Australia flags at half-mast for flight victims

An Australian national flag and a New South Wales state flag (top) fly at half-mast atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge today. REUTERS/David Gray
An Australian national flag and a New South Wales state flag (top) fly at half-mast atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge today. REUTERS/David Gray
Australian flags will be flown at half-mast across the country in tribute to the 28 Australians who perished in the Malaysia Airlines disaster.

Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday (local time), killing all 298 people on board, including at least 28 Australians.

One of those victims was much-loved Sydney nun Sister Philomene Tiernan.

She worked for more than 30 years as a teacher and director of boarding at Catholic school Kincoppal-Rose Bay, in Sydney's east.

Her local community will hold a special prayer service for Sister Philomene at a Rose Bay church at 9am on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has instructed all Australian government establishments, here and overseas, to fly Australia's flag at half-mast as a mark of respect to the victims.

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