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Monday, 29 October 2012
Page: 12404


Mr GARRETT (Kingsford SmithMinister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth) (17:24): I rise with other parliamentary colleagues to speak on the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings and to record again my profound sympathies for all those affected when, at Paddy's Bar and the Sari Club, we saw some 202 people lose their lives, including 88 Australians.

A number of those Australians who lost their lives were people from the eastern suburbs of Sydney, from the electorates of Wentworth and Kingsford Smith. Some 20 or so were from Coogee, Maroubra, Malabar or Matraville. It is appropriate on this 10th anniversary that we pause again and as a parliament reflect on that terrible event, and express strongly our ongoing sympathy and concern for those people's families and friends, and for the survivors, many of whom, as we have just heard, suffered horrific burn injuries.

A number of those who were affected were from the Coogee Dolphins team in my electorate. The home ground is Coogee Oval and the clubhouse, it has to be said, is the Beach Palace hotel at the northern end of Coogee Beach. There is a gathering every year, supported by Randwick City Council, and there is a memorial which was erected on the site. Not only do families and friends from the Coogee Dolphins and others who were impacted by the Bali bombings attend, it has really become a community event which is also attended by many as an expression of the Australian community's sympathy and support for those people.

There are a number of activities that continue to this day that include the Coogee Dolphins. In fact, they will be playing in the 2012 Remembrance Cup in Las Vegas next month to honour the memory of those who were killed in the Bali bombings. In fact, that club has had quite an extensive response to the losses that they suffered. They have a website that has been created in memory of the six young men who were killed in 2002. They have a number of awards that are dedicated to each of those young men. By doing that, they are not only appropriately recognising and honouring the loss, but they are also providing a focus for all of those current members of the club and the young members who come through—not only to recognise what happened and the enormity of the event but to also be able to continue to develop the club, to build those fraternal relationships that are part of Australians gathering together. I am thinking of the Clint Thompson Award, an annual player of the year award; the Adam Howard Shield; the David Mavroudis Shield that kicks off the Dolphins' calendar when they travel down to Wagga to play against David's old club and mates; the Foley Family Shield, in honour of Shane Foley and his father; the Gerard Yeo Award; the Joshua Iliffe Shield. These are the sorts of activities that take place at the club as a result of what they went through after the Bali bombing.

We also have a number of residents from the suburb of Malabar who lost family and friends at that time. That community is a very close-knit one. They gather at Malabar Beach every year as well to honour and to remember their loved ones. It is a touching ceremony that takes place. It is done out of the glare of the media spotlight, as is appropriate, because the fact is that people still very much feel those losses.

I was struck by an article that I saw in the Southern Courier, which was reflecting on the losses that have been occasioned by families. This was a story in the local newspaper. It referred to the loss of David Mavroudis and included remarks by his sister, Jane Elkin, and the way in which she and her family were responding to that loss.

She said that the pain of David's death would stay with her forever, and that 10 years have flown by. She made the point that you never forget a loss like this; there is no closure of grief. But, at the same time, she said that the family cannot be consumed by this grief, that they have to get on and live their lives. She said that they do talk about David all the time—they do not avoid the topic; they keep his memory alive—but they also recognise that life goes on, and they try to affirm life in remembering his death.

The Bali bombings had a profound impact on the Australian community. I think that one of the things that have come with the personal loss, the suffering and the heartache of people is a mature reflection and a tremendous response from the Australian community to not only recognise those that lost their lives in the Bali bombings but also to recognise that our connections with the community in Indonesia, in Bali, and more widely across the region, must be strengthened. By strengthening our connections, by building our relationships across the region, there is much less space for extreme, intolerant views and for the possibility of the terrible kind of terrorism that we saw take place in Bali ever happening again, and we certainly wish that that is never the case.

On that basis, I want to acknowledge, for those people who live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, the profound losses they have suffered, and to recognise that the parliament, as appropriate on the 10th anniversary, is reflecting on that loss and wishes them every comfort and consolation for the future.