Taking care of yourself
Staying safe while you live, study and work in Australia means taking care of your health and wellbeing. While our Region is comparatively safe by world standards, you still need to protect yourself and your belongings. Locking the door at home, keeping your valuables secure and out of sight and taking precautions when out after dark are some common practices to staying safe.
Everyday safety tips
- It’s best not to walk alone at night. Walk in a group and stay in well-lit areas where there are people around. Walk with confidence and be aware of any suspicious activity around you.
- If you’re going out, plan your trip so that you know how you’re getting home, and make sure you have enough money for transport if you need it.
- Make sure your mobile phone is charged. Carry the phone numbers of your host family, International Student Coordinator and 1800STUDY with you.
- Be aware of road safety, especially if your home country drives on the other side of the road. Always cross the street at a pedestrian crossing or at traffic lights with pedestrian signals.
- Never carry large amounts of money with you. You can access money in your bank account at most stores with your Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card.
Where can I find help?
In an Emergency, anywhere in Australia, dial 000 for Emergency Services – Police, Fire and Ambulance. 112 may also be dialled from mobile phones (this number overrides key locks on mobiles and will work even in low service areas. Emergency Services operators answer quickly and to save time will ask, “Police, Fire, or Ambulance?” If you are unsure of what emergency service you need, tell the operator what the emergency is.
Other important phone numbers to know are:
In Australia, your rights as a consumer are protected by law, so if you think that you have been scammed or treated incorrectly, advice is available from Consumer Protection.
TIP | If you are not sure who can help or need help translating, call the Translating and Interpreting Service, phone 13 14 50.
Be sun smart
The Australian sun can be hotter than you expect, and sunburn can happen very quickly, even if it’s a cloudy day. The best way to avoid getting sunburned is to be SunSmart, Aussies say ‘SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen, SLAP on a hat, SEEK shade and SLIDE on sunnies!’
TIP | If you get sun burnt, please seek medical advice from a pharmacy or doctor.
Be water safe
We have many wonderful places to enjoy the water in our Region and it is a great way to cool off on a hot day. If you are heading to the water, be sure you are aware of local conditions.
- If you are not a good swimmer, only swim where a lifeguard is available (such as, local swimming pools or beaches and follow the rules).
- Only swim at patrolled beaches (a beach where there are lifeguards on duty - look for signs) and always swim between the red and yellow flags where lifeguards can see you.
- Never enter or dive into water if you are not sure how deep it is or you can’t see what is in the water.
On a hot day, the Fitzroy River might look like an inviting place to cool down, but it is not a safe place to swim, Crocodiles inhabit this area and it is important to understand how to keep safe if you are fishing or using the waterway for water sports. What does it mean to be Crocwise?
If you like to get out into the wilderness, the Rockhampton Region’s parks and forests are waiting to be discovered. Have a relaxed afternoon taking in the quiet beauty at Fraser Park up Mount Archer, or for longer outings, prepare carefully for your camping or hiking adventure by learning where you can go, and what you need to do so you can explore safely. It is important to remember that Australian wildlife should not be touched – take only photos and leave only footprints.
Some important information to know before you go bushwalking
Beware of dangerous creatures
While enjoying the great outdoors in Australia, you will need to keep an eye out for dangerous and sometimes deadly creatures, although it is unlikely that you will see these creatures while you are here, it is good to know what to look out for and what to do if you encounter them. Remember, it is best to leave them alone and do not disturb them.
- Irukandji jellyfish
- Box jellyfish
- Blue-ringed octopus
- Cone shell (aka cone snail)
- Red belly black snake
- Brown snake
- Tiger snake
- Death adder
- Paralysis tick
- Funnel web spider
- Redback spider
The legal drinking age in Australia is 18, and while drinking can be seen as a way to engage socially, it’s handy to know how to do this safely and drink responsibly. It is illegal to drink or supply alcohol to people under the age of 18 years.
Some tips to stay safe when drinking:
- Count your standard drinks
- Drink Slowly
- Eat before and during consumption of alcohol
- Avoid ‘shouts or rounds’
- Pace yourself – drink water or a non-alcoholic drink in-between alcoholic drinks
- Stay busy, if you have something to do you tend to drink less.
- Try a low-alcohol alternative
- Stop drinking when you feel the effects of alcohol.
- Never drink and drive
If you need to smoke while you are living in Australia, you’ll have to go outside – the campus, the house or the shopping centre! No-smoking zones are in all public places, so learn about acceptable places to smoke before you light up.
Australian laws prohibit all recreational and hard drug use, stay away from drug users and always say ‘no’ to drugs.