In 1999, Encounter Youth began facilitating the Schoolies Operation and this quickly became Australia’s safest school leavers celebration. Bringing together over 550 volunteers from more than 45 church based teams, the Schoolies Operation is a collaborative community led response.
The Encounter Youth volunteers known as the Green Team are the heartbeat of the Schoolies Operation and it couldn’t continue without the dedication, generosity and passion for their role.
The way we manage all of our incredible volunteers is to divide the Schoolies Operation into four zones. Each zone is dynamic and provides unique opportunities to serve.
The Festival Zone
is where volunteers directly manage the Schoolies Festival™, creating a positive celebration. They manage venues and keep an eye on school leavers for safety and assistance, keep the toilets clean and even roam around picking up rubbish.
The Bus Zone
has teams organised onto the various bus routes. Volunteers interact and support school leavers during their journeys between their accommodation sites and the Schoolies Festival™. They manage the queues, clean the buses between runs and work hard to impact the crowds in a positive manner.
The Welcome Zone
is set up in various spaces outside the Festival site within the surrounding streets. Volunteers engage with school leavers to welcome them into the positive atmosphere that is the Schoolies Festival™. In roaming or stationary groups, volunteers provide interactive activities, manage the roadblocks, give out free food and plenty of high fives.
The Accommodation Zone
sees volunteers stationed around the clock in accommodation sites that we partner with. School leavers are invited to hang out with volunteers in safe spaces often provided in form of marquees with couches, video games, movies and other chill out activities. Sausages, pancakes, free water and hot drinks are made available in these spaces. Volunteers will also play sports with school leavers and roam around the accommodation sites to interact and provide a positive and safe presence.
Some tasks are not always fun but with servant hearts our volunteers take up their roles and serve with passion and excitement that comes from their Christian faith.
So you want to volunteer?
Excellent! What happens next:
Contact your church leaders and find out if there is currently a team serving from your community.
There is? Great! Approach your Team Leader and let them know that you’re keen as a bean to be involved. They will lead you through the entire process of being a volunteer from how and when to apply, to planning for your team’s role, attending training and supporting you in the lead up and over the weekend.
Your community doesn’t have a team yet? No worries, speak with your church leaders about the possibility of starting up a team – if they are willing to encourage and endorse one and if so who would lead it. Then contact the Project & Volunteer Managers with your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.