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No Schoolies regrets in Fiji

Fijian fun: Young Australians will be headed to Fiji instead of the Gold Coast this week to celebrate their Schoolies Week in paradise.

Fijian fun: Young Australians will be headed to Fiji instead of the Gold Coast this week to celebrate their Schoolies Week in paradise.

By Emilie Ng

HIGH school graduate Imogen Wilson wants no regrets after her Schoolies Week.

The Brigidine College school leaver has booked an alternative to Schoolies on the Gold Coast after seeing too many images of young people binge drinking and partying at Surfers Paradise.

Miss Wilson said news footage of Schoolies Week rarely showed young people who enjoyed themselves or remembered their experiences.

“From what I see, it looks really scary,” she said.

Instead Miss Wilson has booked a flight to Fiji and will join a group of other young Australians on a “cultural revolution” with youth travel and pilgrimage group Harvest INROADS.

The Alternative Schoolies trip to Fiji offers young people “a viable alternative” to “mark the end of their schooling in a fun yet meaningful way”.

Students will travel to Fiji to “enjoy the attractions of this island paradise”, but will have opportunities to work with the local community.

Young graduates will help with various building and infrastructure projects in nearby villages, teach English to primary school students and deliver home-cooked meals to struggling families.

The Schoolies alternative is based on the successful mission project model used during the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio.

A Harvest spokeswoman said they encouraged parents and students to consider “making meaningful memories rather than blurry regrets”.

Miss Wilson said the trip would be her way of “giving back to the community”.

“In Fiji, we’ll be going to schools to teach English, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I hadn’t gone through schooling and over 13 years of English classes,” she said.

“I also want to share all the good and bad things I’ve learnt in life, to help kids who are not nearly as fortunate.”

Miss Wilson will leave for a week in Fiji on November 29.

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Written by: Emilie Ng
Catholic Church Insurance

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