Address By

Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia


Commemoration Ceremony for the 10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings

Great Hall, Parliament House

12 October 2012

Friends, families, loved ones

As the warmth of morning sun announces a new day in Bali, we come together.

As waves wash ashore at Kuta, cleansing yesterday’s footprints from the sand, we comfort each other.

As starlings swoop above the cliffs of the commemorative site at GWK, we gather as one.

People from across Australia join in solidarity and support, in love and friendship – to remember.

Fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, grandparents, cousins, colleagues, lovers, mates.

The unbearable pain and grief that pierced our hearts 10 years ago.

We remember futures cut short, potential snatched away in a heartbeat, lives left shattered.

That fateful night the unspeakable horror of terrorism came to our backyard.

As 88 Australians went about enjoying a peaceful holiday as they have done on thousands of nights, footy teams, families, cobbers - an act of barbarism changed everything.

202 precious lives lost, hundreds injured.

All of us left changed forever.

At memorials in Bali and all over the world, loved ones run their fingers across indented names of those lost to us.

They are etched into our memories.

In the Peace Park on the former site of the Sari Club; at the memorial where Paddy’s Pub stood; in Melbourne in Lincoln Square, where today the 88 fountains fall silent; in Perth on the Ridge of Mount Eliza in Kings Park, the sun’s rays streaming towards Bali; on the Gold Coast at Allambe Memorial Park; on the northern side of Coogee Beach; in Sutherland Shire; in Ulladulla; in London and Hong Kong; wherever Australians gather today, we remember.

In Canberra, we meet at the heart of our nation to reflect and give thanks.

We share countless stories of bravery and devotion from that night.

Stories of selflessness and of ultimate sacrifice.

Locals, strangers, shopkeepers, motorbike taxi drivers, hawkers, all drawn into this hellish plot hatched of twisted minds.

I want to pay tribute today to the heroes.

To every person who came to help fellow human beings in their darkest hour.

I want to thank the doctors and nurses, the police, forensics staff, the ADF, Australian consular officials who for weeks afterwards became the lifeline for many.

One consular officer told me it was the greatest privilege of his career – to be able to hold out a hand of friendship to victims and survivors and to look after those who died; to share their tears, anger, frustration and to grieve together, and to honour them.

Promises made, and promises kept.

How proud we can be of all of those who played their part.

It was a time that changed them.

Indeed all of us.

To those who carry the heavy weight of loss, we are mindful of the grief you bear.

We pay tribute to your courage.

Nothing can ease your burden.

But our Australian spirit is strong. It is resilient.

We have shown ourselves that in times of tragedy, we can come together and unite.

Time and time again Australians rise to the challenge.

We have turned our face to our foes.

We have shown through our words and our deeds, that we cannot be beaten.

Australia continues to play its part in global efforts to defeat terrorism in all its forms.

The world is a safer place for it.

This morning the waft of frangipani and wattle bloom connects our two peoples and places.

We owe much to the delightful Balinese people and their special place that we love, which entwines us.

Today we share the familiar sights and sounds of Bali once more, and together, we remember.