SAFE NIGHT: Rest and Recovery staff Dee Faser, Jaydah Raichet and Torii Kelly.
SAFE NIGHT: Rest and Recovery staff Dee Faser, Jaydah Raichet and Torii Kelly. Jessica Lamb

You're not alone on a night out

THERE are other uniforms in Airlie Beach's Safe Night Precinct than just the obvious blue to make sure you have a great, but safe night.

Wearing high-vis yellow, the 'Rest and Recovery' pop-up tent is easily identifiable from 10pm until 3am most Friday and Saturday nights opposite Beaches venue.

The initiative was started 18 months ago in Airlie Beach by Anglicare Queensland where local staff partnered with security, police, ambulance and emergency service workers to provide water and help to "vulnerable patrons”.

When interviewed earlier this year Rest and Recovery program manager Dee Fraser said everybody had "been there, done that” and the RR staff were not there to judge.

"We are in a strange position, we are not QAS, not QPS and not security; instead just people who are concerned for the well-being of others,” she said.

"Most of the time it's about listening to people but combining alcohol and/or an illegal substance and people forget their way of managing a conversation and their behaviour.

"Who are we to judge?

"It happens, let's just take care of them and make sure that person gets home safe and sound.

"Sometimes we walk people to the taxi rank or provide a shoulder to cry on or even calm people down.

"At the end of the day our patrons are someone's daughter and or someone's son.”

Ms Fraser explained there was no typical night because of the town's status as an international tourist hub.

"A typical night, as best we could describe it, is always lots of fun,” she laughed.

"Sometimes we have to get out our translator app for tourists asking for the way back to where they are staying - it's quite funny sometimes, you don't know how many places here have a palm tree on them.”

Ms Fraser has seen the best and the worst of times in the Safe Night Precinct from coward's punches to happy revellers.

"We would like the families to know that when their children, irrelevant of their age, come to our community, they are safe,” she said. "We want people to have a wonderful time and a safe night out.”

For the long term goal, RR would love community support and volunteers to join them in handing out water.

For more information visit the Rest and Recovery Airlie Beach Facebook page.


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