The Salvos Stores Blog : Salvos Stores in VIC, SA, WA, TAS & NT

Q&A with a Salvos Stores Call Centre Representative

Salvos_Stores_CallCentreRepQ&A_Blogpost_20150929_001In this week’s Q&A we head over to the Salvos Stores Call Centre in Noble Park. Our call centre team help our customers book their home collections for donating, answer any volunteering enquiries and provide club card information and help. We chat to Shayan Malik, a Call Centre Representative.

Shayan Malik - Call Centre 019

What brought you to working at Salvos Stores?

I had heard of all the good work the Salvation Army does for people in need and I wanted to be a part of that.

How long have you been with us?

5 years

What’s your favourite part of working at Salvos Stores?

The warm and rewarding feeling of helping the community and working with such a friendly team.

Describe a typical day at work for you?

 My typical day at work consists of taking calls to book in home collections and doing some admin tasks.

Describe your job in three words:

Rewarding, positive and helpful

Shayan Malik - Call Centre 018

What has been the most rewarding moment?

When I am able to assist people desperate for assistance with food, accommodation, paying their bills etc by pointing them in the right direction – The Salvation Army.

What’s the last thing a customer said to you?

“You guys do such a good job; I hope my donation will help someone”

Opcycling Garden Projects


Now that the sun is finally gracing us with our presence here in Melbourne, we’re slowly moving outside and enjoying the outdoors again. As you’ll know by now, we’re getting pretty obsessed with opcycling at the minute! So why don’t we take it outside and start getting creative with our purchases in the garden? We’ve pulled together some ideas we’ve seen to hopefully inspire some future Salvos Stores projects! If you have hacked a Salvos Stores purchase we’d love to see it – share on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram (@salvosstores)!

1. Snail Art

These snail weights were actually made by a Salvos Stores volunteer. Simple Salvos Stores garden art!

2. High tea for the birds

via Shelterness

A spindle + a teacup + a saucer = a super chic bird feeder! This is a perfect little project if you don’t have lots of outdoor space- bring the birds to your balcony!

3. Spoon wind chime

via Eve of Joy on Etsy

Pick up a handful of vintage spoons next time you’re in store, punch a hole in handle and thread some string through and you’ll have yourself a thrifty wind chime!

4. Drawer attention to your plants

Photo by Sam Henderson - Unexpected Welcome

via Sam Henderson

Who knew a piece of indoor furniture could be so pretty and functional outside? We think it would also look great if the drawers were staggered like a tiered-planter.

5. Succulent planters

succulentThis last one isn’t exclusively an outdoor project. Our Instagram fan picked up these ceramics from the bric-a-brac section at her local Salvos Stores and planted her favorite succulents in there.

What have the Salvos Stores Team been up to?


Every year the Salvos Stores team conduct an internal fundraiser and last year’s ‘Tour de Salvos Stores’ raised over $126,000 for several Salvation Army projects, one of which was a trailer for the Indigenous Ministries in South Australia. Katrina Stropinski, HR Admin Assistant, tells us about the week a group of Salvos Stores staff assisted in a mission to take goods into the Aboriginal communities of Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. 


Sean, Katrina, Denis, Cathleen, Michael & Sue (with Catherine taking the photo!

Majors Denis and Kathleen White head up the Indigenous Ministry in SA which takes furniture, clothes and household goods into Aboriginal communities of the APY Lands. Before Salvos Stores fundraising efforts, Denis and Kathleen only had a 16 tonne truck to take up as much furniture and goods as possible into communities that are desperately in need of them. The trailer not only allows Denis and Kathleen to take more goods into the lands, but also provides shelter if they get stuck in a remote location. Each trip into the lands takes around a week and involves a team of volunteers to help with the packing of the truck, driving, unloading of the truck and of course the sale day, which is just as busy as a Boxing Day sale! Denis and Kathleen offered a team of Salvos Stores staff members the opportunity to accompany and help them on their August mission to the town of Pipalyatjara in the APY Lands.

Each trip into the lands takes around a week and involves a team of volunteers to help with the packing of the truck, driving, unloading of the truck and of course the sale day, which is just as busy as a Boxing Day sale!

SA Trailer

The awesome trailer purchased by Salvos Stores after fundraising activities

The mission started at 6.30am on Monday 3rd August where the Salvos Stores team (consisting of Sean Burgess- Regional Manager WA/SA, Michael Frost-Area Manager Northern SA, Sue Iliov-Area Manager South Eastern Vic and myself) met Denis, Kathleen and volunteer Catherine at the warehouse. The truck and trailer had been packed during the previous week with help from Salvos Stores staff members. A blessing was said by Lieutenant Colonel Robyn Clinch and Major Rhonda Elkington and we were on our way just as the sun was rising.

