Celebrating the end of school is about having fun! Make sure you have a good time together - stay safe, look after your mates and respect the community you're visiting.
Look after yourself...
- Stick with your friends
- Trust your instincts - if you don't feel safe you probably aren't
- Think - drugs and alcohol can cause you to make poor decisions
- You don't have to get wasted to have fun
- Drink water and eat food between alcoholic drinks
- Remember, it's illegal for a person under the age of 18 to be found in possession of or drinking alcohol in a public place
- Drink spiking - keep an eye on your drink always!
(see our Drink spiking page for more info)
- No means no - pressuring someone into having sex and inappropriate touching are sexual assault (see our Sexual assault page for more info)
- Sex should never be forced on you or become something you do because of peer pressure, or pressure from your boyfriend or girlfriend - only you will know when you're ready to have sex
- If you are having sex, whether it's for the first time or not, it's important to be aware of safe sex practices to prevent an unwanted pregnancy or exposure to a sexually transmitted infection (see our Health & relationships section for more info)
- Thinking of sexting? If you are asked to send a picture of yourself or someone else you can say no (remember - you don't know where the image will end up - once you hit send you lose control over what you've sent) - for more about sexting check out www.sayno.net.au (new window)
- Don’t share online what you don’t want the world to know- the pictures and comments you post today could be seen by future employers or partners (check out youthcentral's CyberSmarts section for more about online safety)
- Tell your family where you’re going and how to contact you in an emergency
- Stay in touch with your family while you’re away so they know you’re safe and can help you if something goes wrong
Look after your mates…
- Don’t leave your mates on their own
- Keep a general watch over their drinks, actions and assist if they need help or have had too much to drink
- If your friend has had too much to drink: stay, check, reassure, comfort and hydrate
- Drinking and driving don't mix, not for you and not for your friends
- Be aware of the law - it’s illegal to supply alcohol to under-age friends if you’re over 18 and you could be fined in excess of $6000 (see our Liquor laws page for more info)
- Thinking of sexting? You could be breaking the law - sending or having sexual images (ie, someone naked or in their underwear) of someone under 18 is considered child pornography (even if you are over 18, sending sexually explicit images is still breaking the law) - for more about sexting check out www.sayno.net.au (new window)
If you’re concerned about someone who might be drinking too much or taking drugs, you can call the Drug and Alcohol line: 1300 858 584.
Play it safe in the water
- Never swim or surf alone
- Never swim when you have been drinking or taking other drugs
- Don’t swim at night
- Check it’s OK to swim before you get in
- If you don’t know the depth of the water, don’t dive in
- Always swim between the flags
- Know how to get home from a party - organise transport ahead and a safe place to meet in case you lose your friends
- Have your mates’ mobile numbers with you
- Check on your mates’ plans for the night - are they what you expect?
- Work out a budget and make sure you have access to enough money while you’re away - it’s a good idea to keep some aside for emergencies (our Money section has more tips and advice)
- Find out about the community you’re visiting - local laws, opening hours for shops and mobile phone coverage might be different from at home (see our Getting organised section for more local info)
- Plan for things to do in wet weather while you’re away - pack a guitar, cards, footy etc.
- Make sure you have the right ID - licensed venues are very strict (see our Getting ID page for more info)
- Know your rights and responsibilities - it will help you manage bookings and interact with the police and other emergency services (see our Rights and responsibilities page for more info)
Respect the community…
- It’s important to know the local laws in the area you’re visiting - for example, there are different restrictions around how much noise you can make in residential areas
- Take drinks in cans or plastic bottles - broken glass is dangerous and can cause serious injuries
- Put it in the bin - recycle when possible and don’t leave your litter on the beaches and streets
- Remember, other people live in these communities - think about your neighbours
- Respect means looking after yourself, others and the community
Our Getting organised section has detailed local community information.
Know what to do if something goes wrong…
If you or someone you know is in trouble or danger, or you feel threatened or lost, ring 000 (or 112 if your mobile is out of range). Remember it doesn’t have to be an emergency to call 000 - you won’t get into trouble for calling for help if it’s not an emergency.
Calling an ambulance doesn’t mean the police will be called - the police will not be notified or called to attend a medical emergency unless the paramedics’ or another person’s safety is at risk. See our If things go wrong page for more information.
If something goes wrong at a party and you feel upset or worried, talk to a friend, family member or someone you can trust. See our Health and counselling contacts page for links to people who can help talk it out.