Home | Aged Care Royal Commission | St. Basil’s inquest: Families speak out
Former St Basils chairman Kon Kontis appeared before Victoria's coroners court last Thursday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw

St. Basil’s inquest: Families speak out

Heartbroken families have described the grief and anguish they have experienced in the aftermath of the nation’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.

In a victim impact statement, Steven Trimbos apologised to his late parents Ilias and Hrisoula, who both died after contracting the virus in St Basil's Home for the Aged last year.

“I should have broken the doors down,” he told the court.

"I’m sorry you weren’t fed, bathed, given your required medications and just basically not respected by any of the management and governments running the nursing home.

“I will never get over this guilt that I have for what you went through.”

Ilias and Hrisoula Trimbos migrated from Greece to Australia in the 1960s.

The pair raised two sons together and died within seven days of one another.

Trimbos said that he was overtaken with guilt after hearing of what his parents had endured in their final days. 

“I think that forever I’m going to think of them lying in their beds or on the floor calling out for help and no one answering their calls even though they were nearby,” he said.

“I will always remember them now scared, alone and helpless and thinking their sons have let them down.”

Over the past six weeks, Victorian Coroner Judge John Cain has heard from 54 witnesses about how 50 elderly people lost their lives during last years outbreak.

The inquiry has revealed a multitude of failures on behalf of St Basil’s Home for the Aged, the Greek Orthodox Church and the state and federal government. 

Evidence from Vicky Kos and Kon Kontis, who managed St Basil’s during the outbreak, continues to face delays as the pair refuse to testify. 

"On legal advice, I object to giving evidence on the ground that it may tend to incriminate me in relation to an offence under Australian law," Kontis told the court last week.

Both Kontis and Kos have also declined to formally confirm their job titles to the court.

This week, the coroner will decide if he will use his coercive powers to compel the pair to give evidence.

St Basil's Home for the Aged continues to operate and is facing a class-action lawsuit from the families of those who died in 2020.

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