Australia Indonesia Arts Alliance
Suara Indonesia
Radio Show BayFM
Wed 12-1 pm

Byron Loves Bali

Formed in 2002, Byron Loves Bali, held two major fundraisers on the North Coast of NSW to raise funds for the Indonesian victims of the Bali bomb blasts. Event initiated by a group of Byron Bay residents, the fundraising was auspiced by the AIAA Nth Coast Branch.

The first event was at the Byron Surf Club on 5th November 2002. It featured Greg Sheehan and Skin, Indonesian Drumming Master Efiq Zulfiqar, Gamelan Langen Sari, and Couchfunk and Balinese dance performances by the acclaimed Australian dancer Kerensa and the Gold Coast Balinese Dance Troup.

The second event was the Shakuntala dance drama performance on 3rd May at the A&I hall in Bangalow in 2003. This was also a wonderful and very successful event presented by Kerensa Dewantoro, Gamelan Gin Jaya from Toowoomba

A total of more than AU$16,000 was raised and used to fund 12 targetted support projects.

The AIAA local branch, North Coast NSW, continued to raise money by presenting the Byron Still Loves Bali Concert in 2004, A showcase of beautiful Indonesion arts and collaboration. the finale concert of visiting artist Efen Jaenudin, co-ordinated by Alison pearl.

Money raised were directed to continue support for Bali bomb victims such as Bambang Suwito and Ibu Chusnel.


Sponsored Projects

Go to Byron Loves Bali Project Page to read about the following projects:

Medical supplies to Denpasar Hospital
Victim - Endang Isnanik
Victim - Kadek Ngantina
Victim - Dewa Kadek Rimbawa
Victim - Muhamad Chotib
Victim - Kadek Alit Marganini
Victim - Bpk Sabri
Victim - Bambang Suwito
Orphanage in Tabanan
Education fund
Victim - Ibu Chusnul Chotimah
Victim - Ibu Sumerwati

An account of the November 2002 Fundraiser

The community of the Byron Shire in Australia gathered together to create a fundraising event on Friday the 15th of November. Initially, we held a meeting to discuss what we could do to support Bali during this time. After discussing the issue and reading several emails that we received from Bali, we decided the best thing we could do was try to raise money while also raising awareness. We set out to create beauty from this tragedy and the event that followed in just a few short weeks was a gorgeous display of community support and compassion.

A group of about 12 members of the local community met regularly to work out not only the technicalities of the event, but our intentions for it as well. We wanted to have something that really displayed the close ties that we all feel with Bali and the Indonesian culture. We also knew that we wanted to raise a fair amount of money to contribute to the Bali Hati Organization, And Bali bomb victims who were and need of help.

So, we set to work. The amount of energy within the group and the support from the surrounding community was incredibly heartening. Everyone found their niche and went to it, each performing a vital component in the creation of such a wonderful evening. There were some who gathered an unbelievable amount of donations from generous businesses and residents in the area. Others organized the venue which was donated by Surf Club. Some focused on promotion, while others worked on the sound equipment needed. People just kept coming to donate their time to play music, make food, decorate, do a slide show, manage the stage, be a sound technician, the list goes on and on. As the temptation to mention every single person to help is great, several pages would be needed so we will have to offer a heartfelt general thanks to every person that volunteered, donated, came to the event, bought raffle tickets, or even just rang to express support in the time during the organization of show.

The evening itself was magical. The Surf Club was transformed into a Balinese paradise Coblyn, Byron style, decked out with flowers, palm fronds and colorful fabrics. The night started with Made bringing in a beautiful Balinese offering. This was the perfect start of the evening, and we are so grateful to Made for this. As the offering was brought in, the Byron Shire's own gamelan orchestra Langen Sari began their lovely playing, filling the Surf Club with a marvelous Indonesian ambiance. After their performance, David Lesser captivated the crowd with a heartwarming speech. During the rest of the night, we all enjoyed performances by Tarshito, Musician-in-Residence Efiq Zulfiqar, Couchfunk and Greg Sheehan and Skin. People mingled and danced, in between conversation and absolutely mouth-watering Indonesian cuisine prepared by Ray and his wonderfully hard-working kitchen staff. We were even given the treat of watching acclaimed Australian dancer Kerensa perform a traditional Balinese dance and story. The creativity and beauty was alive and well and the multicultural flavors of Byron Shire came together to create an evening to savour.

Through the generosity of the community on all levels and the hard work of the many volunteers, Byron Loves Bali raised over AUD $10,000. Already over $2000 worth of burn creams purchased in the Byron Shire have been sent to Bali and are currently helping patients in the hospitals. The group is researching what the most effective use of the rest of the money will be. There is a huge influx of money into Bali right now, and we would like to be cautious with the delegation of funds, to assure that it will be directly helping people in need right now.

But we're not done yet. Byron Loves Bali has decided to continue on with the group in our support of Bali. We are planning to coordinate another event in the Byron Shire in February or March of next year, and will be discussing how we can provide continued support to the Indonesians in this time of uncertainty in Bali.

The energy and dedication within the group is amazing. Everyone has been contributing in their own important way. Of course we could not have been so successful without the amazing community support we feel here in Byron. We are also especially grateful for the inspiration we feel from the Indonesian spirit in Bali which helps us to continue on for the sake of working to create and nourish beauty in the wake of a tragedy.

Shakuntala fundraiser May 3rd 2003

Right: Shakuntala Dance Drama Performance 2003 performed by Kerensa Dewantoro and members of the Balinese and Indonesian communities in Queensland and Northern NSW and Gamelan Girl Jaya Toowoomba.

The Convenor of the Byron Loves Bali Group, Martin Adlington writes:

"I would like to thank all concerned with our successful concert 'Shakuntala' held on May 3: sponsors, volunteers, performers and audience. To date we have raised over $12,000 and benefited from the support of over 100 local businesses.

"Our next two projects are: To promote the message that it is safe to return to Bali and that this is, in fact, the best way of supporting the Balinese.

"And to continue with our idea of twinning Byron Bay with the town of Ubud on the island. To this end we hope to make a presentation to Byron Shire Council at the Council meeting on May 20, along with our umbrella organisation the Australia Indonesia Arts Alliance. In this context it would be interesting to know how many businesses in the shire trade with Indonesia.

"If anyone would like to support either of these projects in any way, please contact the AIAA office on; 02 66857258."