Last week Byron Bay’s BUDDI Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) were honoured with the first ever NSW State Influence Award for its Byron Schoolies Safety Response and Schoolies HUB initiatives.
The award, which recognises excellence for a CDAT initiative, came from the NSW Ministry of Health and the Alcohol & Drug Foundation.
There were also six regional awards given out to other Community Drug Action Teams across the state.
There are now more than 70 CDATs across NSW, with another 220 to be rolled out across Australia over the next four years.
BUDDI Team Leader and Schoolies Coordinator Nicqui Yazdi said, as far as school leavers celebrations go, ‘Byron Bay is a destination of not only abundant beauty, but also a destination of excellence for young visitors during these celebrations, due to the services of the Schoolies HUB.’
‘We may not be able to change young people seeing “schoolies” as a “rite of passage,” but we sure can change the way they do it here in Byron!’
She said, that the award, ‘really goes to all of those organisations that have helped the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team, with the Schoolies Safety Response over the last nine years, and of course the Schoolies HUB Volunteers, without whom, none of this would be possible.”
Nicqui was also chosen as one of only six ‘star profiles’ from across NSW, presenting to the Alcohol & Drug Foundation’s CDAT conference, on the Schoolies initiative.
The Byron Schoolies HUB kicks off next Friday, November 18. The HUB is situated in Main Beach Park, it’s open 24 hours a day for the 18 days of schoolies celebrations, managing all manner of assistance to the 10,000 young visitors who descend on Byron each year.
This includes providing first aid around the clock, free sunblock and condoms, a hydration station with free water, a 24 hotline, DJs, and free pancakes and chai in the evenings with the Red Frogs, tourist information and a range of other activities. In 2016 the HUB has also added a HUB/Hospital Shuttle service for the evenings from 6pm to 6am.
They are still looking for volunteers for the HUB and in particular they are looking for more men, especially for the evening shifts and drivers for the shuttle service.
For information on the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team or the Schoolies HUB, or to volunteer, contact Nicqui a t[email protected] or call 0402013177.