A Southern Cross University student who drowned at Duranbah Beach on Christmas Day has been remembered as a popular, well liked student with a flair for performance, poetry and modelling.
SCU vice chancellor Adam Shoemaker said the entire university family paid tribute to Ravneet Singh Gill as a student and member of the Indian community.
‘As a University, we lament Ravneet’s passing and express our sincerest condolences to his loved ones,” Vice Chancellor Shoemaker said.
‘At the same time, we recognise the heroism of the surf lifesavers of Duranbah Beach in Northern NSW, who also rescued seven of Ravneet’s friends.
‘There is no doubt that this is a tragedy for Ravneet’s family and for all of us. However, it could have been far worse had it not been for the efforts of the volunteer lifesavers who did their utmost to save everyone who was swept out to sea.”
VC Shoemaker said Ravneet had been a popular, well-liked and successful student in the School of Business and Tourism at Southern Cross University for the past two-and-a-half years. He had a flair for performance and acting, for reciting poetry and for modelling. He undoubtedly had a very bright future ahead of him.
The University’s Vice President (Global) Monty Singh said members of the university were distraught over the drowning.
‘We not only express our deepest feelings and commiserations to Ravneet’s family but have offered support and counselling to his many friends.”
Southern Cross University had redoubled its efforts to educate all international students in Australia about surf and swimming safety.
‘As of this year we have introduced mandatory water safety training for all students in their country of origin, long before they board a plane for Australia,” said Mr Singh.
‘And we are strong supporters of both Surf Life Saving Australia and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
‘We must do everything possible to prevent such tragedies in the future and to preserve the memory of Ravneet on a daily basis.’