Teacher's school trip to paradise becomes a nightmare
A HERVEY Bay teacher's school trip to a tropical paradise ended in a painful and expensive two-year nightmare.
Geraldine Glass volunteered to attended the week-long Xavier Catholic College end of year excursion in 2016 to Vanuatu, something she had done since 2010.
Employed to teach maths and aquatic studies, she was one of five adults supervising 27 students during the jaunt that was carefully planned before they left Australia.
On the second day in Vanuatu, the adults decided to deviate from the approved itinerary in order to visit the Rentapoa waterfalls and the nearby Blue Lagoon.
When they arrived, they jumped at the chance to try out a swing attraction that required them to climb onto an elevated platform, take hold of a knotted rope, swing out across the water and let go.
Ms Glass injured her shoulder while taking her turn on the swing.
On her return to Australia, she sought worker's compensation, arguing she was hurt while on the job and that her employer - Brisbane Catholic Education - therefore contributed to the injury.
However, the regulator disagreed, ruling she "was on a frolic of her own" and the injury happened outside the bounds of her job.
Ms Glass appealed to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, which handed down its decision this week.
QIRC tribunal member Melinda Knight found Ms Glass's injury did not occur while she was working because her employer did not authorise the trip to the Blue Lagoon and that "permission was neither requested nor granted ... for the school to participate in the rope swing activity."
"Participation in the rope swing activity did not form part of Ms Glass's duties as a teacher, nor was the activity incidental to those duties," Ms Knight said in her judgment.
"I am satisfied it was Ms Glass's voluntary decision to participate in the rope swing activity, which was the significant contributing factor to her shoulder injury."
Ms Glass has been ordered to pay the Workers' Compensation Regulator's costs. - NewsRegional