Last-minute safe Schoolies tips

It’s that time of the year again.

With Schoolies and Leavers (WA) celebrations about to kick off for 2014, GrogWatch this week provides some last minute tips and advice for anyone helping young people prepare for their trips.

Schoolies is a time to celebrate the end of a young person’s schooling, but it’s important that young people have a fun time, not a nightmare.

Here are some tips you can pass on to other parents or use to discuss Schoolies planning with a young person.

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 between $7,000 and $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.


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.

 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 may not be.
  • 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, and if you’re 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.


Swim safely

  • 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, and always swim in safe locations i.e. between the flags.

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 the admirable Red Frogs volunteers), 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.

Have you ever volunteered with Red Frogs or been involved in helping Schoolies stay safe? Tell us about it!

For more information and tips on staying safe during Schoolies, check out The Other Talk website.