Information for Parents
Since 1999 Encounter Youth, a not-for-profit charitable organisation, has been managing Schoolies Festival™ at Victor Harbor, South Australia. Schoolies Festival™ is part of an extensive Operation that we coordinate to enable young people to celebrate safely, while minimising the impact on the local Victor Harbor community.
Over 450 Encounter Youth Green Team Volunteers are actively involved throughout the operation. The Green Team volunteers come from Christian communities across South Australia. They are committed to making the Year 12s Schoolies experience as fun and safe as possible.
Let us know how your young people are celebrating schoolies in 2023 by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schoolies Festival™ Toolkit
Preparation tips before your young person leaves for Schoolies 2023
- Check out our website so you and your young person are informed about where to go, what they can do and the support services in place if they need to seek help.
- Before talking with your young person consider preparing what topics you would like to discuss and how you would like to approach each area. If there is more than one parent it is always important to have a unified front on every topic.
- Have the discussion with your young person. Encourage your young person with the positive decisions they have already made about planning for the event. Remember, the majority of Year 12 students who celebrate Schoolies make great choices, have a great time and get home safely!
Some questions to consider As A parent:
“What contact would I like to have with my young person over the weekend?”
- Consider organising a routine time and communication method with your young person over the weekend. Schoolies Festival™ is open from 7:00pm–2:00am each night so it might be best to schedule your contact outside of that time e.g. maybe during the day between 11:00am and 2:00pm.
- If you are unable to make contact, try not to panic. Remember phone coverage can be poor at mass gatherings. This includes phone data.
- Consider having the numbers of your young person’s friends as an option to use if you can’t get in contact with your young person. You may also think about obtaining the phone numbers of the friend’s parents to contact them in a time of need.
- Social media may also be another great communication tool.
“How am I going to effectively provide safety advice to my young person?”
- Remember your communication style is important. Encourage your young person to tell you what they have already planned, rather than assuming what they have not planned.
- Try and avoid statements like ‘Don’t do anything stupid’, ‘Why don’t you…?’ and ‘Do you realise…?’
“How am I going to assist my young person to develop a backup plan if the need arises?”
- The most important thing is to reassure your young person that you can be contacted no matter what the situation. You may want to discuss another person that they could contact e.g. a family friend or sibling.
- Discuss the options if your young person were to lose contact with their friends. You could suggest they organise a meeting point for their friends at the Festival (e.g. meet at the Cloakroom each night at 1:00am)
- Ensure they know the name and address of their accommodation.
“How can I help my young person stay safe on the road during Schoolies Festival™?”
- If your young person chooses to drive to Schoolies Festival™, consider allowing them to take the safest car available to them. For more information about car safety ratings for both new and used cars visit mylicence.sa.gov.au/safecars.
- If you choose to drive your young person to Schoolies Festival™, remember that there will be a lot of young drivers out on the roads, some of whom may have limited driving experience. It’s important to remain vigilant and take extra care.
- The roads will be extra busy during the Schoolies Festival™ weekend so remind your young person to take their time driving down and watch the road, both when they are driving and walking around during the weekend.
- If your young person chooses to drive, remind them that the P1 and P2 restrictions are still in place and must be adhered to in all circumstances. For details go to P1 licence rules and P2 licence rules.