A family member of one of the Thunder River Rapids ride victims has returned to the place where their loved one was so tragically taken.
The gathering, which Dreamworld boss Craig Davidson and Ardent Leisure CEO Deborah Thomas also attended, took place on Friday night, just hours ahead of the theme park’s “Open Hearts, Open Doors” reopening.
It’s been more than six weeks since Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low lost their lives on one of Dreamworld’s oldest and most popular rides on October 25.
Dreamworld figureheads, police, and relatives gathering for the traditional Aboriginal healing smoking ceremony was inconceivably difficult but helpful, the retired police inspector in charge of the disaster's recovery effort told The Courier Mail.
“It was very sad and passionate, but it was also a cathartic experience for everyone concerned,” Mike McKay said of the proceedings, which were led by the Yugambeh Aboriginal people at Dreamworld Corroboree.
“They (the relative) didn’t even know why they asked to come, but once they got here, they got a sense that they knew why they had come.
“Just to see where their loved ones had been on the day that they passed, as sad as it was, there were some tears, laughter, hugs. Hopefully it helps."
In the wake of the tragedy, Mr McKay says the Gold Coast community has banded together, and that a return to normality will be healthy for everyone involved.
Mr Davidson told the Sydney Morning Herald that every ride open on December 10 has passed an unprecedented multi-level safety review.
Those who visit the theme park on Saturday will also be shielded from the ride that ended four lives.
Entry prices have been slashed to $25, with the cost of each ticket being donated to the community fund established in honour of the victims.