Australian student leader dies in mishap


A leader of the Australian Union of Jewish Students died in an apparent climbing accident in Jordan.

David Burnett, 22, was in Petra, the renowned archaeological site of the ancient Nabateans, when a cliff-side path collapsed Tuesday, according to media reports.

Burnett, from Sydney, was on a leadership course in Israel before he traveled to Jordan.

Burnett was the president of the New South Wales branch of the Jewish student union in 2006 and an activist in the Australian Labor Party, working for the election of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during last year’s federal election.

Sam Dastyari, a former NSW Young Labor president, said in a statement that “David worked tirelessly to promote social justice, tolerance and inter-community harmony, particularly on university campuses, during his time as Australian Union of Jewish Students president.

“In addition, David was a passionate advocate for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed Burnett’s death and has offered assistance to the family.

Recommended from JTA