The executions of the last two Bali Nine members have struck a chord with many Australians. They’re crying out for justice, asking why more wasn’t done sooner, and finding ways to make their voice heard in Indonesia. A group of brave young students are putting economic pressure on the Widodo regime by boycotting travel to Bali until at least November or early December.
Michelle Salgado, of Greenlake Senior College, hoped to follow in her elder sister’s footsteps and relieve the pressures of her HSC year with a group of friends in Bali.
“But like,” said miss Salgado, “I was looking at my Facebook feed, and in between the pictures of Nat on the beach, there was some super tragic stuff happening. I won’t condone or encourage that, and I just can’t envisage tacitly endorsing and economically supporting that culture. Not for six or seven months, depending on my exam timetable.”
The sentiment is shared by many of graduating class of 2015, with swathes of students vowing not to visit Indonesia’s tourist capital until they have finished all of their final exams.
“Me and the boys had plans mate. Drinks and ink in Kuta,” says local sports legend Mitch Henderson, of his planned trip with the Shellharbour Razorbacks AFL team.
“But now, with all that going on, it’s just not something I can be part of. Not at this time of year.”
Henderson says he’ll get a commemorative tattoo of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in their hometown of Sydney, or possibly a razorback in Bali if there is a Groupon or Webjet deal at a convenient time.
“It’s about finding the strength and optimism to say, ‘How can I help to stop these tragedies happening?’ We just have to hope that our actions can put Indonesia on a path to human rights. Ideally by the end of the footy season.”