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Circle of life: Bondi dawn puts massacre victims in spotlight for final time

About 100 paddleboarders and surfboard riders have poured into the surf to honour the six victims of the Bondi stabbing attack.

Apr 23, 2024, updated Apr 23, 2024
Members of the Bondi Board Riders Club, as well as various local sporting clubs and lifeguards, participate in a Paddle Out on to honour and remember those affected by the recent tragedy at Westfield Bondi Junction, at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. (AAP Image/Steven Saphore)

Members of the Bondi Board Riders Club, as well as various local sporting clubs and lifeguards, participate in a Paddle Out on to honour and remember those affected by the recent tragedy at Westfield Bondi Junction, at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. (AAP Image/Steven Saphore)

It’s a setting best known for its throng of tourists, busy beaches and families out for the weekend.

But as the sun rose on Tuesday morning, a more sombre scene took shape as the paddle boarders formed a heart in the ocean to remember the six lives lost.

Organiser Vicky Austin said 12 local clubs came together to say goodbye at the ocean, a focal point for the community.

“Everyone’s feeling the after effects of Bondi Junction and it was just a way for us as a community to come together in solidarity in the ocean we all love,” she told ABC TV.

“We play, we compete, and we come here for solace and I think it’s our way to say goodbye to those that we have lost.

“It’s solidarity and mateship and what we’re all about.”

Six people died and four remain in hospital after 40-year-old Joel Cauchi went on a stabbing spree at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney’s east on April 13.

Under the spans of a botanic garden’s architectural centrepiece, an irreplaceable mother and architect killed in the Bondi stabbing massacre will be remembered separately later on Tuesday.

Friends and family of Jade Young, 47, will say their farewells at a service in the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.

Mourners have been urged to wear colour in memory of the “dearly loved and irreplaceable wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and beloved friend to many”.

The venue for the memorial, the Calyx, is the gardens’ architectural centrepiece and features one of the southern hemisphere’s largest garden walls.

“She was family. Anyone who knew Jade knew what a beautiful, kind and warm soul she was,” the firm’s managing director Georgina Wilson said last week.

Ms Young’s family at the weekend thanked those who donated more than $210,000 to a fundraiser dedicated to helping her husband and two daughters deal with their grief.

“Ensuring the financial security of the girls as they face a future without their mother is the family’s priority and they’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity,” Adam McLaughlin said.

Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old security guard killed during his first shift at Westfield Bondi Junction, will be laid to rest on Friday at a mosque in Marsden Park in Sydney’s northwest.

The services for Australia’s worst mass killing in years follow a candlelight vigil at Bondi Beach at dusk on Sunday attended by hundreds of mourners.

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