Year 12 Shalom students Tom Nixon, Natasha Woodward, Aaron Miller (front), Thilia Walsh, Braydon Graham, Steven Nichols and Blake Traviani celebrate the end of an era yesterday and the start of Schoolies’ Week.
Year 12 Shalom students Tom Nixon, Natasha Woodward, Aaron Miller (front), Thilia Walsh, Braydon Graham, Steven Nichols and Blake Traviani celebrate the end of an era yesterday and the start of Schoolies’ Week. Max Fleet

Celebration for teen students

STEVEN Nichols and Braydon Graham have spent the past 12 years together playing sport, sweating about exams and enjoying school life.

The Year 12 Shalom College students graduated yesterday, with mixed emotions about the life-changing event.

“I’m pretty excited — but I’m a bit nervous about the future,” Braydon said.

Steve said graduation was a time to celebrate.

“I’m pumped for next week (Schoolies’ Week), and finishing as well,” Steve said.

State high schools in Bundaberg and St Luke’s Anglican College will let their Year 12 students out for good today, with graduation ceremonies happening throughout the region.

As the students breathe a sigh of relief and start Schoolies’ celebrations around Queensland, police officers throughout the region have started to prepare for the influx of teenagers hell-bent on having a good time.

Agnes Water officer-in-charge Sergeant Jon Edwards said the number of schoolies heading to the seaside village and Town of 1770 had increased during the last few years.

“It’s being seen as a cheaper and safer alternative than the Gold Coast,” he said.

The police force is preparing for the influx of teens from Bundaberg and Gladstone, western centres such as Emerald, and north as far as Yeppoon, by rostering extra staff and getting reinforcements from Gladstone.

“School leavers should be reminded drinking in public will not be tolerated, nor will unruly behaviour. We’ve adopted a zero tolerance policy,” Sgt Edwards said.

Some accommodation managers are also preparing for the school leavers.

Despite about 10 groups of schoolies staying last year, Edge on Beaches manager Jeff Hill said there was not one inquiry from teens this year.

“It’s hard work. It’s certainly easier not having them here, but we don’t turn them away either,” he said.



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