News

Bali bombing made me a stronger person, says survivor

A BALI bombing survivor who lost two of her friends 10 years ago today says she feels like the luckiest person alive, despite the horrific tragedy.

Sunshine Coast-based motivational speaker Carren Smith said today was 'bittersweet' in that she had lost her best friend but come out of the tragedy a stronger person.

The former accountant had travelled to Bali with two friends to get over the loss of her partner, who had taken his life.

She was in the Sari Club on the first night of her holiday with her friends.

Minutes later, she was on the floor among bodies, surrounded by fire.

She managed to make her way out of the club before being taken to a local medical centre.

Defying local doctors, she boarded a flight to Sydney less than a day after the bombs went off for life-saving surgery to her crushed skull.

Just days later she found out her two friends were not coming home, sending her into a painful battle with depression which lasted about six years.

In an interview today with local radio station Hot 91,  Ms Smith said she believed good had gone out of the tragedy.

"It is a bittersweet day. 10 years ago my life completely changed,'' she said.

"I feel like I'm the luckiest person alive.''

She said that terrible day became a catalyst for her becoming a better, stronger person.

"I'm a big believer in that everything does happen for a reason.

"Nothing is a mistake in this life.''

"... because of that belief I have been able to have the strength to keep going on and doing what I do.''

The Queenslander, who recently featured on a 60 Minutes where she was reunited with her rescuer, now gives motivational talks, inspiring others to rise above what life throws at them.

She admits for herself, the journey is not over yet.

"I feel like it has been a really, really long time (since the bombings).

"It's been a long journey and it's not over yet.

"We don't get over these sorts of things but we do get on with it.''

She said she hoped she could help others to go on to be 'bigger, better and stronger' than what the bombers had thrown at them.

Ms Smith said it had been particularly hard to lose her best friend of nine years.

"She was the kind of friend you told all your deepest darkest secrets to.''

"She was like my right arm.''

"To have lost both of them, it's a difficult question to answer why I'm here and they are not here.

"I will never be able to reconcile that.''

Miss Smith has written a book about her ordeal, Soul Survivor, which she launched in Mooloolaba on Thursday night. Proceeds went to the Peter Hughes Burn Foundation.

Topics:  bali bombing



Vegetarianism mushrooms across NSW

Vegetarian sources of iron are more easily absorbed if you eat them with foods high in vitamin c - add lemon juice to salads, red capsicum, tomatoes, oranges - generally with brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, to help absorption Photo Contributed

Vegetarianism is on the rise in NSW

Suicide Prevention Day at Tweed keeps stigma away

COMMON LINK: Preparing for the World Suicide Prevention Day walk at Jack Evans Boat Harbour are Josh Wilcox, Nicole Astill, and Heavy Hiterz founders Brent Simpson and Yasoda Welsh.

Suicide Prevention Day at Tweed keeps stigma away

Wild weather warning for Tweed, Northern Rivers

The NSW SES Richmond Tweed office has issued a warning urging residents to prepare for wild weather over the next two days.

Batten down the hatches: wild weater predicted

Latest deals and offers

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

You are going to Falls for this music line-up

CONFIRMED: Local artist Bernard Fanning is part of the line up for Falls Festival Byron Bay.

The line-up and ticket purchase details have been announced.

Rio 2016: So how many watched, tweeted it?

Jessica Fox in action during the Rio Games.

Tweets about #Rio2016 were viewed a staggering number of times

Thorsome: Anthony Hopkins in Brisbane

Sir Anthony Hopkins talks with Tom Hiddleston on the set of Thor: Raganok. Photo:  Jess Moller-Nielsen

Premier calls for extra tax relief for big movie makers in Qld

Zumbo crashes TV ratings race as Survivor viewership slips

Gigi Falanga and Adriano Zumbo star in the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

DESSERT show delivers post-Olympics win for Channel 7.

Xbox Onesie: Fashion for lounge lizards unveiled

Would you wear it?

Xbox Australia team launches into fashion field with Xbox Onesie

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep

Investors hit as mining companies rent out vacant homes

Vacancy rates in areas like Gladstone and Mackay hit hard

Toxic? Authorities skip on sinkhole water test

Day two of sink hole drama at Basin Pocket.

INVESTIGATION: No testing on water pumped into Bremer River