Youth Group Confident of Safe Leavers Celebrations Despite Risk of Alcohol Behaviour

A young adult support group is confident school leavers will not be involved in risky behaviour during celebrations despite concerns about them using drugs and alcohol.

Red Frog coordinator Hayden Glass said he believed there would not be many incidents in Western Australia despite the tempted to drink and use drugs.

“The stories that end up on the front page of the newspaper in the lead stories for the nightly news are the one per centers,” Mr Glass said.

“We see 99 per cent of young people going to leavers week, have a great time, they celebrate and enjoy with their friends and they come home in one piece.”

Mr Glass recognised that what happened at leavers celebrations was part of school leavers culture and was considered normal, but views it as risky behaviour.

“It’s young people who are celebrating and excited about the end of year 12 and so there’s a little bit of peer pressure there and obviously and a little bit of experimental behaviour,” he said.

“Leavers or schoolies week is seen a little bit of rites of passage and so sometimes that’s where those rule books can be thrown out the window and young people can experiment a little more than they might in normal everyday life.”

“I guess a lot of that behaviour is, I guess something that is not uncommon to Australian culture with excess drinking, drug experimentation and sometimes acts of violence are involved as well.”

Leavers celebration locations in Dunsborough and Rottnest Island have been organised to allow school leavers to celebrate safely, with entertainment, accommodation and food available.

The events have been made alcohol free as part of the State Government’s leavers harm minimisation strategy.

Mr Glass believed Red Frog had helped school leavers prepare to party safely over its involvement with leavers celebrations over its 17 years and this year would not be different.

“Our teams have spent hours and hours going to 12 thousand year 12 students, actually preparing them for leavers week, so speaking to them about things like decision making, planning how they’re going to party, planning how they’re going to get home safe,” he said.

He advised leavers to take precautions so that they stayed safe.

“Look after your mates,” he said.

“Planning how they’re going to look after their mates, but also how they’re going to be in a safe place as well, so when those situations crop up or they are enticed to do different things, they’ve already made a decision.”

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