Gladstone students head south to join Schoolies
SCHOOLIES organisers are expecting about 250 Gladstone leavers to hit the Gold Coast from today.
They will join about 25,000 students heading south to join in the end of school ritual.
Queensland Government figures from last year show 252 wristbands were handed out to Gladstone school leavers on the Gold Coast and about the same number is expected this year.
Every year school leavers are swamped with safety messages including "be safe" and "don't drink too much", but this year another campaign is being pushed at them: "Do not let a drunken photo on social media ruin your future."
"You can't control where your images may end up," a Gold Coast Schoolies Community Safety Response spokesman said.
He said other messages included "respect the community" and "it's okay to walk away from a confrontation".
It is expected about 30,000 schoolies will party on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and at Airlie Beach this week.
The State Government expects most will be under 18 years old.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation will be on the hunt for under-age drinkers and those trying to buy alcohol for them.
The office's executive director, Mike Sarquis, said it was not just the Gold Coast where they would be focusing their attention. They will also have officers on the Sunshine Coast and Airlie Beach.
"It is not uncommon for young adults, who are of the legal drinking age, to attempt to purchase drinks for their under-age mates," he said.
"What they are unaware of is that, if caught, they could be fined up to $9108."
Every year Drug ARM Australasia conducts research on the Gold Coast during Schoolies Week.
In 2012 a survey of 1500 leavers found 75% had been drunk, 41% had experienced a hangover and 26% had vomited.
About 20% had passed out and 25% had been injured due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Schoolies Week fun is all in the planning
BEST friends Shannae, Jordan, Rhiannon and Tahni started planning their Schoolies Week two years ago.
The 17-year-old graduates from Tannum Sands State High leave today for the Gold Coast.
It marks the end of a busy week of exams, graduation and formals.
Tahni Cross was jumping out of her skin on her last day of school yesterday at Tannum High.
"We are so keen," she said. "We can't wait for the beach parties, hot boys and non-stop fun."
Shannae Keiler, who wants to be a make-up artist, will join seven of her girlfriends at the Chevron apartments on Cavill Avenue in Surfers Paradise.
It's the ultimate girl's week. We are looking forward to a bit of freedom and starting life on our own," she said.
"I am keen to have a girl's week. Boys aren't on our radar."
The girls said they were prepared for Schoolies Week, and knew it would be important to stay safe.
"We won't be having any room parties," Jordan-Lea Burgess said.
"We will stick together and lock the balcony door."
"We also wrote a list of all the essentials," Shannae laughed.
The girls, who have been friends since Year 8, are looking forward to making memories that will last forever.
"We are friends forevs, like a big family," Rhiannon said.
- About 250 Gladstone students heading to the Gold Coast
- About 50,000 Year 12s completing exams in Qld
- 25,000 will party on the Gold Coast
- Each schoolie spends $1500 on average for the week
- Those who supply alcohol to under-age drinkers could face a $9108 fine