Local community

While Schoolies is often referred to as a festival or event, it is essentially a holiday period where Year 12 school leavers book end-of-school holidays in popular tourist destinations.

In Queensland, this results in a large in-flux of typically under-age young people booking their holidays in destinations such as the Gold Coast and Airlie Beach.

While the Queensland Government doesn't promote Schoolies, or encourage young people to book a Schoolies holiday, it is committed to ensuring that the Schoolies holiday period is as safe as possible for school leavers, local residents, businesses and the community in general.

This is achieved through the Safer Schoolies Initiative which provides extensive support to local communities and aims to balance the needs of each of these communities by encouraging young people to engage in safe and responsible behaviour and establishing a network of support through volunteer and accommodation outreach services. 

Elements of the Safer Schoolies Initiative include:

  • a highly visible police presence in Schoolies precincts
  • additional emergency services, local law and liquor licensing officers
  • coordination of local councils, volunteers and community-based organisations
  • a coordinated volunteer and accommodation outreach support program
  • diversionary activities in alcohol and drug fee schoolies-only areas
  • a centralised hotline for feedback
  • an official schoolies website, and
  • information and awareness programs including in-school information sessions and the Be safe and watch your mates communication campaign.

Through the Initiative, the Queensland Government has identified the necessity to proactively anticipate the needs of each community to ensure these strategies which reinforce public safety and personal responsibility are delivered in a considered and coordinated manner.

The needs of each community are continually assess, in partnership with local councils and community organisations, to ensure appropriate strategies continue to be delivered as required.

If you are a local resident and have an interest in the Schoolies period, you may like to consider volunteering.  In excess of 1,000 volunteers participate each year to support school leavers statewide, through a range of volunteer programs.

Gold Coast Schoolies

Information for residents in Surfers Paradise is provided through an annual newsletter in the lead up to the Schoolies holiday period containing important information about the Schoolies Community Safety Response delivered by the Queensland Government. This includes information on road closures, diversionary activities, support services and safety initiatives.


Businesses operating in Schoolies destinations are encouraged to promote positive, responsible and healthy behaviour when promoting their goods and services to school leavers.

During Schoolies it is highly likely that the young people looking to purchase your goods and/or services will be under the age of 18.

Businesses are encouraged to act in a socially responsible manner and ensure that school leavers understand their rights and responsibilities, particular when hiring equipment.