Private Parties and Prince Alfred College

Prince Alfred College does not support nor encourage the provision or facilitation of any alcohol to students under the age of 18.

We do not recommend that parents organise events where such provision of alcohol to minors is intended, supported or likely.

The laws of South Australia, including liquor licensing provisions, are designed in part to prevent, minimise or delay the consumption of alcohol by minors to protect their health and welfare. Prince Alfred College supports these aims.

The decisions of parents to allow their sons to attend any event where minors are provided alcohol is made by parents alone. As a College we encourage parents to consider such decisions carefully and be fully informed about the legal, health and well-being risks associated with their sons’ attendance at such events.

In regard to the broader issues of alcohol, parties and minors, the decisions of parents to allow their sons to attend any social events with or without alcohol is one for them to make as responsible parents according to their values and relationships with their sons.

Adults have a range of safeguards to exercise including: saying no, providing education and information about risks and safe behaviour, and having authentic, “what should you do if this happens?” discussions with their sons. Saying ‘no’ may sometimes make us unpopular with adolescents, but it may make us responsible parents, and we will not be on our own.

Scientific and research evidence indicates that the earlier young people drink alcohol, the greater the actual and potential harm and risk to them. Similarly, brain development is incomplete in most boys until their mid-20s, and this fact limits their higher order decision-making abilities in relation to risk-taking.

Conversely, there is no compelling evidence that under 18s can be ‘taught to drink’ by attending large-scale parties organised by well-intentioned groups of parents at which liquor is provided free, sold or brought in by the children themselves.  Furthermore, according to the SA Police, it is possible that organisers of events facilitating alcohol to minors are in breach of current licensing laws and definitely in breach of the proposed “Third Party Supply” legislation currently before the South Australian Parliament.

The following sources may be of interest to our community:

The College has been consistent in its approach to this broader issue and has provided significant guidance to our community via targeted seminars to all Senior School students, staff and voluntary seminars for our parent community.

Please contact me or your son’s respective Head of School if you wish further clarification of our position regarding students attending private events where alcohol is provided to minors.

Bradley Fenner