• When drinking

    You don't need to drink to have a great time at Schoolies. Alcohol may be considered to be the most socially acceptable drug, however, it is responsible for more drug-related deaths and trauma within youth than any other drug.

  • Around drugs

    The safest way to stay safe around drugs at Schoolies is to say no and not use them. Drugs are not worth the risk!

  • At the Schoolies hub

    If you are celebrating Schoolies on the Gold Coast, it is likely you will be spending your nights partying at the Schoolies Hub on Surfers Paradise beach.

  • Out and about

    Worried about staying safe at Schoolies? We've come up with a list of easy and practical tips to help you stay safe so you can have an enjoyable Schoolies for all the right reasons.

  • With sex

    If you choose to engage in sexual activity at Schoolies, it's important for you to decide if you want to have sex, that you both consent to the sexual activity and that you have safe sex every time.

  • With social media and privacy

    If it didn't happen on social media, it didn't happen right? When you upload photos or video to social media, you run the risk of not knowing where it may end up.

  • In your accommodation

    You may think your accommodation may be one of the safest places to be at Schoolies, but it can often be the place where a lot of risk taking behaviour occurs.

  • On the go

    Whether you're travelling by bike or vehicle during Schoolies, make sure you check out our tips below, especially the laws and responsibilities that come with hiring a scooter on the Gold Coast.

  • Around water

    We don't want to bang on about it but a lot of things can go wrong when you're enjoying the sun and surf, especially if you've been drinking or using drugs.

  • Mental wellbeing

    Schoolies is often promoted as the best week of your life but for some, this may not always be the case. It's completely normal for you to feel emotional highs and lows.

  • Friendships and expectations

    When talking to past schoolies, they always mention 'spending time with their friends' as their favourite thing about Schoolies. A way to value your friendships is to make sure you’re communicating with each other in the lead up to, and during Schoolies.

  • Communication

    Haven't spoken to the parentals about Schoolies yet? Take some time to sit down with them and come up with a plan about how you're going to keep in touch.

  • Sex

    If you choose to engage in sexual activity at Schoolies, it’s important for you to decide if you want to have sex, that you both consent to the sexual activity and that you have safe sex every time.

If you choose to engage in sexual activity at Schoolies, it’s important:

  • for you to decide if you want to have sex - if it doesn’t feel right, you can always say no (and at any time)
  • that you both consent to the sexual activity
  • that you have safe sex every time.

Sexual consent is pretty straightforward - it is when both people say YES, and willingly agree to engage in a specific sexual activity.

Sexual consent can be withdrawn at any time. If your partner says NO, that means STOP.

Sexual consent is also not transferable - to a different sexual activity, differ day or different person.

It is important that you ask for consent before engaging in, and continuously during sex.

Consent:

  • must be voluntary and given freely and willingly, without fear, force or intimidation
  • must be given actively and enthusiastically by both parties
  • is NOT silent. Never assume you have consent – you should always clarify by asking
  • must be ongoing and continuous – you or your partner are allowed to change your mind at any stage of a sexual encounter
  • must be clear and concise – agreeing to going back to someone’s place does not mean they’re consenting to sexual activity
  • is not assumed simply because you have had sex with your partner before
  • can’t be given if someone is drunk, under the influence of drugs, asleep, unconscious or semi-conscious
  • is not automatic just because you are in a relationship – including new relationships formed at Schoolies. Only YES means YES
  • is not someone eventually saying yes after repeatedly being pressured to engage in a sexual act – even if they are your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Still struggling with the idea of consent? Check out Blue Seat Studio's 'Consent is like a cup of tea' video.

Did you know? You can always change your mind – at any time, even if you have already started getting intimate. All sexual activity must stop once consent is withdrawn.

It’s important to keep communicating and checking in on whether you are both feeling comfortable with what is happening.

How you can stay safe

Safe sex is having sexual contact while protecting yourself and your sexual partner against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy. When it comes to safe sex, when used correctly, condoms offer the best protection against STIs and pregnancy.

If you choose to have sex at Schoolies:

  • always use condoms – they offer the best protection against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy. Know that our Safer Schoolies Volunteers will always be carrying some if you’re ever in need.
  • don’t think you can tell if someone has an STI just by looking at them. Most STIs don’t have any obvious signs.
  • before having sex, talk about using condoms with your partner and come to an agreement about using condoms. Remember, you have the right to say NO if your partner does not agree to use condoms.
  • if you are having unprotected sex, talk to your partner about the risks involved. Your decision about safe sex is important—some STIs can be cured but some can’t (e.g. herpes), and you may not experience any initial symptoms.
  • be aware that drugs and alcohol may affect your ability to make good decisions. Protect yourself from having sex that you might regret or were pressured into because you weren’t thinking properly.

Safer sex is also about having sex when you and your partner are ready, consensual and having sex that’s enjoyable, respectful and protected.

Understanding sexual assault

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual, physical, verbal or visual behaviour that makes a person feel uncomfortable, frightened or forces them to have sexual contact against their will.

There are different forms of sexual assault including:

  • unwanted fondling or touching above or under clothing
  • rape
  • harassment
  • exposing or flashing without consent
  • forcing someone to pose for sexual pictures or videos
  • molestation
  • incest
  • sharing naked photos without consent (even if they were given to you with consent).

Sexual assault is never your fault. Sexual assault is a crime.

What to do if you have been sexually assaulted?

If you have been sexually assaulted, know that you’re not alone and that you shouldn’t feel ashamed or to blame as what has happened to you isn’t your fault.

The first thing you should do is go somewhere you feel safe such as the home of a friend or family member or even to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department. Then if you feel that you can, you should consider telling someone you trust what has occurred.

At Schoolies, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for the Ambulance Service, or talk to one of our Safer Schoolies volunteers and they will help you speak to an Ambulance Officer.

Where to get support:

  • Triple Zero (000) and ask for Queensland Ambulance and / or Queensland Police
  • go to the nearest Hospital Emergency Department
  • Queensland Sexual Assault Help Line on 1800 010 120 (for females) or 1800 600 626 (for males) for free, confidential support – 7:30am – 11:30pm 7 days.
  • 13 HEALTH – 13 43 25 84 for confidential and qualified health advice 24 hrs 7 days.
  • 1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732 for 24 hour confidential sexual assault support and counselling
  • A.R.A. to anonymously report sexual assault

It is strongly recommended that you seek medical care if you have been sexually assaulted. A doctor can test and treat you for any sexually transmitted infections, carry out a forensic examination (if you were assaulted very recently and you wish to report the crime to the police) and importantly, provide information on sexual assault and follow-up support services.