Fun loving school leavers are becoming more adventurous when it
comes to celebrating Schoolies, with the Department of Foreign
Affairs advising that Bali, Fiji, Thailand and Vanuatu have become
popular overseas Schoolies destinations. Whilst most teenagers will
return home unharmed, what are schoolies' rights when their
overseas adventure goes seriously wrong?
Stacks travel law specialist Victoria Gallanders offers five
tips on what to do when trouble hits when you are overseas:
Report the incident. It's best to get some sort of official
record of what happened. Depending on the situation, report the
incident to the local police, hotel manager, travel representative,
airline etc and ask for a copy of the incident report.
Take lots of photographs of the place where it happened and any
equipment or vehicles involved.
Try and get names and contact details of all the people
involved, especially anybody who you think was to blame for what
happened and witnesses.
If you have to see a doctor after a mishap make sure you tell
the doctor how it happened. Get a copy of the medical report so
that your doctors back in Australia can provide continuity of
Seek legal advice when you return home - you may be able to
seek compensation for your losses and expenses even after you
Ms Gallanders says these tips apply to any traveller, but
schoolies are especially vulnerable due to their inexperience and,
yes, risk taking activities such as motorbikes, jet skis, or bungy
Whilst most schoolies will return home without incident, if
disaster strikes overseas it is important to seek legal advice soon
after returning to Australia. Your rights will mostly be determined
by the law of the country where the incident happened, which often
include short time limits to take action. A specialist travel
lawyer will be able to advise you about your rights and whether you
can seek compensation for what happened.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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