Orange Sky’s newest laundry truck has found a home in the Northern Territory’s Top End, recently launching in the community of Wadeye.

The truck arrived in Wadeye to a humble welcome from the community, with mud handprints placed on the rear of the vehicle – a special community touch. Remote Service Support Officer, Caleb Cassady was part of the Wadeye launch and said it was the trust in the service that was most valued.

“From the moment of our very first wash, the community response has been overwhelmingly positive. It felt like we seamlessly fit into the groove of Wadeye. Most days we have requests from a minimum of five houses that we unfortunately can’t fulfil. With consistency, we will get there.”

Wadeye is a five to eight hour drive southwest of Darwin – the time variation depends on the season, which can significantly impact road access. The precarious drive and typical Top End heat meant that we needed to build a fit-for-purpose vehicle, which features upgraded power sources (solar, diesel and battery) and the new Waru Dryers.

Read more about Orange Sky's Waru Dryer

The service in Wadeye is Orange Sky’s fourth in a remote community, alongside Maningrida, Palm Island and Lockhart River. After our remote venture trip earlier this year across Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland, Program Manager Judith Meiklejohn felt that a more permanent service would be on the horizon in Wadeye.

“During our initial scoping trip, we had such strong and positive engagement from community members and service providers like One Tree Safehouse, West Daly Regional Council and Wadeye Health Service,” said Judith. “It was clear to us and to the community that improving access to laundry services was important.”

In addition to confirming community desire, Orange Sky worked with local Aboriginal-owned not-for-profit organisation, Thamarrurr Development Corporation (TDC) to establish a partnership to bring the service to the community

A community partner is an integral aspect of Orange Sky’s success. Aligning with a local and well-respected organisation in remote communities ensures that the service can have the best possible impact.

“Community partners are so important because they know their community best. Partners like TDC know where washing is most needed, are trusted in the community, and can facilitate the employment of local people to run shifts. We are very grateful to learn from and work alongside TDC to deliver Orange Sky shifts in Wadeye,” Caleb said.

Orange Sky arrived in Wadeye in late September, and alongside the TDC team, we have hit the ground washing! In our first month, we’ve trained and employed 8 local team members who have supported the community with:

🧡 39 shifts

🧡 A massive 472 loads of washing!

🧡 468 hours of connection around the van

Learn more about Orange Sky’s commitment to growing services in remote communities.

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