Libby Swinden - RAAF medico | Bali Bombings

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made

Libby Swinden, a RAAF nurse, was sent to Bali to help the severely injured victims. Libby recalls the selfless nature of the victims


LIZ HAYES: I'm Liz Hayes. For International Women's Day 2019, we recognise the role of women in wartime. women like Libby Swinden, a RAAF nurse who was sent to Bali to help evacuate the seriously injured victims of the 2002 nightclub bombings. More than 200 people lost their lives, including 88 Australians. Libby recalls the selfless nature of some of the victims.

LIBBY SWINDEN: I vividly remember one chap, who was, you know, quite oedematous from the burns and he would have been in an enormous amount of pain, and he refused treatment, he wanted us to look after the others. It was actually the footballer, Jason McCartney, yes, he was very selfless. We talked him into having some morphine but it took a while. It took a lot of encouragement to have some pain relief because he just saw other people coming in, so, he was certainly a very selfless gentleman.

LIZ HAYES: Libby relied heavily on her training to get her through.

LIBBY SWINDEN: You just can't get emotionally involved if you're looking after people. You can feel things, but if those feelings get in the way of being objective, then you're not doing your job. I did stop a number of times and have a look around and swallow a few tears.

LIZ HAYES: This International Women's Day we pay homage to our women in wartime and recognise their role during war and peacekeeping efforts.

Was this page helpful?