Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Ballarat swimming academy fined $150,000 after student’s life changing diving injury

Ballarat swimming academy fined $150,000 after student’s life changing diving injury
March 26, 2019

A 2016 diving accident that left a student wheelchair bound for life has now seen the owners of the Swim and Survival Academy in Ballarat owners fined $150,000 – an amount which the injured girl’s family says is substantially below what they were expecting.

Milly Yeoman was taking part in school swimming lessons at the Swim and Survival Academy in Ballarat in 2016 when an instructor told her to dive into a pool that was too shallow.

Prosecutor Andrew Palmer said she should have never been told to dive into the shallow pool. She was 46kg heavier and 23cm taller than the average 12-year-old female.

Life Saving Victoria recommends dives should only take place in pools with a depth of two metres, but the pool in question was only 1.2 metres deep.

After the accident she spent nearly 200 days in the Children’s Hospital. Now 14, she faces life in a wheelchair after suffering a broken neck and severe spinal cord injuries in the accident and requires 24-hour care.

Earlier this month the owners of the swim centre, De Kort Enterprises Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the Ballarat County Court for failing to ensure the centre was safe.

ABC News reported that speaking outside court, Milly’s mother Rebecca Yeoman said the family was disappointed with Judge Paul Lacava’s sentence, and were hoping the centre owners would have been fined an amount closer to the maximum allowed penalty of $1.4 million.

Judge Lacava said he took into account the early guilty plea when handing down the sentence.

The incident was captured by cameras inside the swim facility, which was viewed by the judge in private. The Court heard an instructor told Milly to dive into the pool that was 1.2 metres deep. She hit her head on the bottom of the pool and was face down for about 10 seconds before an instructor pulled her up.

Milly said she remembered hitting her head, then everything blacked out.

Defence lawyer Robert O’Neill for the husband and wife directors of De Kort Enterprises, Rob and Julie De Kort, who have run the pool for 17 years, told the Court they accepted responsibility for the accident and sincerely regret what happened to Milly and the severe trauma it caused her family.

The De Korts said there had been about 90,000 dives in the pools at the swim school and they’ve never had a serious incident before this one, and are committed to do anything they can to make sure no such incident takes place in the future.

Earlier this month, WorkSafe Victoria filed charges in the Melbourne Magistrates Court against the Victorian Department of Education and Training and the swimming school over the incident.

They both face charges of breaching Victoria's Occupational Health and Safety Act.

A GoFundMe page set up to help Milly’s family with medical costs has raised $55,000.

Click here to visit the page.

Image: Milly Yeoman after her accident.

Related Articles

8th March 2019 - Victoria’s aquatic peak bodies release Public Pools State of the Sector Report

31st January 2019 - Life Saving Victoria helps vulnerable swimmers with new training initiatives

7th December 2018 - Australian Water Safety council addresses drowning among multicultural communities

21st November 2018 - Swim Australia delivers water safety skills to help children become safer, smarter and stronger

5th November 2018 - Life Saving Victoria launches Safer Public Pools Code of Practice

31st January 2018 - Damning Sydney newspaper report slams safety record of Flip Out trampoline centres

4th May 2017 - Multi million dollar budget funding boost for Victorian water safety initiatives

21st June 2014 - MCEC safety workshop leads the way for Melbourne

15th February 2012 - School sporting injuries masked by lack of data

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology


Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Talk To Us For Independent Advice & Specialised Services We're business people, not sales reps IP HUB is one of Australia’s leading advisors on telecoms for both small businesses and…

read more

Marketing / Technology



Trisley's Hydraulic Services P/L (THS) are a specialised pool company dealing with all aspects of the commercial swimming pool industry, including the installation and servicing from the smallest…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks



NovoFit is an exciting and dynamic new company born from two of Australia’s leading commercial fitness equipment suppliers. NovoFit combines over 45 years of industry expertise, delivering state…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



Vlocker Pty Ltd has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing locker systems worldwide since 1995. Vlocker specialises in providing locker solutions to suit client requirements in…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Safety / Security / Venues


Australian Innovative Systems

Australian Innovative Systems (AISystems) is a multi-award winning, Australian owned leader in the design, production and supply of commercial and residential chlorine generators and water…

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Technology



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business