Organisers of youth services are busy packing up after a busy schoolies season in Byron Bay and are saying it was the ‘best schoolies ever’.
The event was also commended by police who were pleased with how few incidents there were.
‘This was our eighth year and by far the cleanest year we have seen as yet when it came to the Schoolies following the directive of not bringing alcohol or glass into the park and also cleaning up after themselves,’ says Byron Schoolies Safety Response coordinator Nicqui Yazdi.
‘It is a little difficult for any visitors to Byron Bay to understand that our parks and beaches are glass and alcohol free, due to the fact that there is minimal signage, and what signage there is, is overcrowded with too many messages and the signs are far too small to be in anyway useful.
Ms Yazdi says that the police have her they were very happy with the behaviour of the Schoolies across the 18 days, with only just a few incidents attributable to the schoolies themselves, mostly minor incidences.
Police conducted an operation in Byron Bay in relation to ensuring the safety of Schoolies visitors.
Additional police assisted Tweed/Byron officers over the two week period.
A total of 21 offences were detected during the event including Possess Prohibited Drug, Fail to Quit Licensed Premises, Assault Police, Offensive Conduct and Supply Prohibited Drug.
‘The number of offences detected was well down on previous years,’ said a police spokesperson.
‘Police would like to congratulate the participants on the manner in which they conducted themselves.’
Ms Yazdi says the introduction of a HUB/Hospital Shuttle bus in the evenings, sponsored by Go Sea Kayaks, was a brilliant initiative.
‘After a few minor hiccups in the first few days, turned out to be a great service,’ she said.
‘We managed a large amount of minor first aid at the HUB, but the bus allowed us to transport just that next level of first aid, that wasn’t severe enough to warrant an ambulance.’
The ever popular Red Frogs were in action again this year and worked very well with the local Byron Schoolies HUB volunteers. A number of new initiatives combining both services to assist with every need of the young schoolies visitors were implemented.
‘We hosted a Schoolies.com Glow Pool Party for the first time, which was a fabulous event and we look forward to doing more in coming years,’ said Ms Yasdi.
‘We have already started to plan for next year, and will be changing the layout of the HUB, in order to introduce further initiatives and services and we will be looking to wards more partnerships with local businesses, in particular tourism providers, so that we can create a menu of both day and evening activities, that will further keep these young visitors both occupied and enjoying their school leavers celebrations in Byron Bay.
‘We would like to thank all of those involved, in particular our tireless volunteers who worked around the clock for 18 days, the local businesses who have supported us both financially and in kind, and members of the community who dropped in to tell us how wonderful they thought our services were this year’.