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Take Kare Safe Spaces and Ambassador Program recognised for reducing alcohol-related crime in Sydney

Media release

19 October 2017

Sydney’s Take Kare Safe Spaces and Ambassador Program today received a silver award in the community-led category of the 2017 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.

Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation CEO Ralph Kelly said the program provides recliners to rest, phone chargers, water, lollipops, thongs, reconnection with family or friends and assistance in getting home safely to vulnerable or intoxicated 18–25 year olds in the Sydney City CBD, Kings Cross and Darling Harbour—a location currently being trialled.

“By assisting vulnerable and intoxicated young people who are in need of help and unable to find their way home, our program is mitigating the risks of aggravated assault, sexual assault, theft and self-harm.

“Since the inception of the program in December 2014, there have been over 46,000 interventions, which we call sliding door moments—the difference between a young person’s life continuing as normal or disintegrating into a major catastrophe. 

“Many parents would be unaware that their sons and daughters are home safely tonight because of the selfless work of our volunteers, who give up their Friday and Saturday night to help others. We also provide wayfinding services to both international and domestic visitors on directions in the city.

“Every time we go out we know that we are saving lives—it’s an incredibly powerful program,” said Mr Kelly.
These annual awards recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community. 

“We are delighted to receive the Silver Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award as it provides both recognition and validation of the Foundation’s significant contribution to the prevention and reduction of violence”, said Natalie Zelinsky, Executive Officer, Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.

“Take Kare Safe Spaces and Ambassador Program is a well-conceived initiative, assisting vulnerable young people at risk of victimisation and/or offending,” said acting Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Nicole Rose PSM.

“The program reaches high numbers of young adults, reduces the risk of alcohol-related crime and provides a harm reduction service, while improving the safety and amenity of the public domain.”

All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and chaired by the acting AIC Director.

NSW ACVPA Board representative, Chief Superintendent Brad Shepherd, said the Take Kare Safe Spaces and Ambassador program is assisting vulnerable and intoxicated young people in need of help to find a safe place.

“This program reduces the risks of young people being the victims of assault, abuse and street crime. NSW Police Force participate in the steering group with the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and supports the initiative on the streets of Sydney,” said Chief Superintendent Shepherd.

The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.

For more information about the award winners, visit

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