Call for coronial hearing into Adriaan Roodt death on Mt Ainslie during Campbell High excursion

Every so often Chris Roodt climbs the track at Mt Ainslie, looks out across the city and sits quietly, thinking and reflecting.

Part of his thoughts would inevitably turn to how an unremarkable school excursion last year had such a tragic and lasting impact not just on his family, but on the lives of many others.

It has been nine long months since his 17-year-old son Adriaan received serious head injuries on the mountain in an incident involving a heavy log. He was taken to Canberra Hospital but later died of his injuries.

Chris Roodt visits the spot on Mt Ainslie where his son Adriaan suffered fatal head injuries in an accident while on a school excursion almost nine months ago. Picture: Karleen Minney.

Chris Roodt visits the spot on Mt Ainslie where his son Adriaan suffered fatal head injuries in an accident while on a school excursion almost nine months ago. Picture: Karleen Minney.

The year 10 Campbell High School student was on an excursion with his physical education class when the incident occurred.

The police have filed their brief of evidence but the ACT Coroner has advised it is waiting on other information.

Until that it is provided, no decision will be made on whether a public hearing will be convened.

In the ACT, magistrates also preside over all coronial hearings. Despite repeated requests from the Chief Coroner, a dedicated coroner has not been appointed.

In 2017-18, the most recent data available showed the ACT Coroner's Court held a backlog of 178 cases.

The family's grief is compounded by the lack of answers and the lengthy time it has taken for the conclusion of the coronial process.

For families like the Roodts waiting to have their matter heard, the slow machinations of the process deepens concern.

As the months pass, they see importance growing for an independent assessment of what occurred in the Mt Ainslie bushland that day.

In Adriaan's memory, friends of the family liaised with authorities to have a bench installed near where the incident occurred.

The distinctive yellow wood seatback is inset with a small memorial plaque bearing a brief inscription.

A close friend, Lezanne Smith, said that the family was grateful for the widespread support they have received and efforts by the parties involved to keep them informed of the investigation.

"It has been a very difficult time for the family and I know many of Adriaan's friends are still struggling to come to terms with what happened," Ms Smith said.

"This was a young man who was loved and respected.

"A timely, independent assessment of whether there was a lack of sufficient supervision or negligence was involved would be a fitting tribute to Adriaan's memory and would potentially prevent something similar happening to other children."

Adriaan Roodt with his rescue dog Muffin. Photo: Supplied

Adriaan Roodt with his rescue dog Muffin. Photo: Supplied