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Once a hotbed of sometimes ferocious alcohol-fuelled frivolity, Schoolies on the Gold Coast has taken a more wholesome turn with revellers invoking responsibility over recklessness.
- 20,000 high school graduates are attending the Gold Coast event
- Thousands of volunteers, police and paramedics are there to help
- Organisers says teenagers are behaving better and drinking less
More than 20,000 school leavers have descended on Surfers Paradise for the first weekend of Australia’s largest Schoolies celebration.
On the first night, 41 partygoers presented to the Queensland Ambulance Service’s Emergency Treatment Centre at Surfers, four of whom were taken to hospital for further monitoring.
Queensland Police, who in years gone by had to break up street brawls in Surfers’ infamous Cavill Avenue, reported no major incidents on night one.
Gold Coasters Tanner Johnson, Shayla Wood, and Ella Williamson said they were preparing to be “tired” after the festivities but writing themselves off was not part of their plan.
“We’ll go to the beach parties, go to the clubs,” Ms Williamson said.
“[But] I want to remember it, so you can’t go too hard,” Ms Wood said.
Mr Johnson said he was not planning to drink at all.
“I’m being my friends’ Uber driver,” he said.
“I’m working a bit next week, so I’ll probably just enjoy the weekend and then go [home].”
Theirs is a story that organisers and authorities believe is part of a growing trend.
“We’re seeing less and less high-level drunk behaviours at school-leavers events,” said Justin Payne, Queensland Ambulance Service’s senior operations supervisor.
Doctor-in-charge of the Emergency Treatment Centre Jeff Hooper agreed and said fewer Schoolies were presenting to the centre each year.
“We’ve run this service for nearly 20 years now and over that period generally we think the behaviour and the amount of alcohol use has improved,” Dr Hooper said.
“We’re seeing fewer patients than we ever have.”
Louisa Leach and Erini Mamacus travelled south from Brisbane to attend Schoolies on the Glitter Strip and said they were looking forward to a relaxing week, rather than one spent nursing repeated hangovers.
“We want to spend a lot of time with our friends,” Ms Leach said.
“While having as much fun as possible,” Ms Mamacus added.
Brisbane mother Kathryn Hopgood dropped one of her twin daughters at Schoolies on the Gold Coast, while her other daughter elected to travel to Airlie Beach to celebrate.
Ms Hopgood said she was confident her daughters, in their respective Schoolies locations, would be responsible and wouldn’t drink themselves into trouble.
“We talked about it on the way here, just to watch out for any issues and look out for each other,” Ms Hopgood said.
“They are all together and having lots of fun and they don’t have their parents to tell them exactly what they should be doing, so it’s important for them to be safe.”
Of course, not every school leaver is ditching the booze — the ABC spoke to several groups who had stocked up on alcohol in anticipation of a big week ahead.
Acting Inspector Peter Miles said parents could rest assured that an extra 123 police officers were on hand across the week-long celebration to keep Schoolies safe.
But he also urged partygoers to look out for each other.
“We’ve all got that one friend, so look out for them, tell them to pull their head in, tell them that they’re a bit loose and they need to wind it back a bit.
“We don’t want skylarking to become a tragic incident and it so easily can especially when alcohol is involved.”
We update regularly World Latest Breaking Business News here. We update 2023-11-19 07:14:39 this news story from official website – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-19/gold-coast-schoolies-no-major-incidents-2023/103122356.”
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