Bali Bombing 10th anniversary commemoration

Today many families and countries around the world will commemorate the 10thAnniversary of the Bali Bombing. Some will have traumatic memories of the event and the loss of loved ones. We all remember the terrible impact of that event on our own nation and its families. Mercifully our own family was not one which suffered any losses but I’d like to acknowledge the impact on all those directly involved.

The Bali Bombing memorial, Kuta. P Cass 2005

One group whose contribution to the welfare of patients tends to be collated into the greater medical service delivery was that by third and fourth year Flinders University Northern Territory Clinical School’sgraduate medical students. They were engaged in routine clinical training at Royal Darwin Hospital, with about a month till final exams were due to be held. Suddenly they were swept up into a major trauma event, assisting in whatever way they possibly could, within their skills.

The site of the bombing. P Cass 2005

The students were seeing badly injured young men and women, often of a similar age to themselves. Experienced medicos like renowned Professor Fiona Wood, or current Director of Trauma at the NCCTRC, Dr David Read, have recently acknowledged the impact on their own wellbeing. What a difficult lesson for these students to learn about care and empathy while maintaining some level of professional reticence. Obviously the students were on the immediate sidelines and did not have the responsibilities that the consultants and other doctors and nursing staff did, but they deserve credit for doing their bit to help in any way possible. Thank you for your contribution, I know some of you found it a difficult process. We were all proud of you then and still are today.

In memory of all those who lost their lives that terrible day and those whose lives were forever changed: the other victims and all their families and friends.

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