What do a park, a van and dirty laundry have in common?
At the age of 20, best mates Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett built a free mobile laundry in their old van to help the homeless. Orange Sky Laundry began in October 2014 and since then, the world first idea has rapidly expanded to 11 vans in Brisbane, Melbourne, SE Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Wollongong.
Run by more than 600 volunteers across the country, the custom-fitted vans with two commercial washing machines and two dryers service 73 locations and wash more than 7,000 kgs of laundry every week. A catalyst for conversation, Orange Sky Laundry facilitates over 1300 hours of volunteering and conversation each week. The organisation has also responded to natural disasters, helping cyclone-affected communities in North Queensland, residents of the Great Ocean Road Bushfires, and more recently, Adelaide flood victims. Orange Sky Laundry to date has washed over 300,000 kgs of free laundry, but most importantly, fostered over 80,000 hours of positive, genuine and non-judgemental conversation.
Lucas and Nic present their story of innovation, fast growth, social entrepreneurship, the impact of social media and how simple ideas can have an enormous impact. They speak at schools, corporates and conferences globally, and continue to inspire, motivate and do things differently!
As they continue to expand Orange Sky Laundry Australia wide, they aim to positively connect the community and improve the lives of others.
Awards: In January 2016, Nic and Lucas were honoured as the first ever dual recipients of the Young Australian of the Year Award.
They have also been named QLD Young Achievers of the Year, and been finalists for the Telstra Business Awards, AIM Leadership Excellence Awards and Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
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