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Devonport Hillcrest Primary school jumping castle accident one year ceremony

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The north Tasmanian city of Devonport is preparing to face the year anniversary of its darkest day.

December 16 will mark one year since the devastating Hillcrest Primary School jumping castle accident saw the lives of six children taken, and another three local children seriously injured.

For the mother of one of the young souls taken that day, Zane Mellor, a year has passed, and the hurt has subsided none.

Georgie Burt and husband Andrew eloped in September with a photo of smiling young Zane watching over their low-key wedding – a touching symbol that his memory will forever be present in his family’s future.

“Andrew was Zane’s stepdad and was such an important part of his life,” she told

“Zane had already given his blessing to Andrew before he passed for us to marry.”

She says she still struggles to articulate her grief as she tries her best to come to terms with her unimaginable loss.

“It’s hard to put into words how we feel coming up to a year without our beautiful Zane and his dear friends,” she said.

“The grief has not lessened, and it never will. To lose a child is the greatest pain that no human should have to bear.

“To think it has been one year without my son’s smile, my son’s beautiful energy in our home, is just a pain I cannot put into words.”

Ms Burt said she was “eternally grateful” for the community support that hers and the other families had received in the year since the tragedy.

“The community has wrapped their arms around us and I am eternally grateful for that support,” she said.

“I miss my beautiful son Zane, he was courageous, handsome, unquestionably unique, my firstborn son, and my light in the darkest of rooms.

“He was my first love, I will miss him until I see him again.”

On December 16, 2021, the small port city of 26,000 was rocked by tragedy when a jumping castle was blown into the air by strong winds, killing six kids who were celebrating their final days of the school year.

The lives of Zane, 12, and classmates Peter Dodt, 12, Addison Stewart, 11, Jye Sheehan, 12, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, 12, and Chace Harrison, 11, were cut tragically short.

A joint public inquest will be held into the deaths is expected to be held in the first half of 2023.

Tasmania’s Premier Jeremy Rockliff said it is an event the state will “never forget”.

“As we approach the first anniversary of the devastating tragedy that took place at Hillcrest Primary School, we continue to keep the children, their families, and their loved ones in our hearts and minds,” he said.

“Following consultation with the families and the broader community, a commemoration ceremony will be held at Market Square.

“Families, friends and the community are invited to attend the ceremony to formally remember and honour the lives of the six children lost that day.”

The community will have the opportunity to place flowers and messages of support for the victims and their grieving families.

The ceremony will occur at Devonport’s Market Square at 5.30pm on December 15.

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