Schoolies who misbehave or get into trouble overseas will be on their own, as Australian consular assistance can provide little to help after a situation has occurred.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimates more than several thousand Australian schoolies will avoid the Gold Coast and travel to overseas schoolies events in November and December 2013, with Bali expected to draw the largest number of Australian school leavers.
As Bali continues to be a popular international destination for school leavers airline company Virgin has reported an increase on last years’ group bookings during this time.
The department have launched a new ‘Schoolies and Leavers’ section on the Smartraveller website, with advice on avoiding harm and alerting young people to the potential risks and consequences of their actions.
They want school leavers to understand that laws of other countries will apply, encouraging young Australians to take sensible precautions to avoid getting into trouble, as they need to understand that there are limits to the consular assistance that embassies and consulates can provide.
Below are some examples of what consular assistance won’t offer:
- legal advice
- investigations of crimes or deaths overseas
- payment for search and rescue services (they can help arrange services)
- to get you out of prison or seek special treatment for you
- bail posting or payment for your fines or legal expenses.
The department says jetsetting school leavers need to realise support systems in Australia like emergency services or medical facilities won’t necessary be available in other countries.
School principals are also providing advice to their students. “Enjoy yourselves but look after each other,” says Grace Lutheran College Principal Ruth Butler. “If you are worried about a friend, don’t try to deal with it on your own, but seek adult help, e.g. the Red Frogs team or the police officers who are there to help you keep safe.”
The advice on the new Young Travellers page outlines practical steps school leavers can take to minimise the chances of requiring consular assistance, including their top 10 tips for partying safely:1. Pre-party planning 2. Know your alcohol limits 3. Beware of drink spiking 4. Don’t be a mug – don’t use drugs 5. Take care of your mates (it’s an Aussie thing) 6. Venue safety 7. Look after your gear 8. Don’t get ripped off 9. No fighting 10. Stay in touch.
Do you think assistance should be offered to Schoolies who travel overseas? Let us know your thoughts.