Staying safe at schoolies
Schoolies is coming up so here is some advice for parents and boys. This was popular last year.
I know as parents we all worry about what might happen and what the schoolies might get up to, but keep things in perspective. The media reports on problems, bad behaviour and crime. Having a good time doesn’t make the headlines.
Practical tips for schoolies
- ID is essential, wear it at all times and don’t fake it.
- Budget your money so that you don’t run out of funds.
- Put the address of where you are staying in your phone – it can be difficult to find at night! Keep credit on your phone.
- Eat before or while drinking alcohol (junk food is OK this week). Parents, run through a few simple meals that can be prepared quickly like Spaghetti Bolognese, tacos, toasted sandwiches in the frying pan, etc.
- Simply say ‘no’ to drugs – you have no idea what you are taking. Remember paramedics are there to help you and not to report you, so be honest if you or a friend have used drugs. Mixing drugs and alcohol is dangerous.
Obviously, those caught selling or supplying drugs will be prosecuted.
- Be careful about posting images on social media. Don’t let a photo ruin a future. Police have said that this is their number one concern this year. Charges are most likely to be laid against young people who coerced or forced others to take the indecent images. You could face child pornography charges if the photograph or footage is of someone under the age of 18.
- It’s OK to walk away from confrontation.
- Drink plenty of water – visit the Recharge zones for free water.
- Keep an eye on your drink – never leave it unattended. If you think a friend has had their drink spiked get them medical attention. Don’t leave them alone with a stranger.
- Stay with your mates.
- No means No – unwanted sexual behaviour is a crime.
- If having sex – always use a condom. STI’s are at an all-time high. Alcohol is proven to lower inhibitions and impair judgement. Only ‘yes’ means ‘yes’.
- Be especially careful on a balcony – no balcony hopping/planking.
- Wear sunscreen. Stay safe in the surf. Don’t swim alone, at night or if drunk. Don’t play breath holding games underwater or similar as this has ended in tragedy in the past.
- Don’t drink and drive or get in the car with a drunk driver.
- Avoid getting a tattoo, especially overseas where infection control and quality standards are not enforced.
- Keep your accommodation locked to avoid theft and watch your valuables on the beach.
- Don’t be afraid to call 000 if necessary.
Schoolies venues have wonderful volunteers and professional people to help look after you. Look out for the Red Frog volunteers 1300 557 123 who provide support, pancake breakfasts, a walk home service and of course red frogs! They are now also in Bali and Fiji. Check out their website.
If travelling overseas ensure you have appropriate travel insurance, make copies of your travel documents and know the penalties for breaking the rules in the country you are visiting. Activities like bungee jumping or driving a scooter are not covered but if you participate in other activities under the effects of drugs or alcohol, your cover can be void so check your policy!
Avoid contact with dogs or monkeys in these overseas islands because of the risk of rabies and always seek medical attention early if bitten.
Click here for a Schoolies checklist.
- Drinking in a public place (18 years and over): $130
- Underage drinking or possession of liquor in a public place, even if you’re holding a drink for your friend who is over 18: $391
- Being under 18 and found on licensed premises: $391
- If you’re 18 and you supply alcohol to your underage mates you could face a fine of $10,444
- Buying alcohol over the internet is also illegal if you’re under 18. A maximum court imposed fine of $2,200, or an on-the-spot penalty of $220 applies.
- In Queensland, 17-year-olds have their drug offences determined in the adult court system.
- If you use a friend’s ID you can be fined $391
- If you make and use a fake ID you may be fined $261 on the spot. All fake IDs will be confiscated.
Parents, let your son know that you can be contacted 24 hours a day for any reason and that you will always listen and help. If they feel the reaction will be angry they probably won’t call. Be positive. Tell them to have a fantastic time and return safely!
For more great info check out this link.
Sister Margaret Bates