Australian Festival Worker Killed By Falling Branch

A 21-year-old worker helping to set up the site for the Lost Paradise in New South Wales’ Glenworth Valley in Australia was killed a day before the sold-out, three-day “mind-body-soul” event began Dec. 29. 

– Harriet Nixon

Harriet Nixon, a student at Canberra’s Australian National University, was taking a break at 4 p.m. with other workers under a gum tree, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

A 4-metre-long branch snapped off, hitting her on the head and causing head, spinal and shoulder injuries, police said. She was treated by paramedics from NSW Ambulance before being flown by a Careflight helicopter to Westmead Hospital in Sydney. She died the next day. The NSW coroner is preparing report on Nixon’s death. 

Remembered by friends as a high-achieving adventurer, in 2014 Nixon was awarded the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, presented to young people after a series of physical and mental challenges. 

In Nixon’s case, these included a five-night survival camping expedition in Tasmania’s rough terrain and six months working at the emergency ward of the Bowral Hospital, in the NSW Southern Highlands where she grew up. 

While a floral tribute was set up on the spot where she died, the festival continued. The bill included rock and alt-rock bands Sticky Fingers, Gang Of Youths and Big Scary, UK electronica band Hot Chip, UK DJs Hudson Mohawke and Eats Everything, Aussie electronic production duo Flight Facilities and New Zealand dub-reggae seven-piece Fat Freddy’s Drop.