A close-knit school community has been left reeling after parents and students learned their classmate had tragically drowned in Motor Car Falls, in Kakadu National Park, over the weekend.
A close-knit school community has been left reeling after parents and students learned their classmate had tragically drowned in Motor Car Falls, in Kakadu National Park, over the weekend.

Little girl’s drowning death at Kakadu shocks school community

A CLOSE-knit school community has been left reeling after parents and students learned their classmate had tragically drowned at Kakadu National Park over the weekend.

Students and parents of Nightcliff Primary School were told of six-year-old Edith Tanswell's death on Monday.

In a letter to parents, Nightcliff Primary School principal Jill Finch said counselling was being offered to staff and students.

She asked the school community to respect the family's privacy and to "keep conversations in relation to this incident purely based on the facts and that we give them the necessary time and space to process what is tragic news".

The six-year-old died on Saturday evening after a surge of water and a fast- flowing current swept her away.

She had been swimming with family and friends at Motor Car Falls, a remote waterfall off Gimbat Rd in Kakadu.

It is part of the Yurmikmik Walks and has about a 7.5km walk to access it.

Her death has also shocked the wider community, with those feeling for the family's tragic loss taking to social media to share their condolences.

"Devastating loss my sincerest condolences to the family and friends," one person posted.

An Education Department spokeswoman said Nightcliff Primary School was also providing links to resources that might help parents speak with their children about their peer's death.

"Nightcliff Primary School is extremely connected to the community and will support their students, staff and the school community as required when processing what is truly a tragic incident," the spokeswoman said.

"The school has been in contact with the family and is offering support where they can."

The National Parks acting director has closed the area on behalf of Traditional Owners, staff and the girl's family as a mark of respect.

Closures are not expected to be for long, with a review expected later this week.


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