Address to MH17 memorial
12 months ago, 298 lives including many Australians were lost aboard flight MH17.
Today we remember each and every one of them.
We continue to grieve with their families and friends.
Your loss is incalculable.
Your grief inconsolable.
The suffering inflicted on all families is beyond comprehension.
The impact on the Maslin family of Perth – their 3 young children – aged 12, 10 and 8 – and their grandfather – resonated around the world, as the images of these beautiful young faces captured the utter senselessness of the taking of innocent lives.
The parents, Maz and Rin Maslin are not here today, but they have asked me to pass on their words to this gathering – in the hope that you find comfort in them:
"We remember and love our children Mo, Evie and Otis and granddad Nick every moment of every day.
We understand that our tragedy is etched into the hearts of Australians, and we appreciate this gesture of humanity.
If this tragedy has given us anything, it is a voice, which we hope to use to speak for peace.
Our family was an innocent victim of a faraway war.
They were killed by other people's anger.
We now carry a massive burden of grief that no one should ever have to.
We always will.
In spite of this, we try not to become involved in what we see as a devastating surge of sadness, suffering and anger in the world today.
It's essential that we remain positive, patient and mindful in our thoughts and actions so as not to create any more pain.
Acceptance, spirituality and being in the present moment all help give us hope and strength.
We focus on what we have, rather than what we have lost – and one thing we have is eternal, titanium-strong love for our kids, and from our kids.
No hate in the world will ever be as strong as the love we have for Mo, for Evie, for Otis.
No hate in the world will ever be as strong as the love we have for Granddad Nick.
No hate in the world will ever be as strong as the love we have for each other.
As our kids always said "Peace out"."