Australia offers permanent residency to French hero of Bondi Junction attack

Damien Guerot (left) and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right).

17th April 2024 – (Sydney) The Australian Government has confirmed that it will grant permanent residency to Damien Guerot, the French construction worker hailed as a hero after using a bollard to confront a knife-wielding assailant in Sydney’s Bondi Junction. The incident, which resulted in tragic fatalities, saw Guerot earn widespread admiration for his courageous actions.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese personally commended Guerot for his bravery during a press conference, stating that while the hero could stay in Australia indefinitely, the path to citizenship would still require him to meet existing residency requirements. This clarification comes amidst initial uncertainties surrounding the type of legal permanence offered to Guerot, whose visa is set to expire in July.

The altercation, captured on CCTV footage, occurred last Saturday at the Westfield Bondi Junction, where Guerot intervened during the escalator ascent of attacker Joel Cauchi. Cauchi is alleged to have fatally stabbed six individuals before being neutralised by police forces.

“In times of crisis, the character of a person truly emerges. Damien’s brave intervention prevented further harm and stands as an example of the selfless acts we value in our community,” said Albanese, highlighting the profound impact of Guerot’s actions.

In response to the government’s decision, Guerot expressed his gratitude, describing the offer of permanent residency as “amazing news”. His legal representative, Belinda Robertson, relayed his emotions, noting that such recognition provides a beacon of positive light amidst the overwhelming tragedy of the event.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles echoed the sentiment of the Prime Minister, commending Guerot’s exceptional courage and confirming that the department is expediting the residency process. “His actions exemplify the fortitude and integrity we seek in our society,” Giles remarked.