Today marks 20 years since the Bali Bombings in which 88 Australians lost their lives with PM Anthony Albanese saying the ache hasn’t dimmed.
202 people were killed on the fateful day that sent shockwaves through Australia and the world.
On October 12, 2002, around 11pm several bombs exploded in the popular nightlife and tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Two suicide bombers and a car bomb manufactured by the Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamist group, wreaked havoc in and around Paddy’s Pub and the Sari Club, killing hundreds and injuring many more.
It remains till this day the biggest terrorist attack on Australian citizens.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attended a service at Coogee where he said that even though many years have passed, Australia cannot and will not forget the heartache of the tragedy.
“We think of them with the ache of knowing they should still be here, their senses filled with everything we feel now,” he said.
“So many futures were stolen that night. We think of every conversation never had, every moment of love never known. We think of those who survived, and those who helped — what they saw that night will never leave them.”
A service was also held at Parliament house where Foreign Minister Penny Wong said, “While an act of terror might shake us, it can’t change us”.
She also met with victims and first responders who helped with the recovery and rescue efforts.
Andrew Csabi, a survivor of the Bali Bombings shared his story with the ABC, detailing the horrific events he went through that night.
“At 10:30pm, we decided to go into the Sari Club. [It] was packed with people and security at the front gates, just as normal,” he said.
He went onto discuss what the explosion felt like.
“It’s like one of those large, six-foot gas cylinders blowing up right next to you, exploding. I had this massive hard thump in my chest and I was just knocked out instantly.
“I can’t understand what goes through your mind there except when I woke up, I was just looking down.
“My left leg, it was at right angles, and my right foot, my toes were missing. So I did the only thing I could do and that was to crawl away from the heat. The whole nightclub was engulfed in flames.”
At one point, Mr Csabi said that he was taken to a hospital where he came to realise that he may not survive.
“I grew up in a Catholic family and I crossed myself. I’d sort of issued myself last rites, said a prayer. Then this lady took my details, I just said ‘I’m right, you can help someone else’. I just thought that that was going to be the end for me.”
But all these years later, after surgeries and intense counselling he said that he tries to focus on the positives.
“I don’t have any malice and anger, I can’t let it into my life, because while I’m trying to do that, [being] angry and resentful, I’m not healing. So very early, I decided that I wasn’t going to entertain those ideas of a lot of revenge [and] hatred.
“I’ve got my life back. And I’m able to really enjoy my life and I’m making every minute count.”