Encounter Youth manage a community based response to the school leavers celebration in Victor Harbor known as the Schoolies Operation. This complex response consists of an extensive range of management strategies which enable Encounter Youth make a positive impact on the community.
Our staff oversee the community responses that make the Schoolies Operation successful through the facilitation of two key working groups.
The Schoolies Operation Stakeholders Group sees government and other community organisations collaborating and working together to ensure the school leavers celebration is managed safely and the local community is not interrupted in their general services. This group also ensures that the operation can be at the forefront of latest research and best practice. Currently the South Australia Police, South Australian Ambulance, Victor Harbor Council, SA Health, Safe Work SA, Metropolitan Fire Service, Country Health SA & St John’s Ambulance are all represented in this group.
Within the Victor Harbor community we facilitate the Schoolies Operation Working Group. The purpose of this community focused group, is to discuss issues relating to the school leavers celebration and how as community we can work together to better the environment and make it a safer place to celebrate. This group is made of local members of the public, council members, emergency services representatives and accommodation providers.
Encounter Youth mobilises over 650 volunteers to serve within the Schoolies Operation each year. We train and equip our volunteers to serve the community through a dynamic range of targeted activities.
The Schoolies Festival is a key aspect to the management of the response. We provide a highly supervised ticketed area for the school leavers to engage in their celebration with the peer support of our volunteers. We continue this interaction in the surrounding streets with volunteers providing free food and activities to encourage the school leavers to arrive and depart the area safely.
We coordinate and manage a bus service which sees more than 30,000 boardings across the Schoolies Operation weekend. This is a powerful strategy to ensure the road safety of South Australian young people. Encounter Youth expands its resources and volunteers to continue the response within accommodation venues who partner with us through the Schoolies Operation Working Group. Our volunteers are located in these venues to continue our support and supervision to enable the school leavers to celebrate safely.