Ellenbrook: Malvern Springs PS to remember and celebrate Rua Petersen

Rua Petersen.
Rua Petersen.

THE school where Rua Petersen was a student is seeking ideas on how to honour and celebrate the life of the eight-year-old boy and his family members.

When students and staff returned to Malvern Springs Primary School this week, they were confronted with the tragic news that Rua was killed along with his mother Michelle and sister Bella on the weekend.

As the new school term began, the parent and community association praised the “amazing school staff” for working hard to ensure students were “truly supported when they returned” from holidays.

“The teachers have been fantastic at helping students express themselves,” a Malvern Springs Primary School P&C Association Inc Facebook post read.

“If you feel you or your family need additional support please do not hesitate to contact the school.”

A chaplain has been working with the school and made available to students, staff and parents needing support until the end of the week.

The news shocked the Ellenbrook community, with the school making a public “heartfelt thanks” on social media to its students, their parents and community members and staff for coming together in solidarity at this tragic time.

The Malvern Springs Primary School P&C post.

“We give heartfelt thanks to our students, their parents, community members and staff in our community for coming together in this time of shock, sadness and grieving for Rua, Bella and Michelle,” a Facebook post read.

“We are so fortunate to be in such a strong, supportive community.

Tributes at Malvern Springs Primary School. Picture: David Baylis

“We have worked very closely with school psychologists and the chaplains to make sure children and staff are in a good place right now. “

The school is planning a way to honour and celebrate the life of Rua and his family and has encouraged people with “great ideas” on how to get in contact with the school.

Ellenbrook SecondaryCollege plans service for Bella Petersen

ELLENBROOK Secondary College has released an official statement about the “tragic loss” of murdered student Bella Petersen days after she, and her mother Michelle and brother Rua were killed.

Out of respect for the teenager’s family, the school had remained silent but supported staff and students with counsellors and chaplains.

“Her tragic death at the weekend has affected our college and wider community,” the statement read.

“Our thoughts are with Bella’s family at this difficult time.”

The school will hold a service on Friday, July 20 from 8.15am for students, their parents, and staff who wish to pay their respects.

“Family members are invited to stay for a morning tea at the college to hear about the support available to students as well as advice for supporting your child,” the statement went on.

“Since students returned to school yesterday we have had school psychologists, youth workers and chaplains available on site to support students and staff.

“Staff also provided information to students about this support which they can access for as long as is needed.”

The school encouraged parents to continue speaking with their children about how they were feeling in relation to the tragedy.

“We have been working closely with the school psychology service and are aware that some people who are exposed to a tragic event may experience some kind of emotional reaction,” the statement said.

“It is however, reassuring to know that even though these feelings may be unpleasant, they are a normal reaction to an abnormal event.”

Anyone seeking additional support can call:
– Parenting WA Line on 6279 1200 or 1800 654 432
– Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (24hrs)
– Headspace 9274 8860

Tributes at the Petersen home. Picture: David Baylis