School leaver (graduate) celebrations in Margaret River, Western Australia: a community approach to management

Richard Midford, Sarah Midford, Fiona Farringdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, an increasing number of young Western Australians have chosen the tourist town of Margaret River, about 300 kilometers south of the Perth, as the place to celebrate completing school. Typically, the celebrations involve intense socializing and considerable binge drinking. In 2001, the community developed a comprehensive management strategy to minimize the impact of the celebrations, while still facilitating an enjoyable experience for the leavers (recent graduates). This incorporated community members providing supervised activities for the leavers. Evaluation of the intervention employed a mixed methodology, comprising surveys of school leavers, interviews with community stakeholders, and participant observation. The findings indicated that the leavers generally got what they wanted from the experience and the community felt it had maintained control. Providing activities built a relationship between the leavers and the community and seemed important in minimizing problems for both groups. An added bonus was the community developed greater confidence and capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1915-1932
Number of pages18
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


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