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Australian victims identified in MH17 tragedy

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The names of the Australian victims on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are being released, with nine Queenslanders, nine Victorians and seven Western Australians among the victims.

Sister Philomene Tiernan.
Sister Philomene Tiernan.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine says there were also Australian permanent residents travelling on overseas passports on board the plane.

A Sydney victim has been confirmed as Sister Philomene Tiernan, a teacher at the exclusive Kincoppal girls’ school in Rose Bay

Toowoomba pathologist Roger Guard and his wife were also confirmed as two of the nine Queenslanders to die in the crash.

Dr Guard, a Queensland Health employee was returning from a European holiday with his wife.

Melbourne student Elaine Teoh and boyfriend Emiel Mahler were travelling to a wedding in Malaysia.

Ms Teoh, originally from Penang in Malaysia, and Mr Mahler, a Dutch national, lived in Melbourne where they worked in the finance sector.

Nick Norris.

More victims named

Perth man Nick Norris and three of his grandchildren were also named among the dead. 

Norris is a well-known sailor and member of the South Perth Yacht Club and was understood to have been on holiday in Europe at the time.

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Authorities believe a “significant number” of those on the plane — thought to be as many as 100 — were headed to Melbourne for the 20th International AIDS Conference.

The president of the International AIDS Society Joep Lange is among the dead.

Sunbury real estate agent Albert Rizk and his wife Maree Rizk were returning to Australia on the flight, after a month-long holiday in Europe.

The New Daily contacted Raine & Horne in Sunbury, who confirmed the couple were presumed dead.

“He and his wife Maree were both on the flight,” Hume City Councillor Jack Ogilvie said.

Rizk on the Raine & Horne website.

“Last night I was talking to his son, James, and I said when are Albert and Maree coming back?”

“He said they are on the flight and they’ll be home tomorrow … but they just didn’t make it.

Sunbury grieves

Ogilvie said the Sunbury community was in shock and he described the couple as “absolutely fantastic people”.

The Rizks have lived in Sunbury for more than 20 years and Albert was a director of the local Raine and Horne Real Estate branch.

“We’re all pretty shocked in Sunbury, believe me,” Mr Ogilvie said.

Albert Rizk has lived in Sunbury for over 20 years. The Raine & Horne website says Rizk has won numerous awards nationally he is one of the top ten sales people in Victoria.

A grim toll

According to the airline’s passenger list, 154 passengers were Dutch, while 45 passengers were Malaysian, followed by 28 Australians.

There were also 12 Indonesian, nine British, four German, four Belgian, three from the Philippines and one from Canada.

Fifteen crew members were also on board, all Malaysian nationals. Three infants were on board.

If you are unable to contact family members, contact DFAT’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on + 61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or within Australia on 1300 555 135.

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