Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

Australia in the 2000s

The 2002 Bali bombings

On 12 October 2002, Islamic militant extremists carried out a terrorist attack in Kuta, the tourist district of Bali, an island in the Indonesian archipelago. An initial bomb went off inside Paddy's Bar, and shortly afterwards a car bomb exploded outside on the street where many people had run after the first bomb had detonated. The severity of the bomb left a 1-metre deep crater where it had been detonated.

Human loss was considerable and the hospital was soon overwhelmed with casualties. Of the 202 killed, 88 were Australians, the highest number of any nationality. Many burn victims were kept submerged in local hotel swimming pools, and then flown to special burns units in Perth and Darwin.

Six years later, on 9 November 2008, three men convicted of organising and carrying out the bombings were put to death.

A snapshot of 2008

  • January
    • The United Nations General Assembly chose 2008 to be the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth.

  • February
    • An official apology by the new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, to the Stolen Generations was made the first order of business of the new federal parliament.

  • June
    • Australia ended its combat operations in Iraq, withdrawing approximately 550 troops from the region.

  • July
    • World Youth Day (WYD), the largest youth event in the world, attracted 223,000 pilgrims to the event held in Sydney.

  • September
    • The Global Financial Crisis began having a serious effect on the Australian economy.
    • Quentin Bryce was sworn in as the first female governor-general of Australia.


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