Student dies during school camp

by James Reid24 Feb 2016

A Melbourne high school student died after falling ill while on a school camp in South Australia on Monday night.

The 17-year-old student, who attended Huntingtower School in Mount Waverley, had been camping with about 80 other students at Plumbago Station, located in remote South Australia.

It is understood that paramedics were called after the Year 11 student fell ill, but they were unable to save him.

The camp has now been cancelled and the school group is on its way back to Melbourne.

The school’s principal, Sholto Bowen, provided a statement on the incident to parents on Tuesday, 
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the sad passing of a year 11 student on the camp to Plumbago Station,” he said.
“Our thoughts, sympathies and prayers are with the student's family and friends, and with the students and teachers who were on the camp.
“The camp has been cancelled and the students are returning to Huntingtower. Counselling is being provided for the students and staff, and the wider school community.”


  • by Stephen Walker 24/02/2016 1:21:57 PM

    As much as I understand the complexity of the Principal's role in a school, I can't for the life of me understand how an excursion of this style, to South Australia's outback in mid - February was ever sanctioned. Surely the risk assessment around 40 plus degree days being almost a certainty would be an issue? The fittest of adults rarely plan such events this time of year, and those that do wouldn't take on board someone else's health and safety too willingly.

    Whilst we would often acknowledge some events being tragic accidents, I firmly believe this one shouldn't have had a chance.

  • by parent 24/02/2016 7:45:51 PM

    This surely has to be reviewed. The fact that this is such a remote place and conditions so harsh and that these kids would not all have the fitness and the training to do this should have been weighed in more heavily than the lessons that they will learn. That child will never see adulthood, those parents have lost their child. Bugger the lessons I say, they can be learnt in much safer ways.

  • by Teacher 25/02/2016 9:03:11 PM

    This is a very sad outcome for all concerned. Outdoor Education can be a very important part of a young persons growth as an individual. But it must be very wisely planned for, and remote hiking in extreme heat is something that is a challenge for the most experienced of outdoor adventurers. No doubt a review will take place. But tragically a young life has been lost and all involved changed forever. Deepest condolences to all involved in this tragedy.