Monday, 22 July 2019
Statements by Members
It gives me great pleasure to rise this afternoon to speak about an amazing charity that was born out of the most unspeakable horror. Sarz Sanctuary was set up in memory of 21-year-old Queenslander Sara Zelenak, who was murdered in the 2017 London Bridge and Borough Street Market terror attack. Sarz Sanctuary aims to be the first healing sanctuary in Australia to offer personalised support and treatment programs for people who are suffering with traumatic grief.
I had the absolute privilege of meeting Sara's father, Mark Wallace, last week in Cairns before he set off on a 14-day jet ski adventure from Weipa to Papua New Guinea via the Torres Strait, finishing up back in Port Douglas. I want to give a big shout-out to Rob Goodwin, a local legend, who helped coordinate the logistics on the ground from his home base in Cairns. Sarz Sanctuary has collected hundreds of kilos of clothing that the expedition plan to deliver and distribute through Papua New Guinean villages. Mark told reporters last week:
We want to give back to people not only because it helps us personally but it helps people to get back on their feet and to find peace.
Mark's strength and determination to honour his daughter's memory is truly inspiring.
Mark, along with his wife Julie, returned home from London after sitting through two weeks of a coronial inquests into their daughter's death—something no parent should have to endure. But, from a terrible and senseless event, something quite beautiful and special has arisen—a father's unwavering determination to honour his daughter's memory. (Time expired)