The past two days have been long and demanding. It was a mixture of beautiful stories of hope, mixed with devastating events.
These stories were national incidents, they were not in our backyard. However, empathy allows us to relate to what is happening around our nation.
The death of a family in a remote Northern Territory community was incredibly sad. They were deaths that could have been preventable.
We then had some good news. Conjoined twins, Nima and Dawa, were successfully separated in a Melbourne hospital by an amazing team of medical staff.
When the news broke mid-Friday afternoon it was a breath of fresh air. Not just because the Bhutanese twins will now lead a wonderful life, but also the involvement of Australian specialists responsible for the procedure. How are lucky are we?
About an hour later news came through of an attack in Bourke Street. To begin we thought it was an isolated incident. A few hours later Victoria Police called it a “lone wolf” terror attack.
About three hours after the attack we discovered a well-known Launceston man was involved. We feared the worst.
We have worked with Rod Patterson over the years in many capacities – the Chamber of Commerce, South Launceston Football Club and most recently we coordinated with him on a very successful shop stealing campaign.
This campaign, which we started in 2017 alongside Rod and Tasmania Police has experienced tremendous results and progress in minimising shop stealing.
When we heard it was Rod involved in the attack, we instantly wanted to know he was OK. So did every other media organisation in Australia.
We are doing our best to give Rod and his family the space they need to recover, but also praise his incredible actions during an incomprehensible moment.
As a community newspaper, it’s a tough balance to achieve given we want to keep people (people who know Rod through his many connections in our community) assured he is doing OK, which he is, and also giving the family the privacy they deserve.
Here at The Examiner, we wish Rod a speedy recovery and thank him for his act of bravery.