Australia’s front line workers deserve our praise, not hostility

Dayna Mignone
April 30, 2021

In recent weeks, there have been accounts across media platforms of people harassing healthcare workers for wearing scrubs in public. The same people that put their lives at risk for us on a daily basis are being treated with greater hostility and abuse than ever. We are saying it now and we will say it again, Frontline workers deserve our praise not our condemnation.

During the pandemic, a range of factors seemed to have encouraged attacks on health-care professionals. According to a National Nurses United survey of over 15 000 registered nurses conducted in late 2020, approximately 20% of participants reported increased on-the-job violence, which they attributed to COVID-19–related staffing shortages, changes in their patient population, and visitor restrictions. Alison Lamb, nurse unit manager at the Showgrounds Immunisation Hub, claimed that the health workers taking part in administering vaccinations are frequently subjected to aggression from people who are confused and stressed about getting their vaccination.

“We’ve seen people yelling, screaming, threatening us with violence, threatening to make complaints and escalating things when all we’re trying to do is the right thing by the department...Try and understand that we’re doing the best that we can,”.

As new coronavirus infections surpassed thousands, Ms Spence reported that nurses who had never worked in intensive care were being asked to work on the unit after only four days of training. Extra beds were being added to the Royal Melbourne Hospital on a daily basis as the number of seriously ill patients continued to rise.  This is the same group of people, the same nurses, who are subjected to harassment when shopping in their scrubs on their way home from working a double shift.

Following an incident in which a young woman was harassed because of her uniform, doctors released statements advising staff to remove their uniforms in order to calm public fear. According to Dr. Perry “Right now, seeing scrubs in public could cause people to feel uneasy. It also sends the wrong message to the public about how careful the health care workers are being to protect the public. At times like this perception is reality.”

What can we do to help?

The Safely team wanted to create something to express our gratitude to all of the front-line staff. We are eternally grateful for everything you have done for us during this awful time. When we weren't permitted in, you were the ones who held our families' hands as they passed. You are the ones who helped birth our children, and you continue to put your own life in danger every day to help save ours. And for that, we will be profoundly grateful.

We wanted to provide you 12 months of Safely for free to assist keep you safe as you have been doing so generously for us. Simply download Safely on the app store or google play and enter the promo code ‘TYFRONTLINE’ from here select ‘First 12 months free’ You will be required to give your bank information, but you will not be charged until after 12 months, at which point you will be able to unsubscribe.How to use Safely to protect yourself & others

Quick Triggers:

We know that sometimes you can’t be prepared and having peace of mind shouldn’t require you to always think ahead. In these situations, you can use your quick triggers to sound an alarm and notify your loved ones automatically. These can be set off in 3 different ways.

  1. Headphones are removed or disconnected.
  2. Phone is being shaked
  3. In a scenario where you fall, the moment your phone hits the ground


High Alert mode

Press and hold your Safely button to activate high alert mode and simply release when you want to set off an alarm. — whether you want to set a timer to go off after a specific amount of time, trigger an immediate alarm or discretely start recording an incident with the option of triggering an alarm if things escalate.​

Add your points of interest to receive local danger alerts

Add in your home, work, or gym address to get alerts of incidents in these areas. You’ll receive notifications about your points of interest and avoid the risk of compromising your safety. Your points of interest can also be shared with your guardians, so they can ensure you’re safe at all times.


Create a private group with circles that you can keep an eye on while also being protected. This might be your family, coworkers, or friends. More specifically circles is about taking a proactive step to protect the people who matter most to you by:

  • Pinpointing where members are on a map
  • Circle chats
  • 'Watch me go home' and automated messages
  • Invisible mode

*Members will receive an invitation that can be accepted or declined, but always have the choice to opt-out.*

Download Safely today
App store | | Google play