief, united in peace and mutual respect. Thank you to our wonderful police and emergency services.‘

And a message for Sydney:

‘The power of a community memorial is to remind each of us that love is greater than hate. I will also never forget all the reasons Sydney won my heart and my trust. Its vibrancy, its openness, its joy, its mateship, its community, its beauty.’

And finally, a message that summed up the thoughts and feelings for all Australians:

‘Testament to the spirit of Australians is that with such unnecessary, thoughtless tragedy, an amazing birth of mateship, unity and love occurs. Proud to be Australian.’

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