We didn’t really know what to expect on this week long “working holiday”, but we did know we were in for early mornings, late nights, hard work and long drives.

We didn’t really know what to expect on this week long “working holiday”, but we did know we were in for early mornings, late nights, hard work and long drives. Our first night was at Coober Pedy, a mere 850km from Adelaide!! Sean, Michael and Sue found Woomera’s only Thrift Shop, which is run on an honesty policy!
Before we reached Coober Pedy, we pulled over on the side of the Stuart Highway to capture the first of many amazing sunsets we would witness on this trip.


One of many magical sunsets

Day two began at 5.45am as we repacked the support vehicle “Bluey” and hit the road. Although the morning start was a lot earlier than most of us were used to, we were rewarded with a magical sunrise that made the earth glow fluorescent orange.  We hit our first major landmark at lunchtime; the border of South Australia and the Northern Territory! Hitting the border meant we would soon be off the highway and starting our long journey on the dirt roads! We spent 200kms on the dirt roads before arriving midafternoon at our stop for the night, Ernabella (the largest community in the APY Lands).

As we had a free afternoon, Denis wanted to show us something quite remarkable, a fruit orchard in the middle of the desert! The orchard was created in 2005 by a couple who wanted to improve food security in the APY Lands. The orchard provides employment opportunities for locals and is used to educate local children on growing food and nutrition. We picked several boxes of mandarins and oranges to take to the people of Pipalyatjara, as fresh fruit is generally quite expensive.


Arriving at the APY Lands

When we arrived at Pipalyatjara, we started unloading the truck with the mattresses and bases, which we had to leave outside for the time being as the room we had access to was too small. Some of the locals also helped us unload the larger items, while the kids helped carry in the smaller items.
We unloaded suitcases full of clothes, tables, chairs, microwaves, toasters, toys, bunk-beds, cutlery and so much more! We had some spare time before dinner, so we headed down to the local oval for a kick of the footy. Although there wasn’t much footy talent between us Salvos Staff, we did have some local Aboriginal teens show us how it was done, in bare feet too! It was an incredible experience to be able to play kick to kick with the locals while the sun set on another amazing day.

Although there wasn’t much footy talent between us Salvos Staff, we did have some local Aboriginal teens show us how it was done, in bare feet too!

Sale day began with an early 5.30am wake up and we were on the road to Pipalyatjara by 6.15am. There was still a lot of work to be done beforethe 9am sale. We started by taking all of the furniture and bed ensembles out of the community centre and lining them up on the dirt outside, as we would need all the room we could get inside for the clothing and brica.

The locals started arriving as the sun rose not long after 7am; sitting on the beds and furniture to “claim” them before the sale started. We also set up an admin table where the locals would need to fill out Centrepay forms, giving permission for the payment of their goods to be deducted from their pension. Close to 9am, Denis said a blessing for the smooth running of the sale and explained how the sale would work. Then the doors opened…


Sean & Sue taking a break at the sale

It was mayhem for the next three hours as most of the furniture, clothes and bric-a-brac were sold.

For dinner we drove out to the SA/WA/NT state border and had a fire barbeque while watching another spectacular sunset. It was an incredible way to finish a mammoth but very rewarding day.

We had a big day ahead of us on our last day; a 15 hour drive back to Adelaide! We left Marla well before sun up and started making tracks down the highway. We took a break at Coober Pedy for breakfast and then we hit the road again. Our last leg was from Port Augusta to Adelaide where we saw our last sunset in South Australia. After driving over 3000kms in total, we were all exhausted from such a busy week, but so grateful for the experience.

Thank you to Major Denis and Kathleen White for the invitation to participate in this mission. It was an incredible journey and a once in a lifetime experience to serve the aboriginal community. We have been to places not many will go and have seen things not many will see, and for that we are truly thankful.


Book Week 2015: Story Time Events


To continue the Book Week celebrations we’ve organised some kid-friendly Salvos Stores events.

At select stores we are hosting a free Story Time event for the little people in your lives. Come and join us for an hour of story time and to pick up some new books or to restock up on the old favourites!

  • Abbotsford Salvos Stores, 81 Victoria Crescent, VIC : Saturday 29th August 11AM
  • Winnellie Salvos Stores, 458 Stuart Highway, NT: Thursday 27th August 10AM
  • Seville Salvos Stores, Shop 14/16/547-567 Warburton Highway, VIC: 11AM Saturday 5th September

See you there!

Bookcase Showcase


Merry Book Week 2015! To celebrate Book Week this year we have a few children’s story time events planned across all of our states (more info to come- watch this space!).

