Twenty years after the Bali bombings – St John WA remembers

Press Release

This month marks 20 years since the deadly Bali bombings brought terror to Western Australia’s doorstep.

Three bombs detonated in busy nightspots on the holiday island left 202 people dead.

Of those, 88 were Australians.

Because of Perth’s proximity to Bali, local St John crews – along with other vital emergency services – played a key role in treating and transporting patients who were flown to Western Australia for medical assistance.

Royal Perth Hospital became the destination for many patients caught up in the senseless act of terrorism and now, in remembrance of this tragic event, has put together a photographic exhibition along with the WA Museum Boola Bardip.

Remembering the Bali Bombings 20 years on pays tribute to the extraordinary efforts of hospital staff and emergency first responders during that time, highlighting the single-minded focus on the arrival, survival, and rehabilitation of every patient in their care.

Told through photographs from the hospital, alongside video testimonials from survivors and key medical staff, the exhibition reflects on the challenges the hospital faced in dealing with injuries of a magnitude and severity never experienced before.

St John volunteer Don Atkins assisted in the treatment of patients injured in the Bali bombings.

It recalls the outpouring of community support, and illustrates how this event changed the way frontline services respond to mass-casualty incidents.

Attending the opening for St John WA was Acting CEO Antony Smithson, former paramedic Judith Barker, and volunteer Don Atkins.

Judith and Don, along with many St John staff and volunteers who are still with the organisation, played a vital role in the care of critically and seriously injured patients.

The exhibition is open from October 12 until February 12, 2023.

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