A group gathered at Port Macquarie's Westport Park on Saturday [March 5] to show their support for the people of Ukraine.
Svetlana Ward gave an insight into the confronting reality sparked by the Russian invasion and spoke proudly of Ukraine and its people, while holding aloft the nation's blue and yellow flag.
The Rollands Plains resident is in daily contact with her 80-year-old mother who has chosen to remain in her Ukrainian homeland.
"I'm speaking with my mother on the phone and I hear the bombing," Mrs Ward said.
"She is very brave and she has a very strong spirit."
Mrs Ward left Ukraine in 2008 after working as an account executive for many years but her mother, along with friends and former colleagues, remain there.
She is watching the war unfold from the safety of Australia and supporting her mother from afar.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea is the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II.
"We are watching what is going on, and I feel like I can't watch but I must, because my mum is there," Mrs Ward said.
Mrs Ward said she was proud of the brave people in Ukraine.
"Yes, I'm in Australia but my soul is deeply Ukrainian and I'm proud of that," she said.
Mrs Ward thanked supporters at the gathering, saying every little bit helps.
She appreciates the support of the Hastings community and has vowed to do whatever she can to help the people of Ukraine.
Port Macquarie resident David Peake attended the gathering to stand in support of Ukraine.
"I just feel so sorry for the people that they have to go through this," he said.
Mr Peake donated to the Polish Humanitarian Action which is providing humanitarian aid including food and other forms of support to people who had to leave their homes.
"It is just the human thing to do to donate to try to relieve a tiny bit of suffering that people are going through," he said.
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