Schoolies Week Survival
Schoolies 2006
Schoolies Gold Coast
Schoolies Sunshine Coast
Schoolies North Stradbroke Island
Schoolies Whitsundays
Schoolies Magnetic Island
Schoolies Cairns
Schoolies Byron Bay
Schoolies Coffs Harbor
Schoolies Port Macquarie
Lorne Schoolies Torquay Schoolies
Schoolies Victor Harbor
Leaver's Week
Bali Schoolies Week
Schoolies Advertising

Gold Coast Schoolies - 2003 Report

2003 Gold Coast Schoolies Week

During Gold Coast Schoolies Week, Rebeccas Community was one of several service providers supporting young people. The official Gold Coast Schoolies Week ran from November 22nd till November 30th 2003. Prevention of sexual assault during Gold Coast Schoolies Week was the focus of three targeted support services provided by Rebeccas Community.

Social Worker and Director of Rebeccas Community Mr. Dominic Mapstone has worked at Gold Coast Schoolies Week since 1994 [dominic dot mapstone at gmail dot com]. Rebeccas Community is based in Sydney; the organisation works with people who are homeless and funds the National Schoolies Week Website.

Each night of Gold Coast Schoolies Week Rebeccas Community started work as other services knocked off for the night; the 'graveyard shift' began at 2am and finished at 7am. The following covers the work of Rebeccas Community at Gold Coast Schoolies Week.

Gold Coast Schoolies Patrols

As the only service provider active during the graveyard shift at Gold Coast Schoolies Festival, Rebeccas Community volunteers worked in pairs covering danger zones such as public toilets, alley ways, sand dunes and the Gold Coast Schoolies Festival precinct. Each night the areas we patrolled expanded based on information gathered from the previous night's work.

The foot patrols included making contact with people sleeping on the beach or passed out somewhere on the drunken walk back to where they were staying. We were able to offer them safe transport home or a place to crash till morning at our headquarters.

There were several sexual assaults this year during Gold Coast Schoolies, as there is every year. As Schoolies Week progressed and we learnt of another sexual assault, we focused more frequent patrols in the area where the assault took place or dedicated an outreach team to monitor that specific location.

The foot patrols became more difficult for our teams as Schoolies Week progressed; going to places where we knew such suffering had occurred was confronting and depressing.

Some nights we saw girls walking home by themselves, either along the beach or the street, being followed or watched by one or more older guys. So we followed the girls also and the creepy guys left them alone.

At Gold Coast Schoolies these guys worked in groups of three or four usually, some times communicating via mobile phone. There were two gang rapes during Gold Coast Schoolies that we learnt of, one on the beach a couple of hundred meters south of the Ambulance Treatment Centre and one in the alley next to Shooter's nightclub.

As we started our shift on one particular night of Gold Coast Schoolies we also learnt that a 14-year-old girl had been raped. Part of the focus for Gold Coast Schoolies organisers was that 'Schoolies is for Schoolies,' to the exclusion of older 'toolies' and younger people vulnerable in such an environment. As the biggest party in the national social calendar, Gold Coast Schoolies attracted children younger than 10 year's old.

Four complaints of sexual assault were registered with Police during Gold Coast Schoolies Week, three of which were dropped within a week or two.

At no point were Gold Coast Schoolies alerted by authorities to the fact that these assaults had occurred. As the week progressed, more and more girls were walking home alone, as they became more use to being at Gold Coast Schoolies and dropped their guard.

Gold Coast Schoolies Safe Transport

The youngest person we transported home during Gold Coast Schoolies Week was a girl younger than ten years old.

Volunteers in Policing ran transport within the Gold Coast city-limits until about 3am, calling upon Rebeccas Community to help out with people who lived more than a half hour drive away.

Thanks to the Gold Coast St. Vincent de Paul Society for donating the use of a vehicle to Rebeccas Community.

Gold Coast Schoolies Crash-out Beds

Each night, up to fifty young people were either transported home by Rebeccas Community or given a safe place to sleep at our headquarters in the Gold Coast Schoolies precinct. Here our nurses and volunteers monitored the sick ones who were not well enough to be sent home and not sick enough to need an Ambulance.

With stretchers borrowed from the State Emergency Service SES, we set up our safe space initially in the Ambulance Treatment Centre after they had finished for the night and later in an event marque used by Drug-Arm.

The Gold Coast Management of Public Intoxication Program (GCMPIP) worked in direct partnership with Rebeccas Community providing a staff member from the Chill-out Zone in Orchard Ave to assist Rebeccas Community volunteers and where needed act as an advisor.

The Coordinator of Chill-out Angela Driscol, member of the Premier's Schoolies Committee was instrumental both in the planning and execution phases of the project. Mary Alcorn from the Gold Coast Drug Council was also a very important contributor in the planning phase.

The following departments were involved in the Crisis Accommodation / Transport Working Committee with Rebeccas Community (a sub-committee reporting to the Premier's Schoolies Committee): Department of Premier and Cabinet; Children's Commission; Department of Health and the Department of Families… along with Chill-out (GCMPIP) and Gold Coast Drug Council (Miraki).

The following services also supported the programs offered by Rebeccas Community by referring young people into our care: Rosies Youth Mission; Hotel Chaplains; Drug-Arm; Queensland Police Service (QPS); Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS); State Emergency Services SES and Follow Me - Events Management.

National Schoolies Website

The National Schoolies Website was also launched in 2003. The peer education project is funded by Rebeccas Community and all content is from former Schoolies (unless specifically stated). The Schoolies Week Survival Guide was the first project by former Schoolies and in 2004 the Schoolies Accommodation Guide will be launched.

The website has been a great success with upwards of 3,000 page views per day.

Gold Coast Schoolies - Puppy

Jazmin is our beautiful labrador puppy who worked alongside us. She came on foot patrols, she woke people up in the morning from the crash-out beds and was always on hand for a cuddle when someone was feeling down. Jazz is in training to work with us on the streets of Sydney with people who are homeless.