Yet again, we are confronted with another senseless death of a beautiful young girl over the weekend.

Sylvia Choi is believed to have taken an ecstasy tablet at the Stereosonic concert at Sydney Olympic Park. It is also believed that on top of this tablet, she may have mixed MDMA in a bottle of water.

The young pharmacist was rushed to Concord Hospital however later died. At the same time and from the same event, a 22 year old woman was discharged after earlier being placed in an induced coma to cope with the drugs she had taken.

My heart breaks for Sylvia’s family who must now be dealing with the most profound grief but also asking the same questions we would all ask as parents …

“Why were there drugs at the concert at all?”
“Why did she do it?”
“Who gave her the pill?”


It’s our first response isn’t it … to ask what we could have done differently.

To ask ourselves if our actions as parents could have changed the destiny of our children.


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More than 200 police were patrolling the event and yet there was still more than 120 people treated for the effects of drugs at the concert with another 9 in a more serious conditions taken to hospital.

It seems that everyone is asking those same questions with Premier Mike Baird saying “this madness has to end … the idea of going out for a good night is one thing, but when that night out ends with losing one of your friends …”

The commander of the police operation, Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli said young people are playing Russian roulette with their lives.

“People have to get out of the mentality that you have to take drugs to enjoy a concert”.

These drugs are made by criminals in back yards.

During the 11-hour event which attracted 48,000 revellers and ran until midnight, 69 people were charged with drug supply and possession while another 23 were given cannabis cautions.

It’s a fresh reminder that this happens all too often.

The death of the Sylvia Choi comes just over a year after another death due to drugs at a festival when Georgina Bartter died after taking ecstasy at Harbourlife Festival.

Ms Bartter, 19, was found convulsing on the ground at the dance party at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair last November.

Her best friend Rebecca Hannibal was convicted of supplying the drug to Ms Bartter and given a 12-month good behaviour bond.

In the wake of these deaths, I’ve found myself questioning whether I’m parenting the right way.

I guess I’ll question that forever but in the meantime, here’s 3 things I want my kids to know about this situation …

1. You are not a beautiful human being with a bright future; you are just the next few dollars.

To the criminals who manufacture drugs in back yard sheds using the cheapest ingredients possible to make the most money possible on every single tablet, you are just the next few dollars. You are the collateral damage that they don’t give a damn about.

Don’t think for a minute that they care whether you live or die. Because they don’t.

Don’t give them any more power than they already have. Cut off their market by saying no.

Know that around you orbits family, friends and a whole community who love you and want every success for you in the future.

2. Good kids die too!

Drugs don’t discriminate. Drugs can kill anyone.

So please don’t think that because you’ve never been to jail, your house is in a nice suburb, you did well at school or you’re kind to your friends and your family that you won’t fall victim to bad drugs or a bad reaction to drugs.

Good kids die every day.

Know that the only way you can safeguard yourself from drugs is to say no.

3. My prayer is that you are strong enough.

I understand peer pressure. I understand the need to fit in. I understand that sometimes doing the right thing and making the right decisions may leave you feeling like a bit of a downer or that you’re missing out.

I’ve been there. I’ve felt all that.

Thankfully I was strong enough to say no. To choose friends who also said no. To make the right choices for the long term rather than the moment.

Know that my prayer for you is a strength of will and character to make the right choice for you.

The concert’s promoters Totem Onelove group posted a brief statement on the Stereosonic Facebook page this morning about the death of Sylvia Choi.

“Totem Onelove conveys our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the patron who tragically passed away on Saturday night at Sydney Stereosonic. As it is a matter with the NSW Police and Coroner we cannot make any further statements or comment. We appeal to our audience that they stay safe and look out for each other,” it read.

The Stereosonic tour headlined by Armin van Buuren, DJ Snake and Major Lazer will today go to Perth before moving onto Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane next weekend.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Sylvia’s family at this time.

Do you think there’s anything else we can do as parents to help our kids make the right decisions? Have you been in a situation involving your kids and drugs?

  • If her best friend supplied the drugs that is a big letdown and a shock on top of it . Perhaps we really don’t know how kids and their friends as we think . That is why we don’t know what to do because parents cant control everything they do and who they do it with . This is a hard one and very tragic .


  • Thank goodness my kids are still very young and they won’t be attending festivals for a very long time but it’s still important to know how to discuss these things with kids.


  • Oh how I am dreading these type of conversations when the little ones are older.


  • yes i feel the emotion coming from you Nikki. your article seems to have struck a chord with you and it is full of feeling. I agree, just say no! but to young ones, they don’t seem to think about the consequences and live with the motto of “it won’t happen to me”.


  • Its always terrible when a young life is so wasted. I am determined to educate my kids on drugs, the choices they make re drugs as best i can, pray a little and hope they make the right choices.


  • It’s so terrible! We hear too often about these tragedies. I think that our responsibility as parents is to keep talking about these topics with our kids, so they are completely aware of the devastating consequences of such an action!


  • it’s terrible all these young ones (and some older) feel the need to take dangerous drugs to have a good time. music festivals are a great way to enjoy music but it is so unnecessary for any drugs or alcohol to be at these events. My thoughts and prayers go to the family and I hope a few bad eggs don’t spoil future music festivals for others.


  • I can’t believe drugs manage to find their way into these venues every year. Such a horrible curse on our society. Its so very hard to protect our kids at this age, especially around events like these. Cant begin to image how awful things are for the families involved. Keep sounding like a broken message, and hopefully the message gets through to our kids. So tragic.


  • A terrible terrible tragedy! More of a shock because she was a pharmacist, surely she knew the risks of taking drugs?!?! Awfully sad


  • This is dreadful. These concerts leave a lot to be desired. I would not allow my kids to go if they were teens . Mine are grown up now thank goodness 44, 42 , 39 and 36 .


  • Seriously I really don’t have a solution to this but I do feel we need to take a different path.
    We have graphic photo’s/images on TV of what cigarettes/smoking does to us, maybe we need to show just how these drugs are made..the unclean environment, the rubbish that goes into many of these tablets, etc AND show it on TV and in SCHOOLS.
    Sincere sympathy to families that have lost loved ones.

    • Good point – shocking ingredients and the impact on brains and bodies is truly horrendous.


  • Unfortunately I don’t think Silvia’s death will be the last. I have a teenage daughter whom I have taught to respect her body and to not give in to peer pressure. She is like me in that she doesn’t really care about what others think so I believe (and hope) that she will be the type to say no to drugs or anything else that will do her harm. However, I can see that a lot of her peers (not her friends, but those in her year at school) are followers and will do whatever the “in” thing is just to fit in and be accepted. To make matters worse, I have encountered many parents who (in their 40’s and 50’s) still drink to excess and think that drinking, drugs, and sex is all part of their teenage children’s rite of passage. I really don’t hold out much hope for things to change unless we can move away from this culture/idea of drinking and drugs being part of having fun.


  • Lke gs


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