Joint Media Release
The Hon Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport
The Hon Catherine King MP
Shadow Minister for Health
Member for Ballarat
19 July 2014
On the eve of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne the Australian Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, and the Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King, have extended their joint condolences to the family and friends of people killed on board flight MH17 as they travelled to the AIDS 2014 Conference in Melbourne.
"We face the grim reality that some of the world's most talented and passionate AIDS researchers and advocates have died," Mr Dutton said.
"Our deepest condolences are extended not just to the families and loved ones of the 28 Australians on board, but also to the delegates to the AIDS 2014 Conference who were travelling from around the world.
"There is a degree of shock and a sense of overwhelming loss that people who, in many instances, have devoted their lives to the noble cause of eradicating AIDS from the planet could have been lost in such senseless and tragic circumstances.
"It has recently come to our attention that a colleague at the National Health and Medical Research Council was also one of the 298 people on board. The people of Australia share in the heartbreak of all the families involved."
Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King said: "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and colleagues of the AIDS researchers, health workers and activists on board Malaysian flight MH17, who were en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.
"All dedicated their lives to advancing prevention, support, treatment and research into HIV infections. They all worked tirelessly towards the vision of an AIDS-free world. They have been tragically lost too soon. The Labor Opposition stands with the international AIDS community at this terrible time."
Andrew Blow, Minister Dutton’s Office, 0411 403 937
Alex White, Ms King’s Office, 0488 134 359