Clean clothes and conversation

​​​​Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett (below) were named Young Australians of the Year this week for launching Orange Sky Laundry – a world first mobile laundry for the homeless – with BGS the first school to get behind the idea to improve hygiene standards of the homeless and offer meaningful conversations.

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Throughout 2015 Year 11 boarders (four pictured below) from Harlin House, joined Deputy Headmaster David Carroll and Boarding Head of Residence Damon Emtage in donating their time one morning before school each week.


Orange Sky Laundry operates out of a van fitted with a generator, water tanks, washing machines and driers.
Mr Marchesi said improving hygiene was important, but just as important was conversation, treating the homeless with respect. “We realised it is so much more (than a laundry service),” he said. “We can restore respect, raise health standards and be a catalyst for conversation.”

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Mr Carroll, who taught both Mr Marchesi and Mr Patchett when they were students at school in Brisbane, said the pair showed ‘incredible innovation’ and wasn’t surprised they had quickly turned Orange Sky Laundry into a national charity.

Today Orange Sky Laundry operates in 36 locations and washes 350 loads each week, expanding from the initial BGS volunteers to boast more than 270 volunteers, with governments and local businesses offering support to make the charity more sustainable.

From working with Orange Sky Laundry in Year 11, Harlin House boarders link with a different charity, Rosies, in Year 12. The voluntary experiences are part of BGS’ Public Purpose Program, which provides a framework that coordinates, consolidates, and enriches the future direction of community service and global citizenry opportunities at the School.

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To find out more or donate visit​ or like the Orange Sky Laundry page on Facebook here.