12 October 2012
TEN years on and the memories are still vivid for the man who oversaw the medical recovery of the wounded from the Bali Bombings.
Dr Len Notaras says the horror will never be forgotten.
"It does stay with you," he told Sky News, "It is a very emotional experience for me when I think of it and when I reflect on it."
"I can only think of the pain and the suffering that individuals went through, and the victims of that particular day are still suffering from - whether it be - the burns or other injuries they sustained on the day."
Dr Notaras was in senior management of Royal Darwin Hospital in October 2002, and spearheaded the operation to triage and treat what he described as the "walking wounded", in the Northern Territory, before sending the injured to hospitals across the nation, who were standing by.
The enormity of the operation still staggers the health professional.
"These were injuries consistent with the worst possible form of battle attacks or war, rather than what you would expect to befall a group of innocent holiday makers," Dr Notaras said.
"When you consider that 202 people died, 88 of them Australians, and hundreds others were really badly wounded and injured by the burns.
"It's enormous - the enormity I can't express in a few words."
Dr Notaras said while horrific, there were positive outcomes.
"From those terrible events, a lot of good has come," he said.
"Collaboration, awareness across the nation, the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre literally evolved out of the events of 12th of October 2002."
The centre has the ability to work across the country, with all emergency departments, offices, and agencies.
It has been vital since its establishment - during the Ashmore Reef and Pakistan disasters, and the assassination attempt on East Timor's Jose Ramos-Horta.
The executive director of the trauma centre said the bombings forever changed Australia.
"I think, as Australians, we have grown up," Dr Notaras said.
"We have become more mature, we have lost a degree of innocence as a result of it - we have become less naive in terms of our vulnerability.
"But we still haven't lost that spirit of caring."
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