30 000 cycles completed!

We are celebrating an incredible milestone for our Remote Laundries project – reaching 30,000 cycles.

Aboriginal Investment Group CEO Liz Morgan-Brett sees this milestone as monumental.

“To put that in perspective, it would take 82 years for a household to wash every day to reach this number of cycles. Our remote laundries project is only four years old, and has only recently expanded to four laundries,” said Liz.

“In every one of those cycles is a real story of hope and opportunity. Behind every cycle is a person able to show up to work with dignity wearing freshