Bigger crowd tipped for Leavers

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
The Red Frogs mascot with Alex Wilson, Hayden Glass, and Danica Hall.
Camera IconThe Red Frogs mascot with Alex Wilson, Hayden Glass, and Danica Hall. Credit: Supplied

The South West will be overrun with raging students ready to celebrate the end of a tumultuous school year when Leavers kicks off this weekend.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WA School Leavers program with organised events from Monday through to Thursday will take on a slightly different feel this year.

A night-time entertainment zone will again be established in Dunsborough, with this year’s zone capacity allowing for 10,000 leavers.

Police forward commander for the South West district for leavers, Scott Morrissey, said police were expecting a bigger crowd this year due to the global pandemic.

“The significant interruptions of COVID-19 on the students’ schooling year meant they had no school balls and because of travel restrictions there is nowhere else for them to go,” Sgt Morrissey said.

“We are expecting a bigger crowd this year but there will be sufficient police numbers to have a strong presence in the Dunsborough and Busselton townsites and we have adequately catered for policing of the zone.”

Sgt Morrissey said police would continue to take active measures to reduce the supply and availability of illicit drugs in the community.

“There is always a concern of people preying on vulnerable people who are looking to possibly experiment and we encourage leavers not to experiment in illicit drug taking,” he said. “Safety of patrons and the community is the key focus for us.

“We are asking that drivers don’t drive tired, take their time getting down here and plan their journey ahead,” he said.

“It is important leavers respect the community, volunteers and most importantly themselves and have an enjoyable week.”

The team at Red Frogs has been busy packing lollies, water, food and other essential items, ready to play their part in helping the class of 2020 safely enjoy their celebrations.

Red Frogs WA State director Hayden Glass encouraged this year’s leavers to look out for their mates and reach out if they felt they needed help or advice.

“It’s been an uncertain and difficult year for many of our Year 12s with the unsettling impact of COVID-19,” Mr Glass said.

“We are here to help them as they look to celebrate the end of their schooling and embark on a new stage of life.”

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