The Queensland Government does not promote participation in Schoolies but seeks to enhance the safety and responsible behaviour of school-leavers at Safer Schoolies locations and to minimise disruption to local communities.
What support will be available for teenagers during Schoolies?
As part of the Safer Schoolies Initiative, a range of safety and support services will be provided at the key Schoolies destinations in Queensland.
Each Safer Schoolies location has its own access requirements, but all require proof of student photo ID to take advantage of the free activities and safety responses being offered. To find out more information visit Access and Identification.
Police, emergency services, security, volunteers and officials will maintain a highly visible presence, providing schoolies with medical assistance, general support and advice.
Is it okay to buy alcohol for my teenager to take to Schoolies?
NO! Providing alcohol to underage children where there is no responsible supervision is not only dangerous, it is illegal.
Penalties are high - get caught providing alcohol to your underage child for consumption in an unsupervised environment and you will face penalties of up to $8800.
Adults must provide responsible supervision to minors when supplying alcohol for consumption in private places such as parties or Schoolies.
Police can seize alcohol that has being recklessly provided to or has the potential to cause harm to minors. Police can also confiscate alcohol in cars and public places, and dispose of alcohol they reasonably suspect is destined for unsupervised consumption by minors.
Police and Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation inspectors will be on the lookout for underage drinkers and adults supplying alcohol to minors during Schoolies.
For more information, visit the "It's no minor offence" website.
What are the major alcohol and drug issues that I should talk about with my teenager?
- Underage drinking or possession of liquor in a public place could result in a fine of up to $4000.
- If your teenager is underage and found in licensed premises, they could be fined up to $4000.
- Drink-spiking can happen - remind your teenager to keep their drink with them at all times and not accept drinks from people they don't know or trust.
- Talk to your teenager about knowing their limits. If they choose to drink alcohol, discuss being responsible. Simple tips for you to share include limiting drinks, knowing when to stop drinking, having water between drinks, eating something, and that only time can make someone sober.
- Illicit drugs have no manufacturing controls. The user can never be sure what they are getting. These types of drugs are extremely dangerous, particularly when mixed with alcohol.
- In Queensland, 17-year-olds convicted of drug offences are tried through the adult court system - drug convictions can affect employment options and the ability to travel overseas.
10 ways to encourage your kids to talk about drugs with you.
1. Be an active part of their lives
Set aside time to spend with your kids. Take an interest in their activities and establish a routine for doing things with them. Spending time as a family is important, like eating together every day. When they go out, ask where they're going or who they'll be with.
2. Listen to your kids
Showing that you're prepared and willing to listen will help your kids feel more comfortable when talking with you. Try not to interrupt them or react in a way that will stop whatever you're discussing. Encourage them to feel comfortable about telling you their problems, and ask for their input on family decisions to show that you value their opinions.
3. Be a role model
When it comes to drugs, the saying 'do as I say, not as I do', does not apply. You can't expect your kids to take your advice if you take drugs yourself. It's important not to underestimate the influence your behaviour has on them, particularly when it comes to alcohol, smoking, or the misuse of medications.
4. Be honest with them
It's natural that you won't necessarily know everything about drugs. So while it's important to be informed, you shouldn't pretend to have answers to every question. Be prepared to say “I don't know, but I'll find out for you”. If you're honest and clear about where you stand, your kids will find it easier to be honest with you.
5. Pick your moment
Make sure you pick the right time to talk about drugs with your kids, by taking advantage of natural opportunities to discuss the issue. This might be when you're all watching TV, or when they're talking about their friends and/or someone at school.
6. Be calm
When it comes to talking about drugs, being calm and rational is important. Do not overreact, ridicule or lecture, as this could make future discussions about drugs more difficult and make your kids more resistant to talking about the issue at all.
7. Avoid conflict
It's difficult to solve a problem when there's a conflict. Try to see your child's point of view while encouraging them to understand yours. If a confrontation does develop, stop the conversation and come back to it when everyone is calmer.
8. Keep talking
Once you've had a discussion about drugs it's important to talk about it again when the need arises. Start talking to your kids about drugs early, and be willing to talk to your kids about the issue at any time.
9. Set clear boundaries
Generally kids expect and appreciate some ground rules. By actively involving them in setting the rules you can encourage them to take more responsibility for sticking to them. Once you've decided on these rules, enforce them, and let your kids know the consequences of breaking them.
Discuss and agree to ways your kids will act if they find themselves in situations where drugs are present. For example, let them know that you'll always collect them from a party or friend’s house if they need you to, whatever the hour.
However, make it absolutely clear that you would rather they didn't put themselves in a situation where they are likely to be exposed to drugs in the first place.
10. Focus on positives
Recognise your kids' good behaviour and emphasise the things they do well. Encourage them to feel good about themselves and let them know that they deserve respect and should also respect themselves.
For more ideas on how you can comfortably talk to your kids about drugs, visit the National Drugs Campaign website or call 1800 250 015.