Kate Fitzsimons' sister Nicole, lost her life in an accident overseas and left her family eternally heartbroken. She is pictured with students from Meridan State College, Kesaki Somal, Sam Pylilo and Hashi Aujla.
Kate Fitzsimons' sister Nicole, lost her life in an accident overseas and left her family eternally heartbroken. She is pictured with students from Meridan State College, Kesaki Somal, Sam Pylilo and Hashi Aujla. Patrick Woods

The Schoolies safety warning all parents must read

NOT a day goes by when Kate Fitzsimons' thoughts aren't drawn to her sister Nicole.

She remembers the horror and disbelief at being awake one normal Friday night to the "nightmare" news.

Nicole was just 24 when she was tragically killed while riding a motorbike in Thailand in 2012.

It was meant to be a short carefree ride from dinner back to the hotel.

The couple was turning into the driveway of their hotel when a local rider tried to overtake them from the inside and crashed into them at 80km/h, with Nicole taking the full impact.

Knowing it was a one kilometre trip, the pair opted against using helmets.

And that's what still haunts her younger sister.

"She must have felt invincible," Kate said.

"It was something she would never do in Australia."

 

Kate Fitzsimons travels Australia encouraging young people to travel the world safely. Her 24-year-old sister Nicole was killed in a motorcycle accident while holidaying in Thailand in October 2012.
Photo: Contributed
Kate Fitzsimons travels Australia encouraging young people to travel the world safely. Her 24-year-old sister Nicole was killed in a motorcycle accident while holidaying in Thailand in October 2012. Contributed

Kate says, it is her job to now educate them for their own sake.

She was just 20 when she started the Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation, and has shared her story to more than 70,000 students.

On Tuesday, Kate spoke to Year 12 students from Meridan State College Caloundra and Sunshine Beach State High.

"We have watched what happened to Nicole and it is powerful footage, it just makes you think about safety," she said.

"I've had 17 year olds come up to me crying which tells me I'm on the right track.

"You can't wrap yourself in cotton wool, there is no safety net.

"We have had a pretty horrific time but I took every lesson I could from her death."

 

A 2011 photo of Kate Fitzsimons with her sister Nicole, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in Thailand in October 2012. 
Photo: Contributed
A 2011 photo of Kate Fitzsimons with her sister Nicole, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in Thailand in October 2012. Contributed

Later this week, thousands of school leavers just like the ones she spoke to will embark on various Schoolies trips locally and abroad.

Young adults arguably more "carefree and excited" than Nicole ever was.

But that's why Nicole's story told through Kate has more effect.

"It's something they don't want to hear from Mum and Dad," she said.

"I am just speaking as a broken hearted sister. And they respect that.

"They remember."