Australia Today

Muhammad Taha, the Bondi Junction Security Guard, 'Deserves Recognition'

Security guard Muhammad Taha has so far not been promised permanent residency, alongside French citizen and “bollard man”. 

A Westfield security guard and Pakistani citizen who was stabbed while confronting the Bondi Junction attacker on Saturday has asked why he wasn’t also offered Australian residency alongside French citizen Damien Guerot aka “bollard man” who similarly intervened in the incident that left six dead. 

Muhammad Taha was one of two security guards stabbed while confronting attacker Joel Cauchi on Saturday. The first, Taha’s colleague Faraz Tahir, was stabbed to death.

But so far only one person has been promised permanent residency for their “bravery”. 


Guerot, a French construction worker whose visa is due to expire in July, was congratulated by the Prime Minister and told earlier this week he was welcome to stay in Australia “as long as he likes”.

CCTV footage showed “bollard man” confront the attacker on an escalator with a bollard, stopping him from entering another floor of the centre.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese thanked Guerot for stepping in.

“I say this to Damien Guerot – who is dealing with his visa applications – that you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like,” he said.

“This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen."

The immigration minister, Andrew Giles, also said: “Mr Guerot’s extraordinary bravery is an example of the character we all want to see in our society.”

On Wednesday, Muhammad Taha, who is still recovering from his injuries in hospital, said in an interview with News Corp: “Similarly, as a direct victim of the incident, I believe I deserve recognition and consideration for citizenship.

“As well, the guards working alongside came running towards the point of incident and risking their lives … (they) should be offered citizenship as well.”

Albanese said on Thursday the government would now “certainly” consider similar arrangements for Taha.


“We certainly will,” he told Adelaide radio station 5AA.

“[Muhammad Taha] confronted this guy, the perpetrator, Joel Cauchi, on Saturday.”

“These are people who were putting… themselves in danger in order to protect Australians who they didn't know,” he said,

“And that’s the sort of courage that we want to say ‘thank you’ to, frankly.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton showed support for the government's offer to Guerot and said “we shouldn't be afraid of wanting people to come to our country who are the best people”.

But when asked if Taha should be given the same prize he deflected and said “That's obviously an issue for the prime minister”.

This discrepancy further highlights the ease at which people can be granted residency with the stroke of a pen. Dutton once bestowed that honour on a friend’s French au pair who was stuck in immigration detention. But the government rarely chooses to intervene and grant such a privilege, even when they clearly need or deserve it.

Aleksandra Bliszczyk is the Deputy Editor of VICE Australia. Follow her on Instagram.

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