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Will You Have A Safe Schoolies Week?

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Congratulations if you're in year 12 you've finished (or nearly finished).

You should be really proud of your efforts and achievements in getting this far. I distinctly remember being in your situation a couple of years ago...The only problem was I had to wait 6 days after my friends finished to complete my final exam...Ouch! Stick with it if you're in this situation... Not long to go!

This year has gone so quick and for many of you, you are now experiencing the just reward and exhilaration from your new found freedom. ...And to this I say...For goodness sakes...Please, please, please be careful!

Each and every school year I worry about what might happen to the students who have just graduated from school. In previous years some students have been involved in major car accidents. Other students have been involved in schoolies week 'accidents' and gotten hurt. I know that it's hard for you to believe that the person behind this email is really a living, breathing, feeling human being...And I have been there.

....And that's the reason why I know you!

So hopefully you will read through and take on board some of these 21 tips devoted to looking after you during schoolies week! Please read through them very carefully and take the advice seriously so you can have a great time at schoolies and come back in one piece.

You or someone you love could be saved from serious harm (personally or financially) by reading through the 21 safe schoolies week tips here:

  1. Respect the area you are visiting, it’s someone’s backyard so look after it.

  2. Know your house and accommodation rules and regulations. Stick to it or face losing your bond. If there are any issues or damage be sure to chat to the manager immediately. Did you know - you could be fined for taking alcohol into your hotel room if the hotel is licensed!

  3. If you are caught underage drinking or in possession of alcohol in a public area you could receive an on the spot.

  4. The police are there to help you and protect you, keep a cool head and listen to their advice/help.

  5. Avoid the sun for long periods of time which will dehydrate you and amplify the effects of intoxication. Wear a hat and sunscreen, cover up when you can and drink lots of water.

  6. Don’t forget to bring any medication that you need and let your friends know where it is and what it is for.

  7. Avoid the water/ocean at night and when intoxicated as you won’t be able to spot rips or an undertow and could easily drown. There were several drownings during schoolies week in 2007. Also, hundreds of spinal injuries occur each year from young people diving into sandbars, the bottom of pools etc. Always check out the depth and conditions before you enter the water.

  8. If you are sexually active, always practice safer sex.

  9. Schoolies volunteers will be on patrol in most popular locations so be sure to spot them (wearing orange vests) and get their support and advice on areas to visit.

  10. Remember that there is safety in numbers, stick together, look out for each other and help stop a friend from making a bad decision such as walking home at night alone.

  11. Work out a plan and a back up plan, just in case you get split up. How will you get home? How much money will you need? Who has the key/spare key?

  12. Slip a $ 20 note into your right shoe, a back pocket or rear section of the wallet– I’ve never lost my wallet but it helped get me home when I ran out of money.

  13. Place the business card/hotel details on a piece of paper or program them into your phone…you would be surprised how easily you can forget particularly on the first night.

  14. Have a designated non-drinker or smart drinker in the group for one night and rotate friends each night. This person needs to co-ordinate looking after the group for the night.

  15. Avoid the “toolies”, older people that join in the schoolies celebrations and may take advantage of an unsuspecting individual or group.

  16. Captain obvious I know but obviously you wouldn’t and shouldn’t accept lifts from someone you don't know or stay at a stranger's place. Nor would you get in a car with a driver who has been drinking or using other drugs.

  17. Have your id on you. If you don’t have a license get a keypass. Having id ensures you can get back into your accommodation.

  18. In an emergency dial triple zero (000) or 112 from a mobile. (program these into your mobile). 112 works from any mobile, even if it has no sim card in it.

  19. If you are drinking alcohol never leave your drink unattended. Drink spiking can and does happen. Also try and avoid allowing strangers to buy you drinks. If you notice any unusual change in friends' behaviour or demeanour report it and get help from police or schoolies week volunteers.

  20. Secure your room and your valuables. Ask if a safe is available in the accommodation or secure the valuables in a locked bag and hidden when you head out for the night.

  21. Have an awesome time! You deserve a relaxing, and enjoyable break and you have the rest of your life ahead of you so take it easy.

A fantastic resource out there which I just learned about is the red frogs schoolies support network - check them out, they are there to help support and care for you during schoolies and throughout australia.

Look after yourself and your friends! Chat to soon when we get to results time...

Your friend,

Heath

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