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 or

  • Teenage parties are really scarey, I remember ringing the police about one up the street when I was really scared. Police came and were threatened with a broken glass bottle.


  • Great article and great tips. Teenage partying is a scary thing


  • teenage yrs are a frightening thing for parents with all the dangers around them nowadays


  • great article and thanks for the tips :)


  • Peer pressure has a lot to do with drinking sessions. Teach your children its okay to say no.


  • i m soo afraid to teeneges.


  • thanks for great tips and information …


  • Way h what you post on social media sites – particularly photos, as it may come back to bite you at a later time.


  • Sadly in South Australia there is no penalty to serving underage people in your own home. And there are numerous parents who supply 15/16/17 year olds with a few of those mixer drinks to take to a party or have at their house. Cant understand why we don’t have laws about the safety of our children in other peoples homes like other states.


  • Well im not looking forward to when my little girl is a teenager after how much of a party animal i was! better to know what your kids are doing, and let them know you are always there for them, no matter what. Picking them up drunk and keeping quiet till the next morning is alot better than kids being to scared to call when they are stuck and getting in very unsafe situations!


  • I am happy to be a mum of toddlers at the moment, their is so much I have to learn before they are teens and it’s never too early to start!


  • Oh God, I’m dreading the teenage years! My son has just started high school, so I know that teen parties are only a few years away!


  • Staying together is such an important one. It was so tragic and so heart wrenching what happened to Jill Meagher.


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