Schoolies ready to celebrate in Airlie
FREEDOM. This one word sums up what leaving school is all about for many year 12 students in the Whitsundays, including Casey Soutar.
Casey, from Proserpine State High School, is among thousands of school leavers who are expected to converge on Airlie Beach for the 2013 Schoolies event, which will start this Saturday, November 16.
After years of schooling and a few frantic weeks of cramming for final exams, Casey and her friends are understandably excited about letting their hair down and celebrating this milestone event.
The local students also appreciate the significance of living in an area where an official Schoolies event is available, funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability services, Whitsunday Regional Council and Schoolies registration fees.
For five days, Schoolies Central will be set up by the Airlie Beach lagoon, including a registration marquee and chill out zone.
During the day, volunteers at the registration marquee will be on hand to check school ID's, collect registration fees and provide receipts. Meanwhile, the chill out zone is an area where young people can relax, re-hydrate, rejuvenate and access first aid and youth support. Schoolies will have a range of dance parties and activities available to them throughout the event as well as special Schoolies discounted tours.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said she welcomed the arrival of Schoolies to the region and she encouraged young people to stay safe while celebrating.
Cr Whitney said Council and the Whitsunday Schoolies advisory committee put a strong focus on the provision of drug and alcohol free activities, with the support of local volunteers, the Queensland Police Service, SES, Red Frogs, CHOICES, schools, service groups, accommodation providers and local venues.
"Keeping Schoolies safe and ensuring they enjoy their experience in the Whitsundays is a huge task that relies on the generosity of people in the community who donate their time - it's a team effort," she said.
A noise management plan has been developed to keep the noise to an acceptable level and reduce the impact on residents and visitors.
Residents are reminded that the central lagoon carpark will be closed for the duration of Schoolies.