THOUSANDS of school leavers have arrived in Surfers Paradise, marking the start of Schoolies 2014.
Some decided to get a head start on the others, arriving at their hotels late yesterday afternoon, but it was clearly too much to handle for the teenage girl pictured above, she didn’t even make it to her accommodation last night.
She setup camp on the beach where she was snapped snoring away on the sand early this morning.
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Although running from late November to early December, the official Gold Coast Schoolies Community Safety Response (The Response) will only run for the first week when the majority of teenagers are expected to be under 18.
Police, emergency services, security, and volunteers will maintain a highly visible presence during The Response period, providing the community and visitors with additional support.
The City of Gold Coast also provides additional resources, including lifeguards, extra lightning, additional public ammenities, precinct and beach cleaning, and facilitates regulatory approvals.
More than 25,000 screaming teens are expected to descend on the party precinct this week.
Central Surfers Paradise Beach will be fenced nightly for exclusive access by school leavers only.
Known as the Schoolies Hub, the area will host seven nights of free entertainment, including a ‘Chill Out Night’ on Tuesday November 25 where the screening of two feature length movies will replace DJ entertainment.
Starting tonight, the Schoolies Hub will be open from 7pm to 12am every night until Friday 28 November.
During the second week of celebrations, thousands of interstate school leavers – the majority of whom will be 18 or over – will take the reins and for the first time ever will be treated to a beach party previously offered to Queensland school leavers only.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event.
TO cater for the demand, extended Translink bus and tram services have been rolled out.
Schoolies are encourage to use a Go Card, which can be purchased or topped up at all tram and train stations or online.
For specific timetable information, visit translink.com.au or call 13 12 30 anytime.
DUE to the temporary population increase in central Surfers Paradise during Schoolies, road closures are needed to ensure the safety of all pedestrians.
The Esplanade from Elkhorn Ave to Laycock St will experience changed traffic conditions and intermittent southbound closures between the hours of 4am and 3pm everyday up until December 2.
No traffic will be permitted along The Esplanade from the Soul roundabout to Hanlan St between the hours of 6pm and 2am every night during The Response period up until Friday November 28.
Orchid Avenue and Cavill Avenue (Surfers Paradise Blvd to Orchid Ave) will be closed to all traffic between the hours of 8pm and 2am every night during The Response period up until Friday November 28.
The Esplanade will again be closed to all traffic from the Soul roundabout to Trickett St between the hours of 2am and 9am on Saturday November 29.
OFFICIAL Schoolies wristbands will be distributed to school leavers on proof of current Year 12 photo ID.
When unsuitable ID is presented to security, strict security processes are in place to determine if the schoolie is eligible to enter.
Schoolies can collect their official Schoolies wristband from the Wristband Distribution Centre located in Neal Shannon Park, Beach Road (above Surfers Paradise Transit Centre).
The Wristband Distribution Centre will be open from 11am to 8pm today, and again from 6pm to 8pm tomorrow through until Friday November 28.
Schoolies are urged to keep their wristband on for the duration of their stay on the Gold Coast, as removing or sharing it will make it invalid.
THE message to non-schoolies is clear: No valid ID = No wristband = No access. No exceptions.
Parents are urged to discourage their teenagers from attending Schoolies if they are not a legitimate Year 12 student.
POLICE and Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation investigators will be on the lookout for underage drinkers and adults illegally supplying alcohol to minors during Schoolies.
Police can confiscate alcohol in cars and public places and dispose of alcohol they reasonably suspect is intended for unsupervised consumption by minors.
Under the Queensland Government’s secondary supply laws, adults must provide reasonable supervision to minors when supplying alcohol for consumption in private places, such as parties.
Penalties of up to $9,108 apply to any person over the age of 18 caught providing alcohol to a minor for consumption in an unsupervised environment.
In-school Schoolies Information Sessions have been delivered in a number of southeast Queensland schooles in the lead up to Schoolies to reinforce messages regarding responsible choices about alcohol, and the legal and health factors.
Parents Information Sessions have also been trialed this year to provide useful information to parents on how they can play an active role in helping their teen make good choices during Schoolies.
RECHARGE zones are established during The Response period to provide teenagers with private, safe places to rest and receive support.
Staffed by trained volunteers, the Recharge Zones are a focal point during the night-time activities with volunteers handing out free water to school leavers.
Recharge Zones will be staffed by volunteers from DRUG ARM Australasia, Christian Youth Council and Rosies – Friends on the Street.
The existing Chill Out Zone in Orchid Avenue, operated by Gold Coast Youth Service, will also support schoolies.
These Recharge Zones receive visits from thousands of schoolies each night, often just for a friendly chat and a cup of water.
SCHOOLIES SUPPORT TEAM
THE Schoolies Support Team (SST) is made up of volunteers from the general Gold Coast community who freely give their time to assist young people and the local community during The Response period.
Schoolies Support Teams carry precinct and accommodation venue maps, as well as bus timetables and handy phone numbers.
They also assist with the distribution of official Schoolies wristbands to school leavers through the Wristband Distribution Centre (WDC) and provide assistance at Schoolies Headquarters.
The volunteers patrol Surfers Paradise Beach, Cavill Mall, The Esplanade, Orchid Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard in groups of four, and provide a first point of contact for schoolies needing assistance, information or referral to other support services.
In addition, the volunteers provide an invaluable community service by acting as extra eyes and ears on the group and perhaps most importantly they provide friendly faces that schoolies can trust, for advise and support when needed.
ACCOMMODATION OUTREACH SERVICE (Red Frogs)
RED Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network (Red Frogs) volunteers have been generously and tirelessly donating their time to help keep young peopel safe during Gold Coast Schoolies since 1997.
Red Frogs volunteers also act as the eyes and ears in accommodation venues and provide a positive peer presence to help support schoolies during their stay.
The Queensland Government has allocated funding to Red Frogs to recruit more than 800 volunteers to provide practical in-house support to schoolies at Safer Schoolies destinations throughout the state, with over 600 of these volunteers stationed on the Gold Coast.
The Red Frogs 24-hour hotline (1300 557 123) will be available for schoolies to request a Red Frogs team walk them home safely, have pancakes cooked in their unit, assist with cleaning rooms or ask for help to mediate problems between other schoolies in their venue.
The Red Frogs Crew will run the nightly DJ entertainment on one of the stages within the Schoolies Hub.
A JOINT Emergency Services Coordination Centre (JESCC) will be established at Police Headquarters in Surfers Paradise where all emergency services will be represented, providing a control point to manage a multi-agency approach to any issues arising throughout Schoolies.
The Queensland Police Service is responsible for overall law enforcement and public safety during Schoolies to ensure a seamless safety, law and order strategy is in place.
The Queensland Ambulance Service will establish an Ambulance Treatment Centre outside the Schoolies Hub and will be responsible for providing effecting pre-hospital medical treatment and transport services.
Paramedics will staff the Treatment Centre with the assistance and support of first aid trained personnel from the State Emergency Service and doctors and nurses from Queensland Health.
To support any emergency response, representatives from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services will also be onsite.