Young people, who are about to embark on a new school year and thus a new year of partying, can still have fun AND stay safe.

Co-founder of the Australian Teenage Expo and youth expert, Sonya Karras said With the beginning of the new school year, comes a full calendar of birthday parties, School formals with accompanying after parties, 16ths, 18ths and gatherings.

“Young people can’t wait to get into the new party season, some don’t even contemplate the possibility of things going wrong,” Mrs Karras said.

“Thinking about safety or the warnings that Mum or Dad bang on about all the time, may not even cross their minds.”

“Young people should not be scared, they just need to be aware there are potential dangers.

Having strategies to have the most fantastic year of partying is just smart,” Mrs Karras said.

Sacha Kaluri, Co-founder of the Australian Teenage Expo, said now young people must also consider the repercussions of what happens at parties, playing out online.

“Facebook and Instagram pictures and posts can hang around for years, possibly affecting their employability.”

Mrs Karras said the ways to protect yourself at parties included:

  • Know the law: Underage drinking carries large penalties. In some states, adults supplying alcohol to young people on private property can mean a fine of more than $7000.
  • Be aware: In your group, nominate a person who will be the designated non-or low drinker for the night and keep an eye on their friendship group. This can be alternated for the other nights.
  • Eat well: Young people, particularly girls, are too busy ‘getting ready’ for the night and they forget to eat. Food helps to slow down the absorption of alcohol to the system. It’s quite simply – a must, if you decide to drink alcohol.
  • Act like Big Brother is watching you: Remember when you are out, anyone can photograph you and upload it to Social Media sites. If you look like an idiot – there can now be photographic proof! Have your privacy settings in place and you choose whether you are “tagged” in a photo or not.
  • Stay together: With the recent tragic deaths of Jill Meagher and Port Adelaide Footballer John McCarthy, it’s never been more important to stay in your group, particularly when walking home after partying. You are more vulnerable when walking alone and intoxicated.

Mrs Karras said, “above all, it’s about having fun, but being safe, so you get to do it all again the next night.”


Sonya Karras Background
10 years working in and running some of Melbourne’s biggest nightclubs, including time as a crowd controller, gave Sonya a solid understanding of how young people party.
Sonya, based in Melbourne, has been presenting to school students, parents, teachers and organisations around the topic of partying, drugs and alcohol for 14 years across Australia.
In 2011 Sonya co-founded and is the co-director of the Australian Teenage Expo, a large-scale youth event which this year attracted almost 8000 Victorians.
Australian Teenage Expo aims to provide everything a teen, parent or educator needs to know about in three key areas – Education, Services and Products, with as much fun and interaction as possible.
For more information or to book a key note address, see website www.wholenewworld.com.au or www.teenageexpo.com.au
We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • So true I think also you need to have firm guidelines on what’s acceptable and not. A friend’s child had her 16th birthday and the kids were being dropped off by the parents but a lot of them had secretly brought booze. Most of them were wasted drunk after 1.5 hours of the party starting! The parents had a rule that if you were drunk they were calling the child’s parents to come and get them.


  • Mine didn’t get into the party scene. They had a small, close circle of friends and they hung out regularly…..but not partying


  • Its very really good to know! Thanks for sharing this article!


  • I’m pleased our DD won’t be going anywhere near schoolies week.


  • An anxious time for parents. Just keep drilling in a few main facts…..hopefully some might stick. I like the “act like big brother is watching you” point.


  • a lot of parents seem to think private property means anyone can drink, I am pleased you pointed that out that it is not


  • Good pointers for schoolies week.


  • Thanks for the useful info


  • a very interesting read, thanks for this


  • Thanks for sharing this, it was a great read.


  • so essential for me !


  • thank you sharing this article good read


  • These are some good tips


  • thanks for sharing was a great read


  • Thanks a lot for sharing. I enjoyde reading it. Great article.


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