I am deeply saddened and troubled by the violent incident that occurred at Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley on Monday night. The attack on Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, Father Isaac Royel, and two other men during a service has sent shockwaves throughout our law-abiding community. As Australians, we condemn any such acts of violence by any individual, as these senseless acts have no place in any community, let alone in a church, a holy place of worship.

While I understand the communities’ anger and fear, there is no place for individuals to take the law into their own hands. It is the job of law enforcement authorities, who will investigate the matter and ensure that justice is served in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, what we have seen unfold on the evening is police officers seriously injured, paramedics who feared for their lives, and damage to police and private property.

The Terrorist Act has now been announced by the Premier of NSW and NSW Police Commissioner to enable them to fully investigate this incident, which has also harmed many police officers who were summoned to protect the community.

As a result, I am acutely aware of the potential for heightened tensions within our diverse and multi-faith community. I urge everyone in our community to remain peaceful and to trust the authorities to conduct a thorough and fair investigation. It is crucial that we approach this situation with calm and measured responses, ensuring that we do not allow fear or anger to divide us.

In these trying times, it is more important than ever that we come together in solidarity and support for one another. We must not let this incident, or any act of violence, undermine the harmony and unity that we have worked so hard to build.

I also ask our community to please refrain from sharing any graphic footage, which serves to only exacerbate the fear and may be triggering for others. Let us instead unite in prayer for Bishop Mar Mari’s Emmanuel, Father Isaac Royel and our first responders’ recovery, and pray for peace to be maintained in our diverse community.

I lastly want to thank our police and paramedics who came to perform their duties under very challenging circumstances.

For those who have been personally affected and have been triggered by the events of the past few days, these services are available if you require support:

  • Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
  • NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511
  • Headspace, for 12 to 25 year olds, on 1800 650 890 or headspace.org.au
  • Kids Helpline, for 5 to 25 year olds, on 1800 551 800 or kidshelpline.com.au

 

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National’s immediate phone interpreting service is available by calling 131 450.

We are one, but we are many. Let us look after each other and unite in prayer for those impacted.

Dai Le MP
Independent Federal Member for Fowler

Download PDF