It’s good news for worried parents as emergency services report a positive trend across Schoolies 2021. According to ABC News, authorities report a 50 per cent decrease in medical incidents among celebrating school-leavers.
As the first week of Schoolies wraps up, police say the festivities have been “generally pleasing” compared to previous years. After 2020 saw graduates missing out on much of their post-graduation festivities due to COVID-19, this year’s school-leavers have been eager to take part.
Some of the most popular Australia-based Schoolies events are in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast.
Schoolies are a two-week long celebration for high school graduates across Australia. Among the 17 and 18-year-olds partying and celebrating, high alcohol consumption and recklessness is frequent and expected. It’s a rite of passage for excited teenagers that too often goes wrong. However, emergency services say this year has seen an increase in compliant and well-behaved teenagers enjoying their weeks with relatively few incidents.
According to 2017 data reported by Unleashed, roughly one quarter of school-leavers injured themselves while celebrating, with another quarter reporting they threw up from excessive drinking.
Monash University’s research found that over half of males and 40 per cent of females reported getting drunk every night of Schoolies. With excessive alcohol consumption being so integral to the culture of Schoolies, organisers and emergency services keep a close eye on graduates to reduce harm and injury.
This year, though, emergency services say graduates have made their job a little easier.
“Looking back at the last five years…the figures so far reveal that this cohort of schoolies are actually the best,” Gold Coast’s Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman told ABC.
Police told ABC that most arrests across the weekend had been minor, such as public nuisance issues. No school leavers on the Gold Coast had yet been fined for liquor offences.
The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) also reports a 50 per cent reduction in the number of school-leavers needing emergency treatment.
“We’re finding this is probably one of the best cohorts that we’ve had to deal with during a schoolies response,” QAS’ Justin Payne said.
“This year’s school-leavers aren’t as drunk as they used to be.”
Officials and volunteers have reported largely positive or respectful interactions with the excited school-leavers. As Schoolies enters its second week for many graduates across the country, it is hoped the trend will keep up.