Chloe Byron Memorial Gets A MakeoverBondi local Chloe Byron was only 15 when she was killed almost a decade ago. Her life was one of more than 200 taken as a result of the 2002 Bali Bombings. In the years that have passed since the attack, Chloe has become a feature of everyday life for the thousands of people who visit and frequent Bondi Beach, many of whom know her only as the ‘girl with the frangipani in her hair’.
As you walk along the promenade at Bondi, a constellation of graffiti and art stares back at you. This mosaic has become the storybook of the community, immortalising its celebrations, ideas, challenges, tributes and losses in colour. In 2003, Chloe Byron too was immortalised when her family – with the help of local artist Droogie – commemorated her death with a memorial mural painted along the Bondi Sea Wall.
Over the years since it was painted, the Chloe Memorial Mural has become a beloved part of the Bondi landscape. Incorporating a portrait of Chloe, along with elements of beach culture including a view of Bondi Beach, a longboard and frangipani flowers, the mural captures and reflects back elements of the active beach culture that was such an important part of Chloe’s life as she grew up in Bondi.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the Bali Bombings, Waverley Council, in consultation with Chloe’s family, have commissioned Droogie to recreate the mural, which has now become weathered beyond repair. Due to the nature of its position and the environmental elements that it’s exposed to, the concrete wall that supports the mural is currently fractured and in need of restructuring.
Council hopes that the mural’s restoration will continue to remind the community about the tragedy of the bombings and allow the memory of Chloe, and her presence within Bondi, to live on.
The ten year anniversary will also be an occasion to pay tribute to the other 87 Australian lives lost, including Coogee Dolphins players Clint Thompson, Adam Howard, Dave Mavroudis, Shane Foley, Gerard Yeo and Joshua Iliffe, who were touring Bali with their team mates when the attack occurred.