AUSTRALIA'S greatest tribute to our neighbours in New Zealand has been our near-universal reaction to the Friday's tragic mosque shootings: Surely not in New Zealand.
It says much about our nation's affection for New Zealand that it seems many of us can more readily believe that such shootings could happen here than there.
We see New Zealand as a safe, peace-loving and almost innocent nation. They are a sensible people who have shown through their actions in recent years that they understand better than we do the value of co-operation and reconciliation.
We did not want to think that New Zealand could be vulnerable to the same horrors as the rest of the world. Now that hope has been shattered in the most shocking and violent way.
As a nation, Australia has been quick to offer our support and comfort during what has understandably been called one of New Zealand's darkest days.
And, as a community, we should offer that same support to the Muslim residents in both nations that have clearly been rattled by Friday's attacks.
It offends any sense of decency for people to be gunned down while practising their religion - any religion.
The New Zealand courts will decide the fate of the offenders but the rest of us have a role to play as well.
We must all stand against the vile hatred that sparked Friday's attacks. We must stand as one in support of community.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, speaking to journalists with raw emotion in the hours that followed the attacks, said: "I would describe it as an unprecedented act of violence, an act that has absolutely no place in New Zealand. This is not who we are." She could as easily have been speaking for all Australians.
While the man believed to be responsible for the attacks is an Australian citizen, he is not who we are. Such actions have no place in our society, in New Zealand society, nor any right-thinking society.
In the days, weeks and months to come, both our nations will have time to reflect on the twisted motives behind Friday's attacks and how the national discourse in each country may have contributed to such a sense of hatred.
Australia might not like what it sees in its own backyard. If that's the case, then the time to start changing the way we think, feel and speak about each other must be now.