In the lead up to ‘schoolies’ or ‘leavers’ events it’s a good idea to have The Other Talk with your child and discuss some of the tips below for staying safe and having a good time during the celebrations.
Have a plan for the week
- Keep busy – find out about activities so alcohol doesn’t become the main focus for the celebration. Travel agents now offer schoolies packages with fun activities without alcohol.
- Register as a schoolie – you can get heaps of free stuff, information on activities, discounts and priority entry into venues (see links under further information).
- Book accommodation – make sure you know where you’re staying before leaving home.
- Have enough money – for food, accommodation, activities and to use in an emergency. If you plan to drink, have a budget for alcohol so you don’t run out of money for other things.
Come prepared with ID
- Carry appropriate ID – it can be an 18+ card, keypass, driver’s licence or passport.
- Don’t fake it – carrying a fake ID is against the law and you can be fined.
Think before drinking alcohol
- You don’t have to drink alcohol to have fun – make sure you create good memories at schoolies not bad ones. If you do drink, don’t get drunk.
- Eat and drink water – if you drink alcohol make sure you eat too, and drink water between alcoholic drinks.
- Stay on the right side of the law – giving your friends who are under 18 alcohol is illegal if you don’t have their parent’s consent under secondary supply laws. You can be fined $7,000 to $13,000.
- Take extra care overseas – if you’re drinking alcohol in Indonesia (Bali) or Thailand, avoid cocktails and spirits that can be contaminated with methanol. Stick to bottled beer.
Think before taking drugs
- There’s no way of knowing what you’re taking – it’s impossible to be sure what an illegal drug contains or the strength, so stay safe and say no.
- Drugs affect everyone differently – just because a friend has taken a drug and is OK doesn’t mean it will have the same effect on you.
- Don’t mix drugs – taking different drugs at the same time (including with alcohol, prescription medicine and over-the-counter drugs) can have unpredictable effects and can make it easier to overdose.
- Avoid synthetic drugs – these drugs are not necessarily safe even though they are sometimes sold in shops and online. Early research suggests they may have more unpredictable effects than common illegal drugs.
- Never carry or consume illegal drugs overseas – many countries have tough penalties for people arrested with drugs, including life imprisonment or death.
Look after yourself and your friends
- Be a good friend – don’t leave your mates on their own. Make it easy for them to look after you by sticking with them or letting them know where you’re going.
- Think ahead – organise a safe place to meet in case you get separated from your friends.
- Charge your phone – don’t forget to take your charger and make sure it’s fully charged before going out.
- Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel safe you probably aren’t.
- Avoid risky situations – drugs and alcohol affect your judgement and stop you thinking clearly.
- Say no to violence – report violence or threats of violence to police.
- Keys please – drinking and driving don’t mix, not for you and not for your friends.
- Drink spiking – watch your drinks, if you are unsure if your drink has been spiked, leave it.
- No means no – it’s OK to say no to sex and pressuring someone else into having sex is sexual assault and illegal. But carry condoms in case you decide to have sex.
- Alcohol and swimming don’t mix – don’t swim or do water sports when you’ve been drinking or taking drugs.
- Stay with other people – never swim or surf alone, or at night.
- Swim in safe locations – swim between the flags.
- Slip, slop and slap – when you’re drinking it’s easy to forget to be SunSmart.
Respect the area and environment you’re visiting
- No butts or glass on the beach – use cans and plastic bottles only.
- Clean up after yourself – take rubbish with you and recycle if possible.
Know what to do if you get in trouble
- Ask for help – there are lots of people who can provide on-the-ground help and assistance during schoolies such as police, volunteers (like Red Frogs), and youth workers.
- Learn basic first aid – if a friend is drunk or sick, stay with them. If they want to lie down, put them on their side in case they vomit.
- Call triple zero (000) – if someone passes out or looks like they’re in trouble. Paramedics don’t need to involve the police.
- National schoolies information
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- South Australia
- Red Frogs (national schoolies volunteers)
- Legal advice