By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
The Wagga Wagga Liquor Accord is the first in New South Wales to roll out the international ‘Ask For Angela’ campaign, where female patrons can subtly ask bar staff for assistance in a difficult situation.
The initiative was announced by the Minister for Racing, Paul Toole, late last week. The initiative has evolved globally from the increasing experience of people meeting in person for the first time after chatting on dating apps such as Tinder – and not all of these dates go smoothly.
“Hotels see the roll-out of #AskForAngela as an acknowledgement times are changing – once upon a time, people met in a crowded bar or on the dance floor and got to know each other over a dance and a drink – with the advent of smartphone apps people are meeting for the first time based on a profile,” said John Green, AHA NSW’s director of liquor and policing.
As part of the accord’s initiative venue staff at licensed premises have been provided with guidelines as to how to assist patrons who have asked for Angela at the bar. These measures include organising transport from the venue or calling the police.
“It’s important to note #AskforAngela does not replace the need for you to call the police if there is actual or threatened violence,” states Green.
Toole believes the Wagga Wagga Liquor accord had shown great enterprise in adopting a novel campaign that will add an extra level of safety for patrons.
“This campaign confronts an emerging issue and provides a unique community solution to help tackle the problem and increase safety in venues.
“Our liquor accords play a key role in the NSW Government’s approach to liquor regulation. Liquor accords have had great success in reducing alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour through tailored local initiatives.”
The posters (pictured below), will be displayed in women’s bathrooms, prompting them on the procedure if they feel unsafe.
Member for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire, has welcomed the collaboration between Liquor and Gaming NSW, AHA NSW, local licensed venues, police, and the wider community.
“The ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign will ensure safer nights out for everyone. I hope this launch in Wagga Wagga will encourage other regional liquor accords to also adopt this great community initiative.”