The annual Schoolies event on Queensland ‘s Gold Coast is often portrayed as week of drinking, random sex, drugs and violence from which nothing good comes.
The event — a week of celebration for students who have just completed Year 12 —started in the 1970s on the Gold Coast has spread to more than 10 locations throughout Australia although the Gold Coast is by far the biggest and the one that receives the most media attention.
On the Gold Coast around 25,000 to 30,000 17-year-olds invade the city staying in the array of high-rise unit blocks, spending the day on the beach, or in bed, and partying all night.
But the story of two teenagers proves that you can find love at Schoolies.
It was a hot November in 1989, when 17-year-old John Appleyard and his friends went to the Gold Coast to celebrate the end of school.
The now 44-year-old never imagined he would find ‘the one’ at Schoolies.
“I just went up there for a good time and look what happened,” he said.
John and his love met at a Burleigh Heads resort with a distinctive pool in the shape of a map of Australia.
“So I actually met Kylie up in the Northern Territory part,” John said.
“Somewhere in Arnhem Land.”
John and a mate saw Kylie and her friends swimming and plucked up the courage to go over and chat.
However, young John was a bit on the shy side.
“Over the next couple of days two of my friends actually let Kylie know that I was interested,” he said.