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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14437


Ms RYAN (LalorOpposition Whip) (13:33): On Sunday 17 March, in the shadow of the Christchurch terrorist attack, I attended the Victorian Open Mosque Day at the Virgin Mary Mosque in Hoppers Crossing in the electorate of Lalor. I was joined by my sisters and my son, as well as Tim Pallas, Victoria's Treasurer, Henry Barlow, a local councillor, and hundreds of other visitors to the mosque that day.

I want to thank all at Virgin Mary Mosque for the welcome that they gave to general members of the community. It was the largest attendance I've seen in five years. Together, our communities came together to stand against terrorism and to reach out to our neighbours, both locally and in New Zealand, to say that we are one and to say that we mourn for those lost—for the innocents in Christchurch, gunned down while in prayer in a place of worship and a place of sanctuary.

I want to send a strong message to the two Islamic schools in my community—Al-Taqwa and the Islamic College of Melbourne—to tell the young people who are studying in those schools today that together we are strongest. Love will overcome, and understanding of one another and a neighbourly hello will see us through the darkest days.