Finishing school is an exciting time. There are lots of adventures and new experiences ahead to look forward to. It’s a time to spend with friends and family to celebrate your achievements and the end of an era. Whether you choose to celebrate in the hub of the Gold Coast, at home with your family or overseas, it’s important to stay safe. For many, alcohol is a part of the Schoolies tradition. At the risk of sounding like the fun police, it’s important to consider the harsh reality that things can go drastically wrong. young people schoolies
Your behaviour at Schoolies can affect the rest of your life.

Before you leave for your week away it’s a good idea to think about how you’re going to deal with alcohol. There’s a good chance your friends or people around you will be drinking alcohol, so will you hold off, or will you drink too? While you’re making this decision, keep in mind that drinking laws stay the same during the Schoolies period. Even if it’s legal for you to drink alcohol, pay extra attention to you how much you drink and the behaviors of those around you. It’s all about staying safe and making good decisions.
Alcohol laws stay the same during the Schoolies period.

Are you under 18?
The Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking recommend: For children and young people less than 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Are you 18?
The Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking recommend: On a single occasion of drinking, the risk of alcohol-related injury increases with the amount consumed. Drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury.

Keep in contact
For many of you this will be the first holiday away from the supervision of your parents. When organising your time away, be sure to discuss your plans with your parents. They’ll be genuinely interested in what you’re doing, where you’re going and who you’ll be with.

Respect the broader community
Lots of planning goes into planning Schoolies because everyone wants you to have a good time. Popular Schoolies locations like the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and the Whitsundays plan events which include supervision to keep you safe. They also take measures to prevent your celebrations affecting the people and businesses in the area. Remember that people live and work in the places where you’re partying, so be sure to respect their needs and safety.

Our sources

Information in this section has been adapted from the following sources:
  • 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.