Speeches

BALI ATTACKS: 14TH ANNIVERSARY, WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER, 2016

October 12, 2016

DR ANNE ALY MP

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR COWAN

 

ADJOURNMENT DEBATE, BALI ATTACKS: 14TH ANNIVERSARY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2016

 

Today marks 14 years since the tragic Bali bombings that took place in Kuta killing 202 people, among them 88 Australians. Through it was not an attack experienced on our soil, it was an attack on Australia, and it left us all feeling less safe and less secure.

There are many ways to remember the tragedy of 'bom Bali', just as there are many ways that we as a community respond to the scourge of terrorism: perhaps fear, perhaps insecurity, perhaps indiscriminate hatred or, alternatively, with defiance and a resolute determination not to give in to the terrorist's goals of dividing us and setting us against each other. Rather than give oxygen to the evil that spawned this horrendous act of violence, I have come to believe, through my experiences, that the most appropriate and effective response is to remember and acknowledge the victims and survivors of terrorism as we all work towards a world where terrorism is no longer. I say this as someone who has come to know many of the Bali bombing survivors and their families through my research work. In doing this work, I have had the honour of meeting and working with Mr Phil Britten. I must acknowledge today that I also had the honour of meeting Phil's mother and brother, who are here today.

Phil grew up in my electorate of Cowan, and he went to school locally at Greenwood High. At the age of 22, he was a promising AFL player and captain of the Kingsley Football Club, which lost seven of its 13 members in Kuta that night.

Phil's story of survival after the bombing is not just an inspiration but a testimony to the triumph of the human spirit. I asked Phil what he would like me to say today and he responded with this quote:

"The Bali bombings were a tragedy but surviving them was a gift, something I don't ever take for granted. It's that gratitude that fundamentally drives me to help others believe in themselves, make the most of their opportunities and the unique gifts they have been given."

Today, Phil is one of Australia's leading and most sought after speakers on entrepreneurship and innovation. He has gone from being a 60 per cent burns survivor on a disability pension to a self-made millionaire. Through his own life's journey, Phil reminds us that the real triumph over terrorism is our ability to never let terrorism define us. Terrorism may kill and it may maim, but we can never let it destroy us. And we can never forget those we loved and lost.

I met Phil and his wife, Rebecca, in 2011 and was introduced to the Bali Peace Park Association. I became the Western Australia ambassador for the Bali Peace Park Association, whose mission is to establish a memorial peace park on the side of the Sari Club in Kuta.

Fourteen years on from the Bali bombings, the Sari Club site stands abandoned. For many years it was neglected, overgrown with weeds and bordered by a damaged fence. To the unaware, the site is anonymous, and its only relevance is as Kuta's singular carpark amid a sea of concrete and glass, constant traffic, loud music and raucous tourists. Leading up to the anniversary, the site becomes a makeshift memorial, covered in photos of those wholes lives were tragically lost and tragically cut short.

Since its inception in 2008, the Bali Peace Park Association's mission has been to establish a memorial peace park on that site. They have gained bipartisan support for the project and raised some of the funds needed to acquire the land to create that memorial garden. The Bali Peace Park Association has remained committed to pursuing its vision of the peace park against some very challenging odds. With the support of the local community in Bali, including the governor and senator, they have managed to ensure that the site of the bombings has not been developed, despite pressure from the site's landowner. They are also working with a Bali based charity.

Today, we remember those who died in Bali that night. Tonight, in Bali, 88 candles will be lit— (Time expired)