Building public policy to support young people in reducing alcohol-related harm when partying at Schoolies Festivals

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    Mass gatherings such as Schoolies Festivals are often situated in existing communities. Schoolies Festivals are generally unbounded, transient mass gathering events that are situated within various coastal communities around Australia. Mass gatherings are traditionally examined as separate case studies or through using a mass gathering framework to assess patient safety. However, mass gathering frameworks and single case studies do not go far enough to examine events such as Schoolies Festivals. Schoolies Festivals often consist of a bounded ticketed dry zone for night time activities, surrounded by open dry zones, which are an unbounded part of the general community social space and can include hotels, caravan parks and the local community services. We believe that the Ottawa Charter provides the necessary broader lens through which to examine the safety of young people participating in Schoolies Festivals. The Ottawa Charter views health in terms of the whole population and although developed in 1986, maintains its relevance in contemporary social and health contexts. As a primary health care framework, the Ottawa Charter provides researchers and policy makers with the capacity to think 'outside the square' to develop strategies to prevent harm for young people attending such events. In addition the Ottawa Charter is a useful framework as it views the health of whole populations and maintains its relevance today. Through examining the needs of the community through a primary health care framework, the interface between the Schoolies event and the wider community can be examined to address some of the underlying structural factors that contribute to the safety of young people at Schoolies Festivals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)96-100
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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