Last picture:Javier Camelo in a selfie with his his father, José Arturo Camelo, and his mother, Miriam Martinez Camelo, in the Italian city of Palermo. Photo: Facebook. Javier Camelo with his parents at his graduation. Photo: Facebook
‘I couldn’t see anything except blood and the dead’Australian killed in deadly museum siege
Just last week, Sydney resident Javier Camelo graduated from university with an MBA and was looking forward to a future in business.
To celebrate, the 28-year-old organised to go on a cruise around the Mediterranean with his parents.
Mr Camelo, an Australian-Colombian dual national, who lived in Waterloo in inner Sydney, had never been on a cruise before, and thought it would be a good way to relax and mark the end of his years of studying.
The last photo Mr Camelo posted on his Facebook page shows him grinning in a selfie with his parents – his father, retired Colombian Army general José Arturo Camelo, and his mother, Miriam Martinez Camelo – in the Italian city of Palermo.
On Tuesday, when their ship docked in Tunisia, Mr Camelo and his parents were among a group of tourists who decided to visit the National Bardo Museum in the country’s capital, Tunis.
He and his mother were among 19 people killed when at least two gunmen in military uniforms launched an attack on the popular museum in the heart of city.
The militants fired on a group of tourists as they got off a bus, before chasing survivors inside the museum where the deadly attack continued.
Mr Camelo’s father survived the ambush. Colombian media reported that Mr Camelo’s brother was also on the trip, and also survived.
“I just think the world is such an unfair place, how it takes such good people,” one of Mr Camelo’s friends from Sydney told Fairfax Media on Thursday.
“He was such a well-rounded person, I can’t believe it. Do you know how you meet some people and they’re just so relaxed and friendly? He was a global citizen, very smart, switched on, interested in finding out new things.
“You read about these things [terrorist attacks] and then you think ‘That’s never going to affect me, it’s never going to come close to anyone I know.’ It’s so sad.”
The friend, who asked not to be identified, said Mr Camelo, originally from Bogota in Colombia, went to the University of Sydney in 2008, before starting work as an analyst at American Express in Sydney.
In 2013, he moved to London for a year to work, before returning to Sydney in June last year where he took up his job again at American Express’ King Street Wharf office.
Mr Camelo had studied for his MBA via correspondence with the IE Business School, a graduate school of IE University in Madrid, and last weekend was photographed standing proudly with his graduation certificate in the Spanish capital.
Mr Camelo’s devastated classmates inundated his Facebook page with tributes and messages of condolence following the news of his death.
“Javi, thanks for great MBA journey together, thanks for great trips together and thanks for great parties together. As I said to your mom at our graduation, you are the most gentle person I have ever met, it was great to have you in my life! Rest in peace. Thank you for being with us,” one friend wrote.
Another friend wrote: “Javi, may your gentle soul rest in peace. You’ll live on in my memories of you, my memories of your kind and hard working nature, your respectful demeanor and your sweet smile. I feel robbed of our upcoming trip to Iceland! Robbed of the all the catching up was looking forward to. Robbed of seeing you feeling accomplished after this MBA you worked so hard for. Yet I feel even more so lucky to have known you. May your family know no more sorrow
One of his classmates wrote: “I can’t believe it was just a few short days ago we shared one of the biggest moments of our lives, and we were talking hopefully about the future. There’s never enough time, but we’re honoured to have known you and shared part of our lives with you. Rest in peace, my friend.”
One friend wrote of a planned meeting in London this week: “I can’t believe any of this. This is so unfair. I always remember you saying all the things you wanted to do after your MBA. We should have meet in London in few days. Rest in peace my friend.”
Another tribute read: “Javier Camelo – It was an absolute HONOUR to meet such a golden hearted boy. My thoughts are with you and your family.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed the death of a dual Australian-Colombian citizen in a joint statement with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop on Thursday.
“Our consular officials have now confirmed that a dual Australian-Colombian citizen, who was a resident of New South Wales, was among the deceased,” the statement said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the man’s family, to whom we will extend all consular assistance.”
In question time, Mr Abbott said: “Plainly this is a terrorist outrage.
“Plainly, it is an attack by Islamist extremists on a fledgling democracy, a democracy which had thus far proven quite effective in resisting the kind of extremism characterised by al-Qaeda and its variants and the ISIL, or daish, death cult in the Middle East,” he said.
“Madam Speaker, obviously the Australian government condemns in the strongest possible terms this atrocity.”
The Prime Minister said the government’s thoughts and prayers were with the families of the dead and wounded.
“I regret to say, Madam Speaker, that there was one Australian dual national reported to be among the dead,” he said.
“Madam Speaker, this person cannot currently be identified but obviously our deepest sympathies and condolences go to his family and friends and his family are being rendered every possible consular assistance.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told the Parliament on Thursday: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the fledgling democracy of Tunisia and citizens of Tunisia and, of course, the families and friends of those who’ve lost their lives, many of them international tourists.
“It is an act of murder, Madam Speaker, designed to shake the foundation of a new democracy,” Mr Shorten said.
with Lisa Cox
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.