In 2021, Orange Sky visited 25 remote communities to connect, learn and grow our understanding and relationships with people and communities across the country. Local voices and stories continue to shape our future work and action in remote communities. If you'd like to chat about a service in your region, please get in touch with us here!

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CURRENTLY WASHING IN


FIVE REMOTE COMMUNITIES

TRACK OUR REMOTE VENTURE

Frequently Asked Questions

Orange Sky was on the road throughout 2021 with our bright orange van, Rosco. We washed and connected our way through 29 remote communities across South Australia, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.

As Orange Sky works towards supporting more remote communities, we want to stay focused on listening and learning. We invited community members to stop in for a chat on our six orange chairs and see our purpose-built laundry van, and welcomed anyone who wanted to do a few loads of washing. In addition to connecting with community members, we met with as many key stakeholder groups as possible during this time including local Government, health, education, community leaders and more.

We stayed in each community for 2-4 days to meet with community leaders and organisations, as well as wash for residents. 

Orange Sky is on a mission to help more people and increase our social impact. Laundry and social connection influences health in many ways, that’s why we are focusing our efforts on communities with limited access to such services. The impact of geographical remoteness and exclusion of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities makes laundry access difficult, and in some cases, impossible. 

Since launching our first remote service three and a half years ago, we’ve learnt the value of strong partnerships in remote communities. This trip was designed to visit as many communities as possible, to learn about their needs and to illustrate what Orange Sky is about. We believe the best way to connect with and learn from communities is by listening. And one of the best ways for Orange Sky to show what we do is by washing. 

Over the years, Orange Sky has been contacted by many remote communities to initiate a service. COVID-19 delayed efforts to connect with these communities. When the timing was right, we jumped in a purpose-built truck to conduct a three month listening, learning and washing exercise with the hope of establishing new services in the future.

Orange Sky’s Remote and Indigenous Services Program Manager, Judith Meiklejohn, led the trip. Jude was supported by Orange Sky’s Co-Founder, Nic Marchesi, Cultural Navigator, Richard Cassady and Project Support Officer, Jessica Adams.

The Remote Venture resulted in significant learning about our existing and future services, and has informed Orange Sky’s operations and technical growth. Through listening to community leaders and organisations, we learned about their health and social priorities, and readiness for a service. These learnings allowed us to develop a plan to triple our impact in remote communities by the end of the year (financial year 2022). While washing for the community, we were able to trial our facility under varying conditions. We took this knowledge and have since developed the Waru Dryer; a solar-powered clothes dryer, and our RV3.0; a new range of remote vehicles powered by solar panels and lithium battery systems.

Orange Sky is committed to tripling our remote operations by the end of the financial year, June 2022. We have identified six new remote communities ready to launch in this period, bringing our remote services from three to nine. We expect this to continue to grow in the future.

Establishing an Orange Sky service in a remote community requires a lot of planning, collaboration, consultation and troubleshooting. This includes the development of partnerships with community organisations and other service providers, as well as finding and training local community members to run the service. We are committed to working alongside communities before establishing a new service to ensure we can provide a holistic and locally-relevant service.

If you are interested in learning about initiating a service in your remote community, our team would love to hear from you. Contact our Program Manager, Judith Meiklejohn – judith@orangesky.org.au.

Stories from Remote Communities

RECONCILIATION WEEK
NOTES FROM THE ROAD
A SENSE OF HOME IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES

WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR WORK IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES?

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Orange Sky Australia • 2020 • 17 Dover Street, Albion Queensland 4010 • (07) 3067 5800 • ABN/Charity ID: 85890622990 • We are a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible as a Deductible Gift Recipient by the Australian Tax Office