Burns doctor expresses optimism after Bali bombings

FORMER Australian of Year Dr Fiona Wood delivered a speech filled with emotion and optimism in Canberra to mark the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings.

Dr Wood, who treated many of the people badly injured by the blasts that ripped through two Kuta night clubs on October 12, 2002, spoke about the legacy left by those who responded to the tragedy and those who survived.

"I think it's a very appropriate time for us to stand and think and respect that suffering and respect that loss of energy, but also to celebrate what we have ... and go forward with," Dr Wood told those who had gathered in Parliament's Great Hall for the service.

"All Australians, today is the day to look into your heart ... and find in it the strength, the love and the humanity.

"The strength and resilience to face such horror and to keep going knowing there is a bright future ahead when we've seen the future of so many beautiful smiles snuffed away."

The renowned surgeon, best known for her work treating burns patients, said it had been "a privilege to help those lives on that day".

Dr Wood said she drew inspiration from the Bali victims she treated, telling the story of a female triathlete who, after waking from a coma, asked if she would ever walk again.

"I said 'Walk? You will run. You will race'," Dr Wood said.

In 2008 the woman, whose injuries had been "beyond comprehension", beat Dr Wood home in a triathlon.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce addressed the service in Canberra, which was attended by politicians, diplomats, people affected by the event and religious leaders.

She said the Bali attack was "an act of barbarism" that "changed everything".

"That fateful night, the unspeakable horror of terrorism came to our backyard," Ms Bryce said.

She commended the bravery of the people - doctors, nurses, police, defence personnel, consul officials, politicians and civilians - who helped in the aftermath of the bombings.

And she spoke of the heartache felt by those who lost loved ones when the bombs went off inside Paddy's Bar and Sari Club.

"Nothing can ease your burden. We pay tribute to your courage," she said.

Acting Prime Minister Chris Evans and Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop also addressed the service.

Topics:  bali bombing

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