The remarkable thing about Grafton is how unremarkable it is. Sleepy. Verdant farmland. Bridges, churches and pockets of residential homes alongside the winding Clarence River.
This is where Brenton Tarrant grew up. Where one of his mother's closest friends is now in hiding. Where a former boss remembers her employee for his volunteer work with an Aboriginal fitness group. Where a former schoolmate describes him as the "class clown".
Almost two months on from when Tarrant allegedly stormed into two Christchurch mosques and killed 51 Muslim worshippers, some of those in the small New South Wales city are sickened by the notoriety.
"I've had a gutsful of media," said the man behind the fly screen door.
He's a close friend of Tarrant's mother, Sharon. He didn't answer the door straight up – he was watching breaking news of the Sri Lankan bombings, an attack that killed 253 people in churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.
We can't name him. He's scared of retribution for what happened in Christchurch, saying he is a "prisoner" in his own home. The night of the Christchurch attacks, "there were eight to 10 cars waiting for me outside. It was so bad I slept in my car at McDonald's".
He has only just returned home. He wants to be left alone in peace with his dog, carpet snake, porcupine and two screeching galahs he calls "the politicians".
"I bet on the 15th of each month we will be harassed. We've done nothing wrong."
The man met Tarrant a few times and, speaking from his Grafton doorstep, said he believed the Sri Lankan bombings were payback for the killing spree.
He is upset for the victims and their families and added: "All I have to say is turn the mirror the other way, that's how Sharon feels. She is doing it tough."
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A source close to the family said: "Sharon appreciates the kindness and comfort the victims and survivors have given her it really helps".
'I can't make the connection to the person I knew'
In 2009, Tarrant began working as an instructor at Big River Gym. Manager Tracey Gray remembers him from his final years at Grafton High School. She understands he was bullied for being overweight.
"He's not very tall, quite short and stocky.
"He didn't have a big social network to draw from. It's not unusual when people who carry excessive weight get pushed to the outer and is not part of the group that's fun and popular."
She is stunned her former employee is the man who allegedly filmed the Christchurch attack and streamed it online.
"I can't make the connection to the person I knew. I know he's not the only one with misguided ideas and beliefs that are wrong but it was the fact he acted on it.
Gray said the alleged gunman was "dedicated" to health and fitness and trained "obsessively".
"He was the only person at the gym working out on Christmas Day. But he wasn't the kind of person to walk around in muscle T-shirts and show how strong he was, in fact, it was the opposite. He worked out alone. I had to buy him some work shirts and new shoes - he needed a bit of a brush-up. He didn't care much for clothes or the way he looked," said Gray, a mother-of-four.
Tarrant was particular about the provenance of the food he ate - it had to come from the ground or an "animal". Gray remembers his daily diet consisted of raw broccoli, raw beef and rice, and he was opposed to chemicals and anything processed.
"His clients were happy with his training but he needed to pay attention to his hygiene and perhaps have a shower after his training and before he trained clients. That's when he disclosed to me he didn't believe in using washing powder or deodorant. I offered to wash his shirts in vinegar and eucalyptus - all natural stuff."
Tarrant wasn't "bubbly or personable" but reliable and community-minded, working with Aboriginal services and running an Aboriginal fitness group for free.
"He knew I was from New Zealand and had part-Māori children, he had never shown any attitude to other races or held extreme beliefs. We talked about him wanting children."
A town tarred by association
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, was born to a working class family and an "ordinary" life. He looked up to his father Rodney, who worked for the James Hardie group and was a competitive triathlete. Rodney died in 2010 from methsothelioma, a cancer of the lung.
His mother Sharon is an English teacher at Maclean High School, a 50-minute drive across the Tarrant Bridge from Grafton.
Tarrant's sister Lauren is a musician who shares her brother's enthusiasm for the heavy metal band Tool and who last saw her sibling at her birthday.
At Grafton High School, the motto is "Strive to the End". It looks posh. Solid brick. Well-established trees. Tarrant's entire secondary school education was here. As a teenager, he played rugby league for local club the Grafton Ghosts and is remembered by classmate Kara Hickson as the "class clown".
"He was always cracking jokes and being mischievous. He wasn't really interested in education.
"I am confused how somebody who grew up in the same town as me could do something so horrible. He's tarred our town."
Hickson, 28, was reticent to talk, but – like others the Weekend Herald met – expressed her sorrow at what had happened in Christchurch.
"My apologies go out to all New Zealanders, it's a horrible thing to happen and it's a shame it's someone from Australia is allegedly responsible for these deaths. What he has done has affected the town and knowing someone from here could do something as atrocious as that is unimaginable."
Monument of remembrance or underserved recognition?
Tarrant travelled overseas after the death of his father Rodney. He has allegedly bragged about a $500,000 dollar inheritance, an investment in crypto-currency which allowed him to live without having to work and has said it was while in Europe that his political beliefs became real.
The countries he visited ranged widely: North Korea, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece. Most recently he visited Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. In 2018, Tarrant was living in a two-bedroom unit on Somerville St in Dunedin, New Zealand. Quiet. Suburban. Remarkably unremarkable.
Back in Grafton, Australia, there is no mosque for the handful of Muslims (mostly doctors) who live there. But there is a cathedral. Christchurch Cathedral.
Tarrant's home town has a population of 18,000 people whose livelihoods depend on dairy farming, timber, sugar cane and tourism. The tree-lined streets are wide, with compulsory reverse angle parking. There are no lime scooters, only mobility scooters. An infrastructure boom is underway; a new jail is being built to house 1700 inmates and a new bridge – another new bridge – is costing $240 million.
Deputy Mayor Jason Kingsley is a fifth-generation Indian Australian. From his office overlooking the Clarence River, he said "it saddens me to see politics and religion being the source of extremism".
But: "We are not responsible for what happened. I am not here to apologise for what happened . . . this individual does not represent us, he does not represent our values or beliefs. While he grew up here, there is no evidence he was radicalised here."
Kingsley is adamant his town is not racist.
"There is disappointment and anger about what's happened and Grafton is the link to this attack but I don't believe there is an undertow of racism here."
Next month, a delegation from the Clarence Valley Council plans to meet Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and present her with a remembrance book dedicated to victims and survivors of the mosque attacks. There is also talk of placing a monument in Grafton, to mark the massacre. But it's a plan that is polarising this rural Australian community.
Kingsley said: "It's acknowledging what happened. It doesn't have to be a plaque with 50 names on it or the name of the perpetrator. It needs to recognise the lives lost and our connection with Christchurch."
However, Tim Howard, chief of staff at local newspaper the "Daily Examiner" said the monument plans had "largely been rubbished".
"[The attacks] didn't happen here, it's a real risk it could become a shrine to someone we think shouldn't really be remembered. It's the recognition these people crave and if you take it away from them it's a powerful weapon against them."
'He is not one of us'
There is a heightened sense of fear in Grafton, post the Christchurch massacre. A Facebook message last month warned locals to steer clear of the town's mall.
"Someone threatened to go to "Shopping World" to kill 50 people for every person killed in Christchurch, but it was very quickly dismissed as a hoax," Howard said.
And he disputed the "we're not racist" stance of the deputy mayor.
"There is definitely a racist element in this town . . . there are some fairly bigoted views around."
Khaled Sukkarrieh is the chair of the Islamic Council of New South Wales. By phone, he tells the "Weekend Herald" that Islamophobia and the threat of white supremacy is "very real".
"Anyone that looks different or wears a headscarf in the streets is easily identifiable as Muslim and is a target. But I don't believe the people of Grafton are racists or white supremacists just because one of them is like that."
Grafton is in recovery and remains on high alert towards unwanted media. Locals are fed up with the intrusion into their lives but feel deeply sorry for Tarrant's family. Like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, they won't mention the alleged gunman's name.
"He isn't one of us," said a woman with same surname.
"There are Tarrants and Tarrants. We don't know 'that' family. If I was related to him I'd be as disgusted and as horrified as the victims and their families."
Another unrelated Tarrant was "p***ed off" about international media swarming into town like the "local lorikeets swooping in on a feeding frenzy".
A neighbour said he was "fed up" with journalists camped outside his home and being pestered by early calls from reporters in Bulgaria and Asia.
Tarrant grew up in a cute cottage that sits incongruously between two-storey brick houses. His former next door neighbour said she was offered money from Channel 7 to "tell her story".
"I said 'no'. Why would I make money out of someone's pain and misery?
"Brenty used to ride his bike up and down the street with all the other kids. He was a normal kid who played games on the computer. I think when his dad passed away, it affected Brenty - it did. Once he went travelling I think that's when the problems started. I feel so sorry for his mother," she said.
The community is fiercely loyal to Sharon Tarrant and her family – they don't blame her for what's happened. Back at the gym where Tarrant once worked, Tracey Gray says his mum Sharon is "lovely, caring and kind".
Her message from one mother to another: "I ask myself, 'What would my children have to do before I disown them and they no longer exist in this world?' I can't answer that, because as babies all they want is to laugh, play and have my love and attention.
"Remember that time when he was a young boy? When he wanted to laugh and play and have your love and arms around him? That's not the person he is now but that doesn't mean to say that person has disappeared either."