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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Orange Sky launching new laundry project to tackle scabies

Date posted: 8 November 2017

The founders of Orange Sky Laundry, a free mobile laundry service for homeless people, have started a new program which aims to tackle scabies in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Starting in the Lockhart River in Queensland’s far north, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, will head off next week in a former army truck kitted out with two 15kg washing machines, three 10kg driers, water tanks and a generator. The 2016 joint Young Australians of the Year learned about scabies and its prevalence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities while speaking at a health conference in Melbourne last year.

'Scabies is worse in our own backyard than in any third world country,' Mr Patchett said. 'Eradicating it involves three things – education and conversation, laundry, ointment – and we know we’re really good at laundry and conversation so we thought, this is something we can help with.'

Orange Sky Laundry won the support of an anonymous British donor for the new project, which Mr Patchett said would be a world first. 'We don’t have all the answers, but we know it’s not about dropping off a vehicle in Lockhart and saying, ‘there you go, sort it out’, it’s about the community owning it,' Mr Marchesi said.

The duo will visit eight locations in the 700-strong community, with the long-term plan to install a permanent laundry run by locals.

Source: Courier Mail


Last updated: 8 November 2017
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