2019-03-25 by W.M.
Jacinda Arden opens up about Christchurch shootings on The Project Australia
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has won fans across the ditch after appearing on The Project Australia with Waleed Aly.
On the day of the Christchurch mosque shootings, Aly delivered a moving monologue on the TV show, which was shared tens of thousands of times and viewed millions more.
He flew to New Zealand last week to meet with the prime minister.
The interview, which aired Monday night in Australia, begins with Ardern asking Aly if she can give him hug, saying she also saw his moving speech.
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Aly asked Ardern how she is coping in the aftermath – a question Ardern says she’s tried to avoid, as she’s “deeply sad”.
She also admitted she hasn’t had much time with her family since the March 15 attack, but said she’s received plenty of help with baby Neve.
“I’m the last one that anyone should worry about right now,” said Ardern.
Last week, Waleed travelled to Christchurch and sat down with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to find out how she and her country have been coping through its darkest days… #TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/AwFcSZBTyu
— The Project (@theprojecttv) March 25, 2019
When asked if being a parent had changed how she felt she’d reacted to the shootings, Ardern was emphatic.
“Almost certainly,” she said. “I think it’s hard to sometimes analyse the way that you are changed by parenthood, but you feel it I think in your responses and your empathy.”
When asked about her decision to wear a black hijab when meeting with families of the victims, the prime minister said she “gave it very little thought”, as it was obvious to her that it was “the appropriate thing to do”.
“My job is to make people feel safe. The idea that people currently do not, I find very distressing. And it’s my job to bring that sense of security back,” she told Aly.
She said that if wearing the hijab gave women “a sense of security to continue to practice their faith then I’m very pleased I did it”.
Ardern was also questioned about her reaction to the news of the gunman being Australian. She admitted that it took some time for her to process that and she believes New Zealanders are reflecting on the fact that “it was not one of us” in part because it helps them process what has happened.
“But they do not point it out as an attempt to blame.”
She also thanked Australians for their support and solidarity, adding, “we’re family”.
The interview clearly struck a chord with many Australian viewers, who were quick to tweet their praise of the New Zealand leader.
Bought tears to my eyes 😪. @jacindaardern is an amazing leader.
— BreastCancerThriver Julie Library (@julie_library) March 25, 2019
Awesome leadership. Empathy in leaders is a great thing. Pity we don’t have that in Australia
— Tony Sutton (@suttontonyj) March 25, 2019
In tears watching Waleed and Jacinda. Two extraordinary and beautifully human people ❤️❤️❤️ #TheProjectTV
— Belinda O’Connor (@BelindaJOConnor) March 25, 2019