The past 24 hours has written another sad page in Australia’s history…a gunman took 17 hostages, and approx 16 hours later, he and two others were dead in what will be known as the Sydney Siege.

Two innocent people, going about their lives, now won’t be coming home to their families…ever…

It breaks my heart.

As more information is released, it seems that this case involves so much more then what happened yesterday…a history of violence…bitter custody battles…extremist views…it all points to a man that should not have been allowed to wander freely.

Many, many voices will loudly ask questions as to the how and why, as we try to make sense of it all…how a normal Monday, less then two weeks before Christmas, turns fatal.

But to take one thing positive out this tragedy, is that it has once again brought the best out in us Australians, pledging to support those in our community who are now nervous being out in public due to the fear of being associated with extremists…the hashtag #illridewithyou has spread far and wide.

It brought to my mind the words of one of my favourite Australian songs…I am Australian was written in 1987 by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers…

We are one
But we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian

I have always thought this would make a wonderful Australian anthem, and now the lyrics seem even more relevant today…

It represents togetherness, our Australian spirit…the diversity that makes up our society.

We unite in our grief for the two people who lost their lives.

And we unite in our support for those who survived…they will need our love to get through the aftermath.

Our world has shifted because of yesterday…what we see happening overseas, now has become very real here.

It makes us wary…children are afraid and are asking questions…how do you explain what happened to a child?

Please…let’s not turn on each other because of the actions of one man…do not let him take away our community spirit.

Remember who we are…we are Australian….