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Caritas condolences for Defence personnel lost on Nias

Caritas Australia, which has its own people on the island of Nias, has expressed its deep shock and sadness at Saturday's deaths of nine young Australian service women and men in the helicopter crash.

Like Caritas, the members of the defence forces were helping the victims and survivors of the recent Indonesian Earthquake.

"The young Australians who died on Saturday were not only serving their country but were bravely helping Australia in its humanitarian work in a challenging environment," said Caritas Australia National Director Jack de Groot. "Caritas Australia is proud of the work that Australian service women and men do in helping countries in crisis around the world and especially in our region."

"Many Australian service women and men are involved in mapping, reconstruction, health provision and other behind the scenes work which enhances the lives of the communities they are working with and complement the initiatives of aid agencies," he said.

"HMAS Kanimbla, the crashed helicopter's base, was returning home from helping Acehnese survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami, when it was diverted to help the people of Nias," Mr de Groot said.

"We offer our prayers for those who died and our prayers and condolences to the families and loved ones they have left behind," Mr de Groot said.

Caritas Australia offers condolences for Australian Armed Forces Personnel lost on Nias (Caritas Australia 4/4/05)

5 Apr 2005