People smile and laugh as they wander the theme park. Maybe clutching fairy floss. Perhaps holding their stomach after a particularly turbulent roller coaster ride.
But there, in the middle of it all, is a darkness. People lower their voices as they walk past. They might peep over the rust-coloured fence, before quickly turning away. Perhaps they whisper to the person next to them. They might just think to themselves:
That was where…
Yesterday – October 25 – marked one year since the Dreamworld tragedy. The accident that claimed four lives. The lives of two mothers and two lovers.
Kate Goodchild, mother of two, and her brother Luke Dorsett were killed. So was Luke’s partner, Roozi Araghi, as well as Sydney mother Cindy Low.
The raft they were riding in, as part of the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, flipped due to a malfunction and a scene of horror and heartbreak ensued.
Dreamworld was closed for several weeks – it wouldn’t re-open till December 10, and even then only partially.
Flowers were laid out the front of its gates. Three families were suddenly grieving, in shock. Many more were traumatised by what they’d witnessed. And Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company, faced some tough questions at their Annual General Meeting held just days after the tragedy on October 27.
Now, one year on, Dreamworld has hosted a private ceremony to mark the anniversary of the event the park is so desperately trying to put behind it… But cannot.
Dozens of staff, Red Cross volunteers and the chairman of Ardent Leisure attended the anniversary service, which was held before the park opened for the day on Wednesday.
"It was very well organised and I think it was a good gesture in terms of reflection of what happened," Australian Red Cross emergency services state manager Collin Sivalingum told AAP.
"A day like this one will bring about a lot of emotions, a lot of feelings and a lot of people being upset. One year later we still see these emotions and people feel very connected to this event."
But it's not just one day, the anniversary, that the accident's shadow is felt.