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School Leavers

Leavers WA 2019 - Monday November 18th to Thursday November 21nd

Leavers is the celebratory period of three to five days at the completion of Year 12 in WA, where students often travel to various locations (including Dunsborough, Busselton, Margaret River, Rottnest Island) to celebrate with their peers. Referred to as ‘Schoolies’ in other states, Leavers has become increasingly popular in WA over the past decade.

For information on how to help plan your Leavers, advice to your parents or guardians to help plan Leavers with you and tips for you to stay safe during Leavers and where to go for help, if something goes wrong visit: 

A toolkit that provides information for professionals and community groups who want to increase the awareness of parents and the community to help reduce alcohol-related harm associated with Leavers’ celebrations, has been developed by the Mental Health Commission. A copy of this toolkit can be downloaded here

This toolkit advised that research of Western Australian students celebrating at a popular Leavers’ destination has shown that children who were supplied alcohol by their parents for Leavers were more likely to drink at harmful levels. Of the 25% of Leavers who said their parents provided them with alcohol at the celebrations:

  • 89% drank at levels considered harmful for adults by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines.
  • 65% reported they had sources other than their parents providing them with alcohol. Provision of alcohol by parents is likely to be topping up this situation.

Other statistics the toolkit quotes include:

  • 89% of drinkers at Leavers consume alcohol at levels which are considered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to put adults at risk of short-term harm (more than 4 standard drinks in a single session).
  • 87% of Leavers experienced at least one negative experience at the school Leavers’ celebrations from alcohol and other drug use. These included; 67% had a hangover; 58% reported a blackout; 41% had an accident or injury; 21% had regretful sex and; 14% had unprotected sex.

Problems associated with drinking alcohol at Leavers that impact on the individual drinker and others can include:

  • Accidents and injuries
  • Violence (verbal abuse, aggression)
  • Crime (including assault, vandalism, and petty crimes)
  • Road safety issues
  • Impact on friendships and relationships
  • Humiliation through social media
  • Unwanted sexual encounters

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Alcohol Guidelines recommend for young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Useful Links & Documents

What parents should know about Leavers

Young People and Alcohol Laws

Useful Contacts


Mental Health Commission 1 Nash Street Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 6553 0600
Website: |

For anyone concerned about their own or another person’s alcohol use or drug use. A 24-hour, state-wide, confidential telephone service.
Telephone: (08) 9442 5000
Toll free (country callers only): 1800 198 024
Email: [email protected]

For anyone concerned about a loved one’s alcohol or drug use. A 24-hour, state-wide, confidential telephone service.
Telephone: (08) 9442 5050
Toll free (country callers only): 1800 653 203
Email: [email protected]

Information to help plan your Leavers experience, advise for parents and guardians, and tips to stay safe during Leavers.