candleLast night, the soul of Australia lit up with thousands of candles across the nation as part of “Light the Dark.”

People gathered in major cities, small towns, streets and homes to honour Reza Berati, a 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker who died during violent clashes on Manus Island under the care of the Australian government.

Last night’s photos of solidarity and love by Australians of all shades has restored my faith in humanity and our fate as a country. This is the heart of Australia, we beat with compassion and empathy and are not a reflection of our government’s cruel policies, nor will we be shadowed by their silence.

We will speak out, reach out, unite to restore mateship, a fair go, tolerance, qualities that built this country.

RIP Reza Berati, your light is a beacon that is leading the way to change.