How Schoolies celebration went on first weekend
THOSE helping to keep the Schoolies safe as they party en masse in Surfers Paradise are praising their overall behaviour so far despite multiple arrests for drugs on the first night.
Police arrested more non-Schoolies on Saturday night, busting 11 people in the party precinct compared to seven Schoolies.
Officers and Schoolies support volunteers were largely happy with the attitude and behaviour so far as more than 10,000 descended for the start of a fortnight of graduation celebrations.
Red Frogs national co-ordinator Andy Gourley said his team were "so impressed" with Schoolies on night one.
"Overall incidents were down compared to previous years," he said. "Very healthy response on the streets. A lot of Schoolies doing the right thing being walked home.
"We're impressed with the amount of food and water the kids came into buildings with this year. We visited Schoolies last night who are taking note of the education program so they make sure they bring food and water, which previously they have lacked a bit. It has been amazing.
"It is early days, we are hoping this will be a stepping stone for the rest of the week. It has been a good and healthy start to Schoolies."
At least eighteen people were arrested on Saturday night when Schoolies kicked off
Seven Schoolies - all male - were arrested on 15 charges all related to drug possession.
A 25 year old Carrara man was arrested and charged with public nuisance after a dispute at McDonalds in Surfers Paradise at 11pm.
The majority of the non-schoolies arrested were related to drugs and public nuisance.
Last year, six schoolies were arrested on the first night.
The Queensland Ambulance Service reported assessing a total of 50 patients during the Saturday celebrations at the Emergency Treatment Centre at Surfers Paradise.
Those treated included 27 females and 23 males with three patients checked at hospital.
Police say they were generally pleased with the behaviour.
"It is timely to remind the community that the possession and consumption of illicit drugs is illegal," a police spokesman said.
"Not only is it illegal - it is also dangerous and could have fatal consequences."
Gold Coast Schoolies Advisory Group chair Mark Reaburn said he was "really happy" with feedback from volunteers from the first night after 10,709 Schoolies arrived, picking up official wrist bands.
"That's what we expected, we had planned for that. We will have a lot more kids coming tonight .
"A lot of the kids work weekends and come in (Sunday) night.
"You put that many people in a confined space whether they are Schoolies or non Schoolies, you're going to have issues.
"There's a few that will push the boundaries. Schoolies are the same as non-Schoolies - if you break the law you will be dealt with."