Bali's volcano hurting more than terrorism

Bali's volcanic eruptions have sent more devastating shockwaves through the Indonesian island's economy than two deadly terrorist attacks, says a leading Australian philanthropist.

Bali Children Foundation chief executive Margaret Barry, who was born in Victoria's Gippsland region and has lived in Bali for 27 years, believes the shocking flow-on effects from the active Mt Agung volcano could hurt her charity, which educates almost 4000 young people in rural and remote areas.

"The impact of this is worse than the two bombs I've seen and it's because it is so multi-layered through society," Ms Barry told AAP.

The 2002 attack which claimed the lives of 202 people including 88 Australians was a turning point for Ms Barry, who on Australia Day was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to social welfare organisations assisting children in Bali.

"I saw terror as an issue that related to poverty in Bali and I believe the answer to poverty is education," she said.

But after a 42-year career in the fashion industry and 15 years juggling business and charity, Ms Barry decided she preferred making a difference to making a frock.

She scrapped the rag trade for an organisation which has redrawn the pattern for people like former student Puspa, who now earns about nine times what her family used to through her work in the hospitality industry.

It's not solely tourism where the island is feeling the pinch.

Mt Agung's eruptions have caused displacement and economic disruption in areas such as construction and vital internal remittances.

In anticipation of the inevitable downturn in support from Balinese businesses hit by dwindling visitor numbers and other flow-on effects of the volcano, Ms Barry is urging Australian philanthropic organisations and individuals to support the foundation.

"Support from Australian mums and dads is really great in terms of helping kids get through school and graduate, and we do rely on it," she said.

"Bali is the island with the most unique relationship with Australia so it's even more important to have an educated, stable society there.

"That's the work we're involved in and proven to be good at."

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