Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin.
Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin. Contributed

Couple open up on losing three children in MH17 tragedy

NEARLY five years ago Anthony "Maz” Maslin and his wife Marite "Rin” Norris were faced with an unbearable loss.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 had been shot down over the Ukraine and the couple's three children, Mo, Evie and Otis, along with their grandfather Nick Norris, had died in the crash. Thirty-four other Australians on board also perished.

"Our world as we knew it was absolutely over in that moment and we just started to say, 'when the world ended' and that's how we refer to it now,” says mum Rin Norris in a special Australian Story feature screening at 8pm tonight on the ABC.

The challenge of how to survive their loss was all-consuming for Maz and Rin.

The couple were part of a strong and supportive community in Perth's Scarborough district and a group of friends surrounded them, bringing in meals and making sure that they weren't left alone.

Anthony and Marite Maslin.
Anthony and Marite Maslin. Contributed

"Friends came up with this idea of the web of love,” says friend Mia Martin. "Emails went out and right from the first few days it was around-the-clock monitoring.”

As the fifth anniversary of the MH17 disaster approaches, Maz and Rin are telling their story for the first time.

They want to thank the people who helped them, and honour their kids and Nick. They hope their story of overcoming intense grief might be helpful for others.

"It's about being proud of who we are and how we've handled things," says Rin.

"Tragedy can be a source of strength. Tragedy can teach you things that you never wanted to learn.

"I don't feel anger towards the people who fired the rocket,” says dad Maz. "I feel something much worse - I feel pity towards them.”

Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop introduces the program and reveals what went on behind the scenes to bring Russia to account at the UN.

Australian Story - After The World Ended. Monday, June 10, 8pm

A treasured memory of the Maslin family.
A treasured memory of the Maslin family. Contributed

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