Published by Shepparton News on November 20, 2013.

This article also appeared in print (click here for Shepparton News print articles)


Newly-graduated Year 12 students from Shepparton will join thousands of others across Australia this weekend as they embark on the holiday that has become a rite of passage — schoolies.

Celebrations will take place from Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road to Cairns in Queensland’s far north.

An increasing number of partygoers are also flocking to Bali, Indonesia.

For Wanganui Park Secondary College students, the place to be is Surfer’s Paradise in Queensland.

A CSIRO study estimates as many as 28000 ‘‘schoolies’’ will arrive there this week.

They predict 20 per cent of the expected 2700 patients presenting to local emergency departments will be schoolies.

Karen Bond has been busy helping daughter Katie Dyer prepare for the trip, ensuring she takes not only clean socks, but also tips and advice to keep her safe.

‘‘I’m hoping Katie’s sensible enough to stay away from drugs because we’ve talked about it; never knowing what you’re going to get if you take something,’’ Mrs Bond said.

‘‘We’ve talked about making sure if you do leave your drink somewhere, don’t feel like you can’t afford to buy another one, just in case it’s been spiked.”

Katie said her friends had discussed potential dangers and had safety plans in place for their trip.

‘‘We’ve got lists of rules, like to lock balcony doors so no stupid things can happen,’’ she said.

‘‘Nobody goes anywhere alone, always watch your drinks. And it’s just common sense to look out for each other.’’

A police school visit had also left them with some good tips, Katie said.

‘‘There’s numbers you can call if there are any problems. There’s a lot of support,’’ she said.

Mrs Bond was confident her daughter would make responsible choices during her time away and hoped there would be no need to call on emergency services.

AuthorToni Brient