Westfield Bondi Junction re-opens: Shoppers warned to avoid re-traumatising workers

Shoppers are being warned not to further traumatise workers by asking them about the Bondi Junction massacre as the centre re-opens.

Joel Cauchi, 40, killed six people and stabbed 12 more during a murderous rampage at the Westfield shopping centre on Saturday afternoon.

He was later shot dead by police.

Businesses will open their doors for the first time on Friday, almost a week after the horrific attack which has rattled the nation.

SDA NSW union secretary Bernie Smith has warned shoppers to be mindful of the way they interact with staff, urging them to be sensitive to the trauma many workers have experienced.

“It’s going to be a pretty confronting day for many people,” he told the ABC.

“If you are in those shops sure, you should acknowledge what’s happened, but don’t re-traumatise workers by asking them what happened on that day.”

The centre opened its doors on Thursday for a “community reflection day” during which businesses were not able to open for trade.
Counselling was being offered at the site to provide support to the public and staff before normal trading hours resume on Friday.

Scentre group chief executive Elliott Rusanow said some stores would choose not to reopen.

“This has been a very difficult time and I want to acknowledge the hard work and tireless efforts of our Westfield Bondi and Scentre Group teams,” he said.

“They have been working through conditions which have been devastating in their minds and in all our minds.”

Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said the opening would be “confronting” but “significant” for the healing journey of victims and the community.

“I know it’s going to be very powerful. It’s going to be confronting, it’s going to be emotional. But I really think it is going to be very significant,” she told the Today Show on Thursday morning.

A mountain of bouquets have been left in tribute to the victims outside the centre, with the government confirming a permanent memorial will be erected in the months to come.

A candlelit vigil is due to be held near the Bondi Pavillion at 5.30pm on Sunday.

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