MAKING SCHOOLIES FUN AND SAFE: Leah Harford, Chanelle Regwell, Sarah Dunn, Breanna King, Ally Rowe, Cassidy Acutt, Liam Boyd and Jeremy Adams perform their 'Choices' schoolies production at Glenmore State High School.
MAKING SCHOOLIES FUN AND SAFE: Leah Harford, Chanelle Regwell, Sarah Dunn, Breanna King, Ally Rowe, Cassidy Acutt, Liam Boyd and Jeremy Adams perform their 'Choices' schoolies production at Glenmore State High School. Contributed

CQUni program teaches dangers of Schoolies

CASSIDY Acutt has been teaching Year 12 students about partying safely at Schoolies in a special production called Choices.

Yesterday the 19-year old was one of the 10 CQUniversity students who performed the show at the North Rockhampton and Glenmore State High Schools.

CQUniversity and Queensland Police had collaborated to create the educational program which was established in 1999.

"All of the safety messages that we portray throughout the show are from Queensland Police so they look at issues that they have at Schoolies every year and then we target the program to try and fix those problems,” Cassidy said.

"The main message is basically teaching kids that they can have fun without living dangerously.”

Cassidy said the project was created because kids were not responding to safety messages.

"The university decided that they would like to create this program to help out...there will be students coming into the university after Schoolies.”

Cassidy portrayed a Year 12 student called Charlie O'Neill who is preparing for her Schoolies trip.

The former high school student even learnt lessons from the production.

"She is a very fun character and it's helping me learn myself different messages that I didn't know graduating school...it's helpful at any age,” Cassidy said.

The production travels to high schools throughout Queensland including Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton regions.

The show teaches grade 12 students about partying safely, drinking and drugs at Schoolies.

The Rockhampton woman said the production also prepared the students for life after school as they progressed into adulthood.

This year, the program incorporated a domestic violence theme to spread awareness of the issue.

"It has become increasingly prevalent in Schoolies parties in the last couple of years so it is important for kids to know how to handle those sort of situations,” Cassidy said.

"We found through studies that putting it in a dramatic format has really helped get safety messages across.”

The production is comprised of segments used from various television shows such as Home and Away, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Play School.

The performers have found that using television shows everyone knows about has made the students be able to relate to the production.

The performers collect surveys after every performance so they know which messages the kids have taken away from the show.



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