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Priest speaks up for character of Australia's most wanted man

Fr Ron Flack, a parish priest in the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, has described the gunman being sought for the abduction of two German tourists in the Northern Territory last Saturday as a "gentle person" who "was not a callous man".

31 year old Matt Page attended Marist College Pearce in the 1980s. Friends and classmates described him as a "top bloke".

Fr Flack told the Canberra Times that if Page had abducted the women it was totally out of character as he was not a callous man.

"I knew Matt as a gentle person," he said, adding that Page was an ordinary teenager who was no lout.

"I think that something has happened to cause this," he said.

A friend said the family was concerned about Page's mental health and that something had happened to set him off, but would not elaborate.

After graduating from Marist, Page completed a tourism degree at the University of Canberra from 1992 to 1994. Once he left university it is believed Page worked in various tourism jobs in Africa and Europe before living for three years with his grandmother in Hervey Bay, Queensland, after his grandfather died.

Gunman foiled as women break free (The Age 2/9/02)

Canberra Times

6 Sep 2002