2016 Young Australian of the Year, Founders of Orange Sky Laundry
Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett are best mates and joint winners of the 2016 Young Australian of the Year. Their joint win was a first in the history of the awards and was in recognition of their brainchild, Orange Sky Laundry - a free mobile laundry they built in their old van to help the homeless.
Their idea was based on the realisation that the 105,000 Australians who were homeless every night did not have a basic human right - access to clean clothes and conversation.
Orange Sky Laundry began in September 2014 and since then, the world-first idea has rapidly expanded to six vans in Brisbane, Melbourne, South East Victoria, Sydney, Perth and the Gold Coast.
Run by over 270 volunteers, the custom-fitted vans with two commercial washing machines and two dryers service over 36 locations and wash over 350 loads each week. Boosted by their amazing success, Nic and Luc's goal is to continue rolling out vehicles across the country.
A catalyst for bringing people of all walks of life together, Orange Sky facilitates countless hours of conversations each week. In February 2015, they took their mobile laundry to North Queensland to wash clothes in cyclone-affected communities.
Orange Sky Laundry will be partnering with a number of food vans in order to get clothes washed and returned as quickly as possible. The washing will be done while meals are being cooked and eaten.
Nic and Lucas have found a way to treat others the way they want to be treated by restoring respect, raising health standards and reducing the strain on resources. They now plan to expand services Australia-wide with the aim of positively connecting the community and improving the lives of others.
In Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett's inspiring keynote presentation, audiences will have the opportunity to learn more about their dream of providing a vehicle for conversations, opportunities and educations through a free mobile laundry service for the homeless, worldwide, and how that dream is rapidly becoming a reality.