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National Award for Victor Harbor Schoolies Festival™ Team

Schoolies Festival Team AwardThe Victor Harbor Schoolies Festival™ Team won the ‘Community Partnerships and Collaboration’ category at the Local Government Professionals Australia National Federation Awards.

The Awards celebrate the commitment councils’ show to their communities and recognise excellence in local government.

Competing against entrants from across the country, the Victor Harbor Schoolies Festival™ Team was the clear winner demonstrating outstanding collaboration across a large number of organisations including the event’s driver Encounter Youth, City of Victor Harbor, South Australian Police, SA Ambulance, Metropolitan Fire Service, St Johns, SA Health, Country Health SA, Safe Work SA, local accommodation providers, transport operators, educational institutions, liquor licensees, Motor Accident Commission (MAC), media and the local Victor Harbor community.

Through outstanding collaboration and tireless work of the event team, Victor Harbor’s school leaver management response is known as the country’s safest and shortest school leaver’s celebration.

“This national accolade is testament to the partnerships that have turned a once unruly celebration that lasted weeks into a well-managed, structured and safe celebration that runs over three days in November each year,” said City of Victor Harbor Chief Executive Officer Graeme Maxwell.

“We are seeing young people have an enjoyable and positive experience, and leaving with life long memories of their time in Victor Harbor making them more likely to come back and visit later in life.”

“While there are a myriad of organisations and agencies who make important contributions to the delivery of the event, Encounter Youth’s vision and leadership has largely driven the success of Victor Harbor’s Schoolies Festival™.”

Encounter Youth CEO Nigel Knowles said, “It’s our inherent belief in young people, and our desire to see them celebrate safely, that led a pastor and a few youth workers to first begin responding in 1999 to the mass-gathering in order to make a positive contribution to the City of Victor and the lives of young people.”

“It’s an immense privilege for Encounter Youth to facilitate a community-based response through the South Australian Schoolies Operation, which at its core is so effective due to multi-stakeholder and working group collaboration, along with our 550 Encounter Youth Green Team volunteers who support school leavers throughout the weekend.”

“Over the years, we have implemented a number of proactive management strategies, including coordinating a free bus service across the Fleurieu to prevent road trauma, which sees around 25,000 boardings annually through the support of our Principal Partner, MAC.”

This is the second year in a row the City of Victor Harbor has received this award, winning it in 2016 with Alexandrina Council for the Fleurieu Aquatic Centre project.

Encounter Youth will manage its 19th Schoolies Festival™ celebration in Victor Harbor later this year.

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