TRUCKS FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE
When we think of ‘community,’ it is often an image of a fixed location, like the place we grew up or a building of significance like a school, a clubhouse, or a sporting field perhaps.
A truck therefore, is not the first thing which comes to mind when the concept of community is mentioned in conversation.
There are however many trucks working across Australia to build community, maintain social connections, or provide important services to many Australians.
The pandemic has shown us that while we can become isolated, even in our own homes, in a populated city, those hit hardest are our regional communities who, pandemic or not, can become cut-off from a whole range of amenities, but also from their networks of family and friends.
In this blog we’re shining a light on some unique examples of vehicles with real purpose…trucks that give back to their community.
The Gotcha4Life truck is a bit different from what you would expect.
This custom-built Isuzu NNR 45-150 Crew has been donated by Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) and will be raffled off later this year, raising funds for the Gotcha4Life Foundation.
Click here to enter the raffle to win it for yourself!
By way of some background, back in April Gotcha4Life and Isuzu Trucks embarked on the Mateship Miles roadshow visiting a string of regional centres up the east coast, including Shepparton, Wagga Wagga, Canberra, Nowra, and Woolongong.
The roadshow was organised to promote ‘mental fitness’ and discuss building connections and meaningful mateship in key regional centres.
The truck was designed and built by IAL alongside Service Bodies Australia and a host of other contributors. This ‘rolling community hub’ has an all-weather television, a Nespresso coffee machine, a couple of BBQs and plenty more…making it a complete meeting space that can go the distance on the highway, back streets, or even off the beaten track.
In regional and remote communities, access to quality health services, that metropolitan Australians often take for granted, can be few and far between.
Alert to these needs, BreastScreenNT purchased an Isuzu FTS 800 4×4 back in 2014, which was customised by Queensland-based company Mills-Tui. The truck is fitted-out with all the medical equipment and facilities needed to become a mobile breast screen clinic aiding in early detection of breast cancer.
Travelling directly to remote Aboriginal communities across the Territory, BreastScreenNT brings this important health service right to their doorstep, all in an unmissable hot pink wrap.
Selected for its 4×4 abilities, the FTS is as rugged as it gets. It’s been fully weather proofed for a Top End climate, with a composite aluminium interior designed for the humidity, and powerful air-conditioning to protect the delicate equipment.
Satellite equipment relays results and other information back to Darwin instantly, while a generator and a hot water system add important functional amenity.
Finally, a large sun awning reaches out to shade those waiting for this valuable service.
The consumption habits of Australians leave us with a lot of landfill along with missed opportunities for so-called ‘waste’ to be upcycled or re-purposed.
Green Collect, assisted by their van-bodied truck, repurpose office equipment and supplies, commercial kitchen fittings, media tech, unwanted furniture from business fit outs and more.
Based in Melbourne, Green Collect transform what was considered ‘waste’ into reusable products by shifting the consciousness around these items.
This means organisations undertaking valuable work, such as charities and aid groups, can access more affordable items – fulfilling their business needs and preventing an addition to landfill.
The non-for-profit has a medium size team made up of staff who have faced employment barriers and discrimination in the past, due to social exclusion, refugee status, or homelessness.
Not only does Green Collect provide a place for unwanted goods to belong and find new homes, but it prioritises a supportive work environment, the upskilling of staff, and combats the stigmatisation at-risk demographics can receive.
THE PURPLE TRUCK
Living on Country is of crucial cultural importance for many central desert Aboriginal people, but it can be impacted when receiving health services and long-term medical support.
Accessing this level of support, especially when it comes the treatment of chronic health issues such diabetes, can mean expensive, lengthy trips across arduous terrain to major centres such as Alice Springs, Katherine or Darwin.
Enter The Purple Truck.
This custom-built truck was put together by the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation and is a mobile renal dialysis unit that safely transports patients to and from critical treatment.
The Purple Truck supports Aboriginal patients receiving dialysis for end-stage renal failure to stay connected to their family and friends and not fall out of touch with community and mob during ongoing medical treatment.
This truck does the rounds too, it travels right across remote Western Australia, Northern Territory, and South Australia.
With an extra-long wheelbase configuration, this larger platform is the perfect vehicle to safely house medical equipment and dialysis machines.
Adorned with soothing yet beautiful artwork by Papunya Tula artists who are themselves receiving dialysis treatment, the FTR 900 is a sight for sore eyes as it brings home beloved community members.
Food insecurity is not the modern issue it seems, in fact it’s an old problem that evolves over time to reflect different modes of living and ideologies at play in a society.
Oz Harvest are an important part of combating food insecurity and avoidable food wastage in Brisbane, and Southeast Queensland.
Time is of the essence when transporting food especially when it comes to produce surplus that could expire if ignored or not managed with care.
The use of smaller trucks is an important aspect of the Oz Harvest operation.
These powerful yet manoeuvrable trucks are specifically built for urban and city centre environments. They can carry and store up to 1,000kg of surplus fresh produce collected from commercial and grocery locations and are able to go the distance delivering surplus food to the charities, non-for-profits, and homes that need it most.
If you want to learn more about amazing trucks working hard for their communities across Australia check out the mateship miles roadshow or enter here to win the custom NNR 45 – 150 Crew for yourself.