The Gold Coast Mayor has called on locals to unite, in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks.
In conjunction with other city leaders, the Mayor has expressed the heartache being felt across the Gold Coast, almost a week on from the devastating event.
The Gold Coast is home to 44,000 New Zealanders, with Forward Church on the Gold Coast representing a large portion of the community in the Helensvale area.
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Forward Church Senior Pastor Daniel Tiaiti joined the Mayor today calling for unity on the eve of Harmony Day.
“This heinous act of violence was intended to segregate, to divide and to incite hate.
“Instead, in the true spirit of ANZAC, it has brought us closer together.
“Since landing on the shores of Gallipoli over 100 years ago, our two nations have stood together and overcome a common enemy.
“Today, we stand against the enemy of terror and fear,” Pastor Tiaiti said.
Tomorrow is Harmony Day, and to celebrate, lighting across the city will switch to orange tomorrow night.
The lights can be seen at locations including Nerang Street, Southport; Surfers Paradise sign, Cavill Ave; Broadbeach sign, Victoria Park; Surf Parade, Broadbeach; Bulletin Park, Broadbeach; and Home of the Arts, Surfers Paradise.
Mayor Tom Tate says now is the time to come together as a community.
“More than ever, it is important to demonstrate we are an inclusive community where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
“Given our close connections with New Zealand, our largest multicultural community, we share their grief.
“Our thoughts are with them as they reflect on so many lives lost,” he said.
“Words are rarely enough but seeing our community come together to support each other in times of such pain gives me great comfort.”
Celebration events will be also be held across the city this week to showcase diversity, including a series pop-up performances at schools and public places as part of the Gold Coast Multicultural Network.