Regardless of where or how you choose to celebrate all of your hard work with your friends, it's important that you remember to make good choices by acting responsibly and with respect.

Take the time to make sure you're aware of the relevant laws, as well as your rights.

The law

No matter where or how you chose to celebrate your end of schooling, there will be many police and compliance officers (often in plain clothing) out and about. At any time, they can ask to look inside your bag, sniff your drink bottles or ask you to present your photo ID.

One poor decision can affect your future. If you're convicted of a criminal offence, you could have difficulty getting a job and it may even prevent you from being allowed to travel overseas.

Remember, good choices make great futures.

*N.B. The above video was filmed prior to current COVID-19 restrictions. Whilst it may refer to Schoolies, the general content and safety messaging still applies in everyday life and beyond graduation.

Alcohol and the law

You might know that it's against the law to drink alcohol under the age of 18 but did you know it's illegal to drink in public no matter what your age?! It's also an offence to be drunk in a public place. These are the laws for all of Queensland – at all times.

Every year, hundreds of fines are handed out and school leavers taken in to custody and ultimately, some futures ruined. Don't become a statistic.

What are the laws in Queensland?

  • You must be over 18 years of age to enter a licensed venue or purchase alcohol.
  • It’s against the law for any person to drink alcohol in a public place.
  • It’s an offence to be drunk in a public place.
  • It’s against the law for a person under 18 to buy alcohol.
  • It’s an offence to supply alcohol to someone under the age of 18.
  • If you’re under 18, you can’t carry alcohol in public (even if you’re holding it for a mate whilst he does up his shoe lace).

You can be fined in Queensland for:

  • drinking in a public place : $400* (under 18) or $133* (18 years and over)
  • underage drinking or possession of liquor in a public place, even if you're holding a drink for your friend who is over 18: $400*
  • being under 18 and found on licensed premises: $400*
  • being under 18 and found drinking or just holding a drink for a friend on licensed premises $400*

*or you could be taken to court and fined for each offence you commit.

Fines correct at time of publishing however they may increase.

If you’re 18 and you supply alcohol to your underage mates, you could face a fine of $1,067 (with a maximum up to $10,676).

You can read more about on-the-spot fines and what to do if you receive an on-the-spot fine.

Drugs and the law

Possession and the trafficking of illicit drugs is illegal. Police can search you for illegal drugs if they have cause to suspect that you have some in your possession. In Queensland, the laws and penalties surrounding drugs can be harsh. If you are charged with an offence, it’s bound to affect your chances of travelling overseas, future job prospects as well as negatively impact relationships with your family and friends.

Avoiding drugs is the best way to protect your future and to ensure your of end of year celebrations are memorable for all the right reasons.

What are the laws in Queensland?

  • Possessing or supplying others with illegal drugs is a serious criminal offence.
  • Possessing a device that is used for smoking cannabis is an offence (e.g. bong, pipe or needle).
  • Selling or supplying tobacco to someone under the age of 18 years is an offence.
  • Driving or being in charge of a vehicle under the influence of drugs is illegal.
  • It is an offence to give someone prescription drugs other than as prescribed.

If you are caught committing a drug offence, you will be dealt with in the criminal justice system.

Distributing intimate images

It is a crime in Queensland to share an intimate image of someone without their consent in a way that could reasonably cause distress to the other person. An intimate image is defined under the new laws, and includes a photograph or video of a person or digitally altered images.

While often referred to as ‘revenge porn’, sharing an intimate image without consent covers many behaviours and they are not always motivated by revenge.

It doesn’t matter if an image was originally taken with consent. If someone gave you the image or gave you permission to see the image, it does not mean they have agreed to anyone else seeing it.

If someone sends you an intimate image, don’t show it to anyone else without their willing consent—you cannot pressure them into agreeing.

Under 16s

If the person in the image is under 16, the law says it is never ok to share that image.

Even if the person has told you it’s ok to share, Queensland laws say a person under 16 cannot consent to an intimate image of them being shared.


The maximum penalty for sharing or threatening to share an intimate image without consent is 3 years in prison.

The courts can also order people who share the images—or even threaten to share the images—to take reasonable action to remove, destroy or delete them.

If someone has shared or is threatening to share an intimate image of you or someone you know, you can:


Don't fake it! It's illegal to use someone else's ID or make a fake ID. If caught, you face being taken to court, your ID being confiscated and fined on the spot.

  • If you use a friend's ID you may be fined $400* on the spot.
  • If you lend your ID to a friend you may be fined up to $667* and the ID may be confiscated on the spot.
  • If you deface an ID to use it you may be fined $533* on the spot.
  • If you falsely represent yourself as being over 18, you may be fined $400* on the spot
  • If you make and use a false ID you may be fined on the spot. Minors will be fined $266* and adults will be fined $533*.

*or you could be taken to court and fined for each offence you commit.

Fines correct at time of publishing however they may increase.

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Whilst celebrating is all about having fun, it's important to remember to make good choices by acting responsibly and with respect.

Respecting the local community

Regardless of how or where you chose to celebrate your graduation, it’s important to remember that holiday locations are also areas where other people live, work and play.

  • Be mindful that permanent residents and other holiday makers may also be staying in your accommodation.
  • Keep the noise down – especially after hours and when accessing common areas e.g. lifts, foyers.
  • Respect hotel managers and their rules.
  • When visiting local shops, restaurants and venues, be aware that some may have conditions of entry displayed. Always be polite and courteous and abide by entry conditions.
  • Public spaces are for everyone to enjoy. Be mindful of your language, only urinate in bathrooms and don't leave your rubbish behind.