Book Week is also a great opportunity to show off our best book departments in Salvos Stores. Let me introduce you to our Bookcase Showcase! Below are the comfiest book corners, the most restful reading nooks and the most creative book displays you will find at Salvos Stores this week (if not ever).

Whip Court Salvos Stores

This creative book display was created by hand from by full time staff member Janelle at Whip Court Salvos Stores.

Abbotsford Non-Fiction

Image via @soulbird79

The book corner at Abbotsford Salvos Stores looks like the perfect place to put your feet up and take your time in choosing which books to take home.


These book spine stairs lead the way to the extensive book section of Salvos Stores Frankston. Hand painted by Julie, the Store Manager. Don’t they make for a pretty climb to a book lover haven!

South Lake Book Corner

This creative book folding display at South Lakes, WA  uses the books as art themselves! We’ve been seeing a lot of book folding projects around at the moment. They take a lot of time to make but we think they’re worth it! Similarly. . . .

Seville Salvos Stores Book Art

This Salvos Stores book fold art was pain-painstakingly made by Dee, Store Manager at Salvos Stores Seville, VIC. Each page is carefully folded to follow a pattern to create the letters. Isn’t it special?


This cozy corner is at the back of the Chapel Street store in Windsor. It looks like the perfect location to sit and browse the blurbs or a place to keep your man busy while you raid the vintage rails!

Spotlight: Hobart

Salvos_Stores_SpotLight_Hobart_Banner_20150804New blog feature! Salvos Stores Spotlight will be an occasional blog post in which we shed light on a particular store. This time we thought we’d introduce you to our (relatively) new store in Hobart.

Hobart Launch 134

Three months ago we moved our Hobart store to an exciting new location: 11 Elizabeth Street. The building is the beautiful old bus mall and was built in the thirties. We have designed the store to reflect the heritage and history of the building itself as well as the City.

Hobart Launch 143The pillars are decorated with glamorous gold detailing and a red carpet leads you through the store to the register which has been hand painted with the famous Le Chat Noir poster.

Hobart Launch 142

We were even lucky enough to attain the original blue prints of the building which we have displayed in the book department. Hobart Launch 154

We’re really happy with our new store and we have had great feedback from customers. Have you been to the Elizabeth Street store yet? Let us know what you think! :)

Q&A with a Salvos Stores Driver



Victor- Ready for a hard day of work

What does a day in the shoes of a Salvos Stores truck driver look like? This week we talked to Victor Lan, a Driver at the Noble Park Warehouse, to find out the answer to that very question. Our truck drivers pick up donations that have been booked for a home delivery.

What brought you to working at Salvos Stores?

I was always keen to be in a role in which I could work towards helping those who are in need.

How long have you been with us?

About 3 years now.

What’s your favourite part of working at Salvos Stores?

Always being on the road and seeing different places gives you a feeling of freedom in a way that you wouldn’t be able to get in other roles.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

Full of adventures!

Describe your job in 3 words:

Fun, rewarding and stress-free.

Do you have any funny/interesting stories from your time with Salvos Stores?

I recently helped a donor to rescue her cat from a tree. It was a little challenging as the cat was very stubborn and not particularly friendly!

What’s the last thing a customer said to you?

“Don’t eat them all at once!” – She had given us a plate of biscuits that she had made earlier that day. But we didn’t listen and scoffed them all in one go!


Thanks Victor!

If you have some quality donations that you’d like to book a home collection for please fill in this request form available on our website. Similarly if a role at Salvos Stores sounds like something you’d be interested in, head over to our careers page.

Q&A with a Salvos Stores Volunteer

Salvos_Stores_VolunteerQ&A_Blogpost_20150729After the interest from the interview with Chelsea Heights Salvos Stores Manager, we decided to start a series of Q&A’s with different members of the Salvos Store Team.

So this week we thought we’d open your eyes to the world of volunteering in a Salvos Store by interviewing the lovely Lorraine Ah Mat, long-time volunteer and friend of Nightcliff Salvos Stores. lorraineThe lovely Lorraine!

What brought you to volunteering at Salvos Stores?

I attend the Salvation Army Darwin Corps and felt that I would do more for people than just sitting at home.

How long have you volunteered with us?

15 years

What’s your favourite part of volunteering at Salvos Stores?

Talking to others who just want some comfort and talking to people who know that someone cares.

Do you have any funny stories?

There’s a regular customer who brings her little Grandson regularly. After a little joke between us he now always asks where is the lady from the naughty corner. He is a beautiful little boy!

What’s the last thing a customer said to you?

‘Thank you and thanks to Salvos Stores, they have helped myself and my family so much.’

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering?

Think carefully about what you are committing yourself and time to.


Nightcliff Salvos Store

Thanks to the lovely Lorraine for joining in with this weeks’ Q&A. Do you have any questions for next week’s Q&A? Any particular area you’d like to know more about? Keep us posted!

