Canberra is reeling as the full horror of the Dreamworld accident reverberated throughout the city this week - three of our own lost and everyone from federal politicians to old school friends left feeling numb and in despair.
Canberrans Kate Goodchild and her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi and Sydney woman Cindy Low died in the accident on the Thunder River Rapids ride at the Gold Coast amusement park on Tuesday.
Amid all the heartbreaking detail of the accident one thing stood clear - two little girls in Canberra now face life without their mother.
Kate Goodchild, 32, was mum to two daughters aged just eight months and 12, the older daughter was believed to be also on the ride but survived the awful tragedy, crying desperately for her mother in the aftermath. Kate's husband David was understood to be watching nearby with the baby.
"It makes no sense," a devastated Sarah Tisdell said.
Ms Tisdell went to school with Kate at Rosary Primary School in Watson.
Luke, 35, also attended the school and the siblings later attended St Francis Xavier College in Florey - the school now attended by Kate's older daughter, who is in year seven there.
Ms Tisdell described Luke and Kate as "beautiful souls".
"They were both just such gentle human beings. They would never have said a bad word about anyone," she said.
"It's a real shock. I'm just feeling really numb."
St Francis Xavier College principal Angus Tulley said counsellors were made available for students and staff as part of a critical incident plan activated in the wake of the accident, with some teachers who taught Kate and Luke also still at the school.
"We prayed for the families first thing this morning and I did speak to all the kids," he said.
Both Kate and Luke worked for the Department of Human Services, she at the service centre in Belconnen and he the health programs office in Tuggeranong.
Luke and 38-year-old Roozi, who worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, were described as a wonderful couple.
Friends took to social media to share condolences with Roozi's brother, Simon, on a post he wrote about the loss of "our most loved 'baby' brother".
Labor Senator Sam Dastyari also revealed he had been "raised" with Roozi, whose father had helped "pave the way for my family to come to Australia" from Iran.
Both ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Opposition Leader Alistair Coe expressed their condolences to the families.
"Canberra is in many respects a small place, and I'm sure there are many people today in our community that have been impacted by this terrible news," Mr Barr said.
Fenner MP Andrew Leigh also paid tribute to the three Canberrans.
"The intensity and breadth of the emotion so many of us are feeling is a small measure of how these three wonderful young people improved the lives of their fellow Canberrans," he said.
The Canberra community was also rallying around the friends and colleagues of Kim Dorsett, the mother of Luke and Kate, who was holidaying with them in Queensland.
She told Newscorp Australia they had decided to visit Dreamworld, Australia's largest theme park, after extending their holiday.
"I have three children and have lost two of them today - my whole family has been wiped out," Ms Dorsett said.
"They really were just wonderful people - that would be the best way to describe them. They were kind, loving souls that would honestly do anything for anyone.
"I have two granddaughters — an eight-month-old and a 12-year-old — and it truly breaks my heart to know that my eight-month-old is never going to get to know her mum."
Ms Dorsett works at the ACT Education Department. Ms Tisdell also remembered her being heavily involved with her children throughout their education, including as a teacher's aide at Rosary Primary.
Moira Najdecki, director of Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, said she was deeply shocked and saddened by the accident and offered her prayers to the families.
"The families involved in this terrible tragedy have had past and current connections with our Catholic schools in the ACT and we will continue to work with and support these school communities," she said.
The ABS, Department of Human Services and ACT Education Directorate, also paid tributes and assured grieving colleagues there would be support for them.