The South Australia’s school leavers response leads the way in young people’s safety across Australia.
Chief Executive Officer Nigel Knowles says, “Encounter Youth and our 450 volunteers are well prepared to coordinate the 17th annual Schoolies Festival™ with our Principal Partner, the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) to support school leavers to celebrate safely.”
The Encounter Youth volunteers will soon travel to the Fleurieu Peninsula to encourage 6,500 school leavers to positively celebrate the end of an era.
“In preparation for this, we have educated over 15,000 young people and parents in Australian communities this year with our key message to look after themselves and to look after their mates,” Mr. Knowles said.
Encounter Youth is the largest provider of alcohol & other drug education in the state to secondary school students.
“We want school leavers to be alert, informed and empowered to celebrate safely as they head to Schoolies Festival™ and we’re pleased to have educated over 5,000 Year 12’s this year,” Mr. Knowles said.
“Our state should be really proud of the community achievement that SA’s school leavers are more informed and supported than anywhere else in Australia, ” Mr. Knowles added.
“With Encounter Youth’s year round education, large volunteer presence, and free transport made possible by MAC, we’re providing young people with effective tools to navigate this social environment safely.”
Motor Accident Commission General Manager, Road Safety and Strategic Communications, Michael Cornish said MAC was pleased to be Principal Partner of Schoolies Festival™ 2015.
“As part of our partnership, we will again be providing the Free MAC Schoolies Festival™ Bus Service to transport school leavers to and from Victor Harbor, as well as a free shuttle bus service between Goolwa and Encounter Bay,” he said.
“MAC provides for 350 seats to and from Victor Harbor and expects around 30,000 boardings of the shuttle bus service across the weekend,” Mr. Cornish said
“With the free buses running at regular intervals throughout the weekend, we remove the need for a car; this also eliminates the risk of Festival goers driving while impaired by fatigue or alcohol,” he added.
“The Free MAC Schoolies Festival™ Bus Service is an imperative strategy to ensure the success of the entire South Australian Schoolies Operation,” Mr. Knowles said.
Encounter Youth have provided parents with a tailored information sheet so that they can also be informed and prepared for the weekend.
“We recognise that this can be a nervous time for parents, so we want to support them by providing the key information about Schoolies Festival™,” Mr. Knowles said.
The parent information sheet can be downloaded from the Encounter Youth website and includes some helpful tips and topics to discuss with their young person including personal safety strategies and options should something not go to plan.
“We encourage parents to ask their young person what they would do in unlikely circumstances, for example if they were to lose contact with their friends whilst celebrating,” Mr. Knowles advised.
“We’d suggest to school leavers to organise a meeting point with their friends if they were to lose contact and remember the Encounter Youth volunteers are there to support you,” Mr. Knowles said.
School leavers are encouraged to book their Schoolies Festival™ ticket and book their seat on the Free Schoolies Festival™ Bus today.
Schoolies Festival™ attendees can download the Free Schoolies Festival™ App from the App Store or Google Play, which includes a festival map, event and shuttle bus service timetables and road safety tips.