In less than three weeks, Byron Bay will start to fill up with young ’schoolies’ celebrating the end of Year 12. It is expected that around 10,000 of these young visitors will choose to attend their celebrations in Byron Bay over the two and a half weeks from November 18 through to December 5.
In 2009 the Byron Schoolies Safety Response was formed in order to provide a safe environment during this busy time. Byron Schoolies HUB Coordinator, Nicqui Yazdi said, ‘Once again this year, the Schoolies HUB will be in Main Beach Park, operated by volunteers. The HUB will be open 24/7 for the entire duration, to provide tourist information, a rehydration station, general first aid and anything else that the young visitors might need. Main Beach and the park area is the place where the schoolies like to gather the most in Byron, particularly at night.
‘The volunteers are all looking forward to being of assistance, and this year 50 of the volunteers will have received free training in either Apply First Aid (formerly Senior First Aid) or Youth Mental Health First Aid.’
John Gudgeon of the Holiday Letting Organisation Byron Inc (HLO) would like to remind the community that they provide a 24-hour Noisy Neighbour Hotline throughout the year, to assist with unacceptable behaviour. John said, ‘By calling 6626 6888 you get immediate action through a private security company or, if need be, the police to assist with any neighbourhood disturbance. Identity of callers to the hotline is kept strictly confidential. If you haven’t got a fridge magnet with the hotline number, you can pick one up from Ray White Real Estate in Fletcher Street.’
Byron Bay Police fully support the noisy neighbourhood hotline service provided by the HLO group. In previous years it has been successful in maintaining community expectations with visitors and tourists to town. Generally a private security company deals with the issues, however, police are always available to respond and assist them if required. Community members are encouraged to use this hotline for any noise issues during schoolies.
Once again this year, Byron Youth Service (BYS) will be on site at the Schoolies HUB every afternoon providing Blow Zero competitions as part of their ‘Project U-Turn initiative – reversing the youth binge-drinking culture in Byron Bay’. Their plan is to educate young people about the dangers of binge-drinking and assist to delay these young visitors from starting to drink alcohol too early in the day.
The Red Frogs will be joining the response again this year and besides their 24-hour assistance to the schoolies, they will also be doing pancakes and chai from the HUB each night and providing some light entertainment and music in the park.
The Byron Schoolies Safety Response is still looking for volunteers to be a part of this year’s HUB. To register, go to the Youth Activities Centre, 1 Gilmore Crescent and fill in the registration forms, or contact Schoolies HUB Coordinator Nicqui Yazdi on 0402 013 177 or email [email protected].