A difficult week that saw us lead the way for many grieving nations

THIS past week has shown us all that events on the other side of the world can have far-reaching effects here at home.

The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 could not fail to make us realise that it’s in all of our interests to take note of distant conflicts and to do what we can, through our government, to try to resolve them.

While we were spared deaths from our immediate neighbourhood, the loss of human life has reached out and touched us all, some more directly than others. When a needless tragedy like this strikes, the degrees of separation shorten. People know others who have lost family members or friends. And we have all lost a little faith in our ability to travel the world in reasonable safety. Our innocence has been shaken; our wanderlust cast in shadow.

The opening of condolence books in local electorate offices is an important step towards helping us comes to terms with this dreadful episode. Taking the time to put our condolences into words and reflect not just on what we have lost but also the humanity we have kept hold of is part of the healing process.

It has been heartening in this week of national grieving to see politics cast aside momentarily. The firm words from our government here and at the United Nations in New York have been heard around the world, and have led to a rare moment of unity in the Security Council, on which we have a seat. There has been welcome bipartisanship in these difficult times.

As a result, we have grown in stature as nation, demonstrating the maturity and resolve required in such challenging, confronting circumstances. Of that, we should all be proud.

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