4 Reasons Your Friend Won’t Buy Second-hand


If you’re reading this, we’ll assume that you’re already a keen op shopper. You enjoy the thrill of the hunt, finding a bargain and you love the feeling of not knowing what you might find.

People like you all seem to have that one friend that refuses to join you on your op shop adventures. But she has her reasons. We decided to explore some of these reasons. . . and reject every one of them!

1. “It’s all been worn before. It’s all used and old”

IMG_3161 (1)Yes, apart from a few new items that still have the original tag, second-hand items are used. That’s kind of the point. But in no way does it mean they’re all old.  Technically a ‘used’ item can range from a vintage dress that’s been worn to hundreds of fabulous parties and have been loved for decades OR a skirt that’s only been worn once (if that).

We’ve all bought something new from a regular store and worn it once or twice before we realise we don’t actually like it. Maybe after a wash it changed shape, it didn’t go with anything you have or you just changed your mind. You couldn’t return it back to the store so you donate it (to an awesome store like Salvos Stores. . .). These items that have been worn once or twice are ‘used’ but barely!

Buying an item that has been used also has it’s benefits. It means someone else has washed and worn it and it’ll still in a good enough condition to make it the op shop floor. Sign of a good piece of clothing!

So, there are used items at an op shop. These range from a vintage dress that’s been worn to hundreds of fabulous parties and have been loved for decades OR a skirt that’s been worn once (if that).

2. “It’s all out-of-date”

Fashion is cyclical. In reality, no style is new anymore. Which means it’s a great reason to buy second-hand. We’re currently reliving the 90’s in the fashion world and what’s better than 90’s inspired fashion? Clothes that were actually made for and worn by the genuine fashionistas of the decade. Buying second-hand is a chance to get creative with your style. Let yourself free! You can define yourself  what you consider out of date and ‘unfashionable’.

3. “I can never find anything”shop

This is one of the most common reasons to not op shop. It does take a bit of practice. Some of us have grown up buying second-hand so we have a trained eye. Some of us really know what we like. In the beginning it’s not always easy to imagine an item outside of the store in your wardrobe or kitchen.

4. “I’ve never been”

For some, it’s as simple as that. Buying new from retail is all they know. They just don’t know how awesome it is. This is where you come in . . .

You can save them!

Everyone wants an opshop buddy – this is your chance. Show them the ropes! Shopping secondhand is about 50% luck and 50% skill (but always 100% fun, right?). They’ll need a little encouragement for the first few trips, but add in a little practice and maybe buy the coffees the first few times and fingers crossed you have a new shopping mate!

So share this with the friend(s) that you’d like to take on your next op shop trip. Maybe we’ve managed to persuade her to give it another go. :)

8 Things You Can Buy At Salvos Stores That Can Be Refreshed With Spray Paint


Spray paint. The lazy upcycler’s best friend. What can’t a can spray paint achieve? We have no idea. . .

1. Block colour figurines

Love the shape of an ornament at Salvos Stores but not keen on the details? Spray them with a couple layers of spray paint for a simple modern ornament! These bright colours would be brilliant for a kids room but neutrals and metallics would look perfect for the grown ups.

Tutorial via Just a Little Creativity

2. Light up an old lamp

Spray paint a ceramic vintage table lamp to match your bedroom perfectly. Depending on the details you could have different coloured trims or if you’re crafty add a few stripes in.

DIY Vintage Lamp Makeover

Tutorial via Craft Habit

3. Open the door to customised door knobs

Add a personal touch to your furniture by opcycling some ordinary knobs. A quick lick of spray paint and a clever trick with your home printer is all it takes!

Tutorial via The Painted Hive

4. Colourful frame of mind

Pick up a handful different frames and coat them with some spray paint to create a ‘mismatched but matching’ photo wall.

gallery wall vintage frames spray painted white french, chalk paint, painting, wall decorTutorial via Giddy Upcycled

5. Add some gold to your cuppa

Add some matte gold details to some plain cups to add a little fancy to your afternoon tea.


Tutorial via Garland of Grace

6. You can even paint shoes!?!

Choose the colour of your shoes! This is an entirely new concept to us but it sounds pretty interesting.

Tutorial via Cheap Chic Obsession

 7. Paint a biscuit tin and add a chalkboard to label it

Blackboard spray paint is readily available and it just as easy as normal spray paint. Paint a tin lid for a cool way to label your food storage!

Tutorial via Serenity Now

8.  Office chair upcycle

With a can of normal spray paint and a can of vinyl spray paint you can refresh an entire office chair!

Make over an old vinyl chair with only spray paint!Tutorial via Dream a Little Bigger

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