Goodstart acknowledges significant judicial development in Cairns tragedy

Goodstart acknowledges significant judicial development in Cairns tragedy

by Freya Lucas

February 25, 2021

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider, Goodstart Early Learning, has acknowledged the guilty plea entered by former staff member Michael Lewis, who was charged with manslaughter following the tragic loss of a young boy’s life when he was found in a Goodstart bus on 18 February 2020. 

 

Since the time of the incident, Goodstart CEO Julia Davison said, Goodstarters remains deeply affected, with the provider continuing to offer “its deepest sorrow and support to the family of ‘Meeky’,” (the young boy.)

 

“While we acknowledge this significant development in the judicial process, our thoughts are very much with the family of the little boy and the local Cairns community as well as our team of Goodstarters who knew and cared for him,” Ms Davison said.

 

Throughout the entire organisation, the tragedy “continues to resonate” with every Goodstarter, and has been front of mind while Goodstart “put the spotlight on safety” and undertook continuous improvement measures to strengthen the policies and procedures in this space.

 

“In the past 12 months the Edmonton centre has been permanently closed and we have undertaken extensive safety reviews and trialed new technology which has resulted in further improvements to our transport and assurance policies,” Ms Davison outlined. 

 

Goodstart Centres across Australia paused to reflect, and collectively read the organisation’s Safety Commitment to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy last week. 

 

“For the 15,000-strong Goodstart team the Safety Commitment is a reminder of the importance of safety and the fact that it must underpin everything we do, every day in all our centres,” Ms Davison said in closing. 

 

To learn more about the safety reforms undertaken within Goodstart as a result of this tragedy, please see here

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