20th annual Safer Schoolies Response launches on the Gold Coast

Published Saturday, 18 November, 2023 at 10:30 AM

Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

  • Safer Schoolies is a Queensland Government safety initiative that aims to support school leavers make good choices during end of school celebrations across the state.
  • The Gold Coast is a popular Schoolies destination, with up to 20,000 school leavers expected to visit from 18 to 24 November 2023.
  • At Surfers Paradise, the Safer Schoolies Response will deliver identification and diversionary activities, as well as vital safety and support services.

Schoolies Week is officially underway on the Gold Coast, with the collection of the first wristband marking the start of the 20th annual Safer Schoolies Response.

The Schoolies Wristband Centre is a core part of the Safer Schoolies Response, where registered Year 12 school leavers can collect their official wristbands to get free and exclusive access to the Schoolies Hub.

The Hub is a dedicated, alcohol and drug-free space for Year 12s to celebrate with their peers, offering free nightly entertainment from 7pm until midnight on Surfers Paradise beach.

There are additional supports available as well, including an integrated health and wellbeing space, where young people in need can get emergency medical assistance and specialist mental health support, Recharge and Chill Out Zones, street patrols and walk home services.

Around 20,000 school leavers are expected to visit the Gold Coast during Queensland Schoolies Week, which runs from today until 24 November.

Quotes attributable to Minister Leeanne Enoch:

“We’re expecting thousands of school leavers through the Schoolies Wristband Centre today, and many more during the week.

“Wristbands are a school leaver’s ticket to free fun with their mates at the Schoolies Hub, which is the safest place for young people to celebrate on the Gold Coast.

“The Hub can only be accessed by genuine 2023 Year 12 school leavers wearing an official Schoolies Hub wristband, which has a data chip personalised to that individual.

“Our message to Year 12 school leavers this week is ‘be safe and watch your mates’.

“The Safer Schoolies Hub volunteers are also here to help. They can walk you home safely and help you get support if you need it.”

 Quotes attributable to Jayne Shallcross, CEO, Rosies (Safer Schoolies Response community partner):

“Rosies got its start in Queensland at Schoolies in 1987, when a group of young people from Victoria came up to help support the school leavers.

“They had such a wonderful experience that Rosies decided to set up outreach services year-round and we have been a part of Schoolies and the Gold Coast community ever since.

“Our volunteers run two zones at Schoolies – Water and Friendship and Rest and Recovery. These zones provide a safe space for school leavers to enjoy some ‘down time’ during the week-long event and provide free water and a friendly chat.

“Many of the students who have participated in Rosies’ Youth Engagement Program throughout the year stop by for a visit, which is always a fantastic surprise for volunteers.”

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Giles, CEO, Lives Lived Well (Safer Schoolies Response community partner):

“As part of the Safer Schoolies Response, Lives Lived Well is operating the Day Space, Welfare Space and Late Night Service, helping ensure there is always a safe and supportive environment for young people in need of wellbeing support.

“The Day Space on Surfers Paradise Esplanade serves as a hub for information and a relaxed environment for school leavers to chill out, the Welfare Space caters to those feeling overwhelmed or in psychological distress, and the Late Night Service offers wellbeing assessments, support and referrals.

“As Schoolies Week kicks off, we encourage school leavers to visit our Day Space to discover the space, get information on Schoolies activities, wristbands, closing times, transportation, and safety messages, and enjoy complimentary water and sunscreen.  

“We encourage school leavers to prioritise their physical and mental health throughout the week and know that we are here to support and guide them toward a memorable and safe celebration.”

Explainer/fast facts and/or further information:

  • Introduced in 2003, the Safer Schoolies response involves diversionary activities to encourage school leavers to celebrate with their peers in an alcohol and drug-free zone, and a range of support services.
  • The Safer Schoolies response is delivered by the Queensland Government in partnership with the City of Gold Coast and community partners.
  • In the months prior to Schoolies Week, the Safer Schoolies team visits schools across South East Queensland to deliver free educational safety sessions aimed at encouraging safe and responsible behaviour among teens.
  • The Safer Schoolies website includes a wide range of resources for teens, parents, educators, residents, businesses and accommodation providers. Visit: www.saferschoolies.qld.gov.au/resources


Media contact – Tim Auguston 0427 090 563