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Red Frogs (formally known as 'Red Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network') is a support network for university students and school-leavers run by volunteers known as the 'Red Frogs Crew'. The Red Frogs Crew participates in many events that are attended by school leavers and university students, such as schoolies week, uni parties, high school seminars & Easterfest. The Red Frogs gained their name through handing out of Frogs Alive Red Frogs at these events, a lolly which was created by the Australian confectionery company Allens.
In 1997, founder Andy Gourley attended schoolies week on the Gold Coast with some of his friends and noticed the large amount of binge drinking and illicit drug use that was occurring. After watching the amount of fatal accidents and other incidents that were caused by the binge drinking and drug use, Andy gathered a select group of people to provide support for the school leavers. By using Allens Red Frogs as a conversation starter, he and his friends would offer to help walk drunken people home. It was this support for school leavers that saw more and more people join the cause in years to come. In a 2010 interview, Andy stated his goal that "Schoolies to me ... really safeguarding tomorrows leadership ... It's building a fence at the top of the cliff, rather than picking up the pieces at the bottom."
Involvement in Schoolies Week
Schoolies week is the Red Frogs main event of the year in which they take part. Schoolies week is well known and criticised for the amount of drinking and acts of violence that occur during the 2-week period of celebrations and partying. The Red Frogs Crew have 6 main involvements in schoolies week:
- "The Walkers" - Crew members who offer intoxicated persons assistance whilst walking home from parties and celebrations
- "The Talkers" - Crew members that hand out Red Frogs and promote safe partying
- "Call Center Operators" - Crew members take hundreds of calls from youth in distress or who need assistance in their hotel rooms or situations
- "The Chefs" - Crew members that cook pancakes in the early morning to provide breakfast, and also to help youths recover from the previous night of drinking
- "The Cleaners" - Crew members who help clean schoolies hotel rooms/apartments from vomit and food
- "The Stage Guys" - Crew members who help run the Red Frogs Stage, an entertainment centre throughout the nights
Involvement throughout the university year
The Red Frogs Crew starts involvement with the university year starting with Orientation Week. In an attempt to keep a good relationship with university students, Red Frog crew members have a stall during orientation week in which they handout approximately 60,000 Uni Planners, 10,000 donuts, 5,000 icy poles and 2 tonnes of Red Frogs. The Red Frogs Crew will also be found attending parties where they have 'Hydration Stations' - a stall set up to help keep university students hydrated throughout the night. The Red Frogs Crew also host many of their own events, such as coffee crawls, cooking pancakes for students at exam time, and hosting BBQ's.
- "About Us". Red Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network. 2008.
- "Contact Us". Red Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network. 2008.
- Red Frogs 'friends in the crowd' for Schoolies http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2012/11/23/3639365.htm
- Schoolies' red frog man is a guardian angel http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/schoolies-red-frog-man-is-a-guardian-angel/story-e6frerex-1225798728352
- "Red Frogs Documentary". Red Frogs Crew. 1 March 2011.