Informer: Tassie's broken heart shared by the nation

From left Zane Mellor, Jye Sheehan, Addison Stewart, Jalailah Jayne-Marie Jones and Peter Dodt. Tasmania icon courtesy of Facebook/Sam Mizzi.
From left Zane Mellor, Jye Sheehan, Addison Stewart, Jalailah Jayne-Marie Jones and Peter Dodt. Tasmania icon courtesy of Facebook/Sam Mizzi.

Australians have always had a way of coming together as a nation when the going gets tough.

This year we have rooted for WA's police force in the search for Cleo Smith, we have rallied behind our farmers and now we share in the collective grief of five young lives lost.

Addison Stewart, 11, Zane Mellor, 12, Jye Sheehan, 12, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, 12, and Peter Dodt, 12 lost their lives while celebrating the end of the year at Tasmania's Hillcrest Primary School yesterday.

The children were tragically killed after a gust of wind picked up an inflatable jumping castle and several zorb balls causing the children to fall from a height of 10-metres.

And the people of Tasmania are understandably heartbroken.

But they aren't alone.

Tassie, the rest of Australia is mourning with you.

A fundraiser started just four hours after the news about the fatal incident broke brought in more than $640,000 overnight.

The fundraiser's creator Zoe Smith said all funds would go to the families of the children killed and injured in the tragedy, and hoped some of the money would offer them "much needed gifts in this time of such sadness".

An individual fundraiser was set up for Addison Stewart's family by her aunty Meghan Aherne, which on Friday morning had reached almost $30,000.

"Everyone is devastated," Meghan said in the fundraiser blurb. "She was always such a sweet kind, old soul.

"We all love you paddi melon."

Grace Johnston and two other friends of Zane Mellor's mother, Georgie Gardam, also set up an individual fundraising page.

"Zane was such a beautiful caring, gentle soul who had challenges growing up with his autism and ADHD, but that never set him back he kept achieving," the fundraiser read.

"This has shook so many people and the community and we want to do anything to help make things a little easier for her at this hard time."

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein vowed to stand with the families and loved ones of the five children.

"I make a commitment to all the families impacted by this tragedy that we will stand with you and we will support you," Mr Gutwein said on Friday.

"As a parent, I cannot understand how the parents of those who have lost children must be feeling.

"But, as a parent I hope they can understand that we are all feeling for you as well."

And I think it is safe to say that the entire nation is standing with them also.


This is the last Informer newsletter for the year.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the latest news and views from around Australia. We will be back to bring you more in 2022.

From all of us, a happy and safe Christmas and New Year - one where it will be more meaningful than ever to unwrap the most valuable gift of all; time spent with family and friends.