Natalie Steen, second from left, and her girlfriends Eden Chippendale, far left, Elisha Steffen and Alina Riggs with Sergeant Greg Jones, jump for joy as they count down the days until schoolies.
Natalie Steen, second from left, and her girlfriends Eden Chippendale, far left, Elisha Steffen and Alina Riggs with Sergeant Greg Jones, jump for joy as they count down the days until schoolies. Allan Reinikka

Schoolies without the crime

SCHOOL-leaver Natalie Steen and a bunch of her girlfriends intend to dodge the crowds and potential violence during Schoolies Week.

Instead of heading to the notoriously boozy and troublesome annual Gold Coast celebrations, the Rockhampton girls will mark the end of their schooling at the Capricorn Coast.

In its eighth year, the Capricorn Coast Schoolies Program, which runs events from November 21 to 24, is a jam-packed few days of fun without crime.

Branch manager for the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) in Rockhampton, and organiser, Sergeant Greg Jones, said while school-leavers had a lot of fun, there hadn’t been cause to make arrests.

“There’s drug- and alcohol-free dance parties with a DJ, competitions, beach activities, a day at the waterslide and plenty of action for young people to enjoy,” Sergeant Jones said.

He said police were aware drinking happened in private residences, but alternative drug- and alcohol-free activities were provided.

Natalie and about five of her friends from The Cathedral College chose a place close to home to avoid the schoolies crime and to cut back on costs.

“There’s way too many people at the Gold Coast. It’s scary hearing about the big fights and arrests,” she said.

Natalie, 17, said they were thinking about taking a girls’ trip to Great Keppel Island during Schoolies Week.

“It will be the last time we spend together before we start uni and go our separate ways,” she said.

While Natalie, who works at PCYC, plans to study childcare teaching at university in Rocky, some of her friends are heading away for uni.

Sergeant Jones said last year the event attracted close to 400 school leavers. All the planned action will take part at the Surf Life Saving Club and Yeppoon Main Beach.

To find out more, visit www.pcyc.org.au and follow the links to the Rockhampton branch or phone Sergeant Jones on 4927 7899.

 

CAPRICORN COAST SCHOOLIES

 November 21-24;

 You must have a current school ID to register;

 Registration is $10 and includes a free beach barbecue, a bag of goodies, entry into the night club and more;

 There will be dance parties Monday - Wednesday nights from 8pm to 1am;

 There will be competitions, a bucking bull, a day at the waterslide and loads more fun, plus discounts to Great Keppel Island.



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