With terror raging in Israel, we cast our minds back today to another tragic terrorist attack.
21 years ago, 88 Australians lost their lives in the Bali bombings. To this day, the bombings in Bali represent the largest loss of Australian lives from a terrorist incident.
These holidaying Australians were among 202 innocent people from 20 different nations who were murdered by sadists and death worshipers from Jemaah Islamiyah.
Such was the barbarity of the attack, the first suicide bomber’s detonation in Paddy’s Irish Bar drove fleeing survivors towards a second bomb in a van parked outside the Sari Club, which was detonated by another suicide bomber.
Today we remember all the victims of these savage acts. Many of the survivors still bear the injuries or live with the trauma of that terrible evening.
Today, we pay tribute to many others: The strangers who cared for the wounded, especially the Indonesian people. The doctors and nurses who treated those patients airlifted to Australian hospitals and saved lives and treated burn victims. The members of our intelligence community, law enforcement agencies, foreign service and military who responded to the attack and worked with our Indonesian counterparts to ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice.
To those Australians who survived the attacks and the families who lost loved ones: we continue to be inspired by how you are living your lives and your many endeavours and triumphs in spite of your suffering, your loss and your heartbreak.
As I said during the 20th anniversary last year, every day of endurance is a magnificent blow to an odious ideology, every year of courage is the confident roar of freedom in defiance of cowardly evil, and every decade of achievement is a triumph over terrorism.
The Bali Bombings are a reminder that fear and terror will never snuff out the flame of the human spirit.
12 October 2023