Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Bondi Bollard Man’s Welcome to Stay in Australia for as Long as He’d Like, Says Anthony Albanese

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024
Key Points
  • A Frenchman bravely confronted the Bondi Junction attacker with a bollard, earning him the nickname “Bollard Man”.
  • Anthony Albanese has thanked Damien Guerot and welcomed him to stay in Australia after his heroic efforts.
  • The comments come following a petition calling for Guerot to be granted Australian citizenship.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has praised the bravery of a French citizen during the Bondi Junction attack and extended him an invitation to stay in Australia.
A petition calling for Damien Guerot to be granted Australian citizenship was launched after he courageously confronted to protect others.
Albanese thanked Guerot for his “extraordinary efforts” before weighing in on the status of his Australian citizenship.
“I say this to Damien — who is dealing with his visa applications — that you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France.”

Albanese did not specify whether that meant Guerot, whose current visa expires next month, would be granted another visa, permanent residency or citizenship.
When asked if he had interpreted Albanese’s comments as an offer of citizenship for Guerot, Opposition leader Peter Dutton said he would support the prime minister’s “generous offer”.
“We are an incredible success story and we shouldn’t be afraid of wanting people to come to our country who are the best people,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“He (Guerot) embodies the Anzac spirit, and we would want people of that character in our country.

Andrew Giles praises Guerot’s ‘extraordinary bravery’

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles told SBS News that he had asked his department to look into visa options for the Frenchman.
“Mr Guerot’s extraordinary bravery is an example of the character we all want to see in our society,” he said in a statement.

“We thank Mr Guerot as well as other members of the public, our heroic police officers and first responders who have helped protect others from danger.”

A man at the top of an escalator holding up a bollard as a man with a knife approaches

A still from a video showing Damien Guerot confronting Joel Cauchi with a bollard at the Bondi Junction shopping centre on Saturday. Source: Twitter

when Cauchi went on a stabbing rampage in the shopping centre.

Several others were injured before the 40-year-old was shot dead by police inspector Amy Scott.

Guerot was among those who leapt to the aid of others, with footage of him confronting Cauchi on an escalator with a bollard going viral on social media and earning him the title “Bollard Man”.

Petition calls for Guerot to be granted citizenship

A petition was launched on Sunday night urging the federal government to grant Australian citizenship to Guerot.
“Damien Guerot committed an act of true heroism by selflessly putting his own life in the firing line of danger without a second thought by taking on a mass murderer, Joel Cauchi, with a bollard, to keep him at bay while members of the public fled to safety,” Belinda Robinson, who started the petition, wrote.
“His brave and courageous act gave police time to arrive to contain the situation, it is unknown how many lives he has saved by his act of selfless heroism.

“Thank you Damien. A true act of Australianism.”

More than 1,500 people had signed the petition at the time of writing.
“This man, with no gun, no uniform confronted a knife-wielding killer. This man had guts and deserves a bravery medal as well as citizenship,” one person commented.
“He is a hero,” commented several others.

To be granted Australian citizenship, a person typically has to be a permanent resident or have a parent who was an Australian citizen when they were born.

Why was ‘Bollard Man’ at the shopping centre?

Construction worker Guerot said he was on his way to the gym with fellow Frenchman Silas Despreaux when they heard someone in the shopping centre scream: “There’s a man stabbing people”.
The pair ran to see what was happening and saw Cauchi approaching them.
“We just saw him coming … we were thinking, ‘We need to try to stop him’,” Guerot told the Seven Network.

They each grabbed a bollard and then followed Cauchi from the floor above.

Guerot said when he came face-to-face with Cauchi on the escalator, he was met with “empty eyes”.
“He wasn’t there,” he said.
“We tried to throw the bollard. We really wanted to stop him.”
While some have branded him a “hero”, Guerot said that title was better suited to Scott.
“She did the job. We just did what we did,” he said of the police officer.
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Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Bondi Bollard Man’s Welcome to Stay in Australia for as Long as He’d Like, Says Anthony Albanese”
  1. Do you think the Australian government should provide easier pathways to citizenship for individuals like Damien Guerot who display exceptional bravery in times of crisis?

    1. Absolutely, JenniferSmith92. Recognizing and honoring individuals who display exceptional bravery and selflessness, like Damien Guerot, is crucial. By providing easier pathways to citizenship for such heroes, we can show our appreciation and gratitude for their courageous actions.

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