Salvos’ Pink Car officially takes to the streets
Following a rising concern for young women’s safety in the early hours of the morning on weekends, The Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614 has launched The Pink Car.
The vehicle, purchased by the Collingwood Football Club, will be seen travelling around the city and South Yarra from this weekend following its celebratory launch on Wednesday, August 24 in Docklands.
As a standout hot-pink car, with an equally identifiable Salvation Army logo on the side, Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle said the program was one that was “for women by women”.
“The Pink Car will operate on Friday and Saturday nights, staffed by a female worker and a female volunteer with the purpose to engage with young women and help ensure they get home safely,” Major Nottle said.
The need for the extra assistance for women was noticed during times when The Salvation Army Melbourne’s Youth Street Teams would operate over the weekend to support young people who may have overdone it or were struggling to get home.
The Youth Street Teams program was first funded by The City of Melbourne in 2010 as a response to the concerning rise in alcohol-fuelled violence before becoming a suspended program at the beginning of the pandemic.
It was then reinstated with funding from the council this year, following a request from Major Nottle at a June 23 council meeting.
The announcement of The Pink Car program soon followed.
To aid with assisting young women on a night out, The Pink Car will work in collaboration with the police, paramedics and the City of Melbourne’s safe city CCTV team, receiving referrals on areas of concern.
The all-women team will also check in on women who may be seen waiting for an Uber, a taxi or their friends, to see if they are in need of a lift or alternatively just someone to wait with them.
While labelled as The Pink Car for obvious reasons, the vehicle also goes by the name of “Anne’s Van” in an effort to honour and recognise the significant work of the late Anne Malloch.
Ms Malloch was a significant contributor to the City of Melbourne for more than 30 years, specifically with regards to women’s safety, and was involved in preliminary discussions about the program before her passing a month prior to the launch.
At the launch it was announced that the women focused support program would operate between 10pm and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, and assistance from the vehicle can also be requested by calling 1800 266 686. •