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Stabbed Cape York teacher Rachel Middleton's brave vow: 'I want to go back'

Statewide

A young teacher who was victim of an alleged stabbing attack in Lockhart River on the Cape York Peninsula has expressed her intention to return to the community.

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Rachel Middleton, 25, suffered injuries to her face, stomach, arms and legs in the alleged incident on Tuesday night.

Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher said he visited Ms Middleton at Cairns Hospital Wednesday afternoon, before she was discharged.

“She said she wanted to go back home to Lockhart River, but she has been told to take a break,” Cr Butcher said.

“She’s just a lovely girl and she didn’t deserve this.”

Butcher said Middleton was now recuperating in Cairns.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said no-one in their workplace should be subjected to any kind of violence.

“I have asked the Director-General of Education to make personal contact with her [Ms Middleton] today to make sure that she is okay.”

Last financial year in Queensland, 478 Department of Education staff claimed WorkCover compensation for injuries suffered through occupational violence.

The Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) said those numbers were chronically under-reported.

More support for remote community

Classes at Lockhart River State School were being held as normal yesterday.

“The teachers at the school do not want the school to close, they are very, very committed,” Palaszczuk said.

She said senior education principal Michael Hanson and Acting Inspector Duane Amos would be sent to the community to offer support to the teachers and residents.

Additional security officers are also being sent to the community and a full review of teacher residences in Lockhart River has already begun.

The Premier said the review would likely be extended across Cape York, describing it as a “great idea”.

A 26-year-old man has been charged with grievous bodily harm and common assault and has been remanded in custody.

ABC / Renee Cluff

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