Wed. Apr 17th, 2024
alert-–-lachlan-cook:-$29,000-a-year-private-school-kilvington-grammar-is-charged-after-boy,-16,-suddenly-died-on-trip-to-vietnamAlert – Lachlan Cook: $29,000-a-year private school Kilvington Grammar is charged after boy, 16, suddenly died on trip to Vietnam

An elite Melbourne private school and a travel company have been charged over the death of a student who fell ill on a school trip and tragically died.

Kilvington Grammar school student, Lachlan Cook, 16, suffered diabetes complications during a trip to Vietnam in September 2019 and later died in a Melbourne hospital.

His death was found to have been preventable by a coroner in December 2023.

WorkSafe on Wednesday said it has charged the school and the travel company, World Challenge Expeditions Pty Ltd over his death.

The fees at Kilvington range up to $29,228-a-year for n students and  $40,640 for foreign students. 

An elite Melbourne private school and a travel company have been charged over the death of  student Lachlan Cook (pictured), who fell ill on a school trip

An elite Melbourne private school and a travel company have been charged over the death of  student Lachlan Cook (pictured), who fell ill on a school trip

READ MORE: n teenage boy’s death from a school trip to Vietnam to be investigated

Lachlan Cook, 16, died at the Royal Children's Hospital (pictured) in Melbourne

Lachlan Cook, 16, died at the Royal Children’s Hospital (pictured) in Melbourne

A court previously heard that Lachlan had been self-managing his type 1 diabetes when he became sick and was taken to hospital 24 hours after first showing symptoms including vomiting and slurred speech. 

He suffered a heart attack and was flown back to the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne, with his life support switched off in October 2019.

World Travel Expeditions has been charged with three counts of failing to ensure that persons other than employees were not exposed to health and safety risks under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The regulator alleges the company failed, so far as was reasonably practicable, to reduce the risk of illness or death to participating students, including those with diabetes.

The school is also facing one charge of failing to ensure that persons other than employees were not exposed to health and safety risks, WorkSafe said.

In a statement, the regulator said ‘WorkSafe alleges the school failed, so far as was reasonably practicable, to reduce the risk of illness or death to diabetic students on school trips’.

‘World Challenge Expeditions Pty Ltd faces three charges of the OHS Act for failing to ensure that persons other than employees were not exposed to health and safety risks.

‘WorkSafe alleges the tour company failed, so far as was reasonably practicable, to reduce the risk of illness or death to participating students, including those with diabetes.’

In December, Coroner Audrey Jamieson found that the alleged failures of the school and the travel company led to Lachlan’s tragic and preventable death.

The two Kilvington teachers on the trip, along with the World Challenge team leader, were not trained to support students with diabetes.

They also did not have access to Lachlan’s diabetes management and action plans.

The 16-year-old was instead expected to monitor his own blood glucose levels and manage his symptoms, even as he became more and more unwell.

The fees at Kilvington (pictured) range up to $29,228-a-year for n students and $40,640 for foreign students

The fees at Kilvington (pictured) range up to $29,228-a-year for n students and $40,640 for foreign students

‘We can only hope that other schools and camp providers learn from our experience,’ Lachlan’s mother Kirsten McMahon told reporters outside court.

The family’s barrister Andrew Woods said the claim that Lachlan was capable of self-managing his diabetes were ‘breathtakingly negligent’.

‘Kilvington came dangerously close to blaming Lachlan and his family rather than their own failings,’ Mr Woods said.

‘Lachlan was a child and he was in the care of adults.’

The case is listed for a hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court on April 30.

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Sasha suffers from a genetic mutation that's robbing her of almost everything she has learned since birth

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