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Something new brewing in the Top End

Something new brewing in the Top End

Something new brewing in the Top End

11 March 2021

Barista Jayden Wigley working at the new coffee van, a popular ministry initiative of The Salvation Army in Darwin.

By Darryl Whitecross

Word spreads quickly in the Top End like the smell of freshly made coffee. Attention brewed on a coffee van ministry for The Salvation Army in Darwin before it even had a name or any branding on the vehicle.

Captain Peter Jones, Public Relations Secretary for the Northern Territory, said that despite only having taken to the streets just before Christmas, it had already become popular.

“Every time we go and do an event, they get a request to be somewhere else: ‘We’ve got this event on, would you guys like to come?’,” Peter said. 

The van was “ready to go” early last year, Peter said, but remained ‘parked’ while COVID-19 restrictions were in place, getting out on the road as the protocols eased. The van was purchased through the Army’s Innovation Fund as a fully fitted-out vehicle from a business owner in Katherine. 

In the lead-up to Christmas, the van was used at several locations and events, including satisfying thirsty supporters of the annual Darwin Christmas toy run, which was the biggest recorded, with more than 200 bikers turning out, and the PAWS [animal shelter] Photo Day where pets could have their photo taken with Santa. 

“There’s been a really good response,” Peter said. “People have really engaged with us. We just make coffee and people use tap-and go-to pay for the coffee and can also choose to donate [the same way] for a coffee. It works brilliantly.” 

The vehicle can run completely on its own power, has its own water tank and other electrical devices can be plugged into it. “Basically, you can drive anywhere, pull up and start serving coffee,” Peter said.

“This is a coffee van for outreach for the Top End; to get out and about and around the place to spread good cheer through coffee.” 

Mission logo creating faith pathways



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