Do not obstruct the police and emergency services in any way in the execution of their duties.

Respect yourself and your peers

Value your friendships by showing respect to others.

  • Have a conversation with your mates about your values, morals and acceptable behaviour to make sure that you’re all on the same page with your celebrations.
  • Everyone has the right to feel safe and have a good time. Keep your hands to yourself and respect others.
  • Respect the rights of others to say NO.
  • Don’t do something that you normally wouldn't do just because your peers are doing it.
  • Sexual assault is a crime – only yes means yes!
  • Respect the cultures, diversity, beliefs, opinions and decisions of others (even if you don't agree).
  • Don't make one decision or wrong choice now that could possibly ruin your future.
  • If you're concerned about a friend's choices or behaviour, try to talk to them directly as it's never a good idea to talk about them behind their back.
  • Always ask permission before uploading and/or tagging a photo or video of others to social media.
  • Remember that everyone has the right to an environment free of fear, harassment, racism and exploitation.

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If you’re choosing to celebrate your end of schooling away from home, we recommend that you carefully consider your accommodation, who you are staying with and whether the decision to go away with your mates is the right one for you and your family.

If you do decide to book accommodation, be mindful that, you’re entering in to a legal contract with your accommodation provider – as are all of your friends who are staying with you.

Take the time to read and understand your responsibilities (under the booking terms and conditions, house rules and accommodation agreement) because when you sign them, you’re agreeing to the rules and associated consequences if you, or one of your roomies, don't comply.

Staying with mates

If you plan to share accommodation with friends, it’s a good idea to have a chat early on about your accommodation.

Don’t forget to discuss:

  • each other’s expectations for the stay – including what behaviour is acceptable and your thoughts on visitors, partying and responsibilities.
  • all costs including food, accommodation and bond. We suggest collecting everyone's financial contribution before you arrive.

End of year celebrations can be a stressful time for accommodation managers, and many will have zero tolerance for unacceptable behaviour. Make sure you are aware of your rights, but also your responsibilities when renting accommodation.

House rules and your booking

Often your accommodation booking will come with a set of ‘house rules’. It is really important that you receive and all read the ‘house rules’ (BEFORE you arrive) as they often list some really specific rules for your stay.

These can include:

  • whether you’re allowed to have visitors over, how many and at what times they’re allowed to pop in
  • some accommodation providers even ban you from bringing any glass bottles on to the property (this includes perfume bottles and jars of jam too)
  • specific rules around noise
  • balcony access including when you are allowed to use the balcony, acceptable balcony behaviour and how many people are allowed on the balcony at one time.

Reading your House Rules before you check in can help you avoid any nasty surprises or possibly being evicted.

Additional accommodation advice

  • Before you book and pay - get a copy of the accommodation contract from the accommodation provider and check that the terms and conditions are OK. This will help to avoid any issues later.
  • Read the fine print - check your booking terms and conditions. If you change or cancel your booking, you may be charged a fee, lose your deposit or be required to pay for the entire booking.
  • Check to see if a security bond is required – it’s money you pay (in addition to your accommodation costs) as a type of insurance against any damage caused to the accommodation including the room, furniture or fittings. If there is no damage, the bond is returned to you after your stay.
  • always ask for a receipt at the time of paying your bond.
  • know what you can lose your bond for and avoid doing it.
  • if you, or a visitor to your room, damage your accommodation, your bond can be used to pay for repair or replacement costs and you will not get the full amount back.
  • if the cost to repair the damage costs more than your bond, you may have to pay extra.
  • If your booking is cancelled – by the agent or accommodation provider, you are entitled to get back all your money because they have failed to fulfil your accommodation contract. If you're transferred to lesser accommodation, you should receive compensation equivalent to the difference in accommodation standard. See our section below on damage control if you experience issues.
  • Inspect the accommodation carefully when you arrive - report any damage immediately so that you can't be blamed for it later. Take photos of any damage so you have proof as to what state the items/accommodation were in before your stay.
  • Make an appointment with your accommodation provider - to perform the check-out inspection together just before you leave.


Ensure that noise (including music) is kept to an acceptable level to respect your neighbours and avoid getting into trouble. ‘Noise abatement' allows police to enter your accommodation without warrant, request names and addresses, and seize/remove equipment or make it inoperable.

Remember, the person next door may have to get up to go to work in the morning and a noise complaint could result in your eviction.


Don’t let theft ruin your stay. To ensure your valuables and money are kept safe:

  • keep the door to your unit locked – ensure it always closes/latches properly behind you when entering or exiting your apartment
  • keep balcony doors locked when not in use
  • be wary of who you and your friends invite back to your accommodation – always check with your roommates before extending any invitations.
  • keep your valuables locked in the apartment safe (if one is provided).

Damage control

Remember that courtesy and good manners can go a long way in resolving a situation. If you find yourself in a situation with an accommodation provider, these handy steps may help resolve your problem:

Step 1 - Take a deep breath - remain calm, remember your manners and respect.

Step 2 - Check responsibilities under the booking terms and conditions, house rules and/or accommodation agreement.

Step 3 - Talk to the accommodation manager/booking agent calmly to reach an agreement that suits everyone. Accommodation managers are required to have a complaint handling process in place, and you should lodge a written complaint with them immediately if you think your treatment has been unfair.

Step 4 - Contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) for advice or to lodge a formal written complaint if you feel you have been unfairly treated.

Step 5 - If an agreement cannot be reached, contact the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's Alternative Dispute Resolution Branch on 1800 017 288.

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