Schoolies is a rite of passage for school-leavers. In Queensland, young people head for coastal spots the week after finishing school for a week-long celebration away from adult supervision. Schoolies week celebrations tend to include excessive consumption of alcohol, which can end badly and spoil the whole Schoolies party. While Surfers Paradise is the most popular destination, some schoolies head to the Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay and other hot spots. Regardless of the destination, you need to prepare your child so they can enjoy the celebrations safely (and so you can sleep soundly at night and not stress too much). Your child will need practical information so they can safely deal with issues like alcohol, drugs and sex. The Time to Talk website and booklet offers parents ways to influence their teenager’s behaviour and decisions about alcohol and other drugs. The Overseas Drug and Alcohol travel advice: a guide for teenagers offers information about travelling overseas for the Schoolies experience.
Information in this section has been adapted from the following sources:
- Gruenewald, P, 2011, Regulating availability: how access to alcohol affects drinking and problems in youth and adults, Alcohol Research and Health, vol. 34, no. 2, p.p. 248. Available from: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh342/248-256.htm
- Hutton, A & Cusack, L, 2013, The perspectives of young people on their use of alcohol and risks at school leavers festivals, Neonatal, Paediatric and Child Nursing, vol. 16, no.3, p.p.16-20.
- Hutton, A, Cusack, L, Zannettino, L, 2011, Building public policy to support young people in reducing alcohol-related harm when partying at Schoolies Festivals, The Australian Journal of Primary Health vol. 18, no. 2, p.p. 96-100. doi: org/10.1071/PY11067.
- Lubman, D, Droste, N, Pennay, A, Hyder, S, & Mille P. 2014 High rates of alcohol consumption and related harm at schoolies week: A portal study, The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 38, no. 6, p.p. 536–541. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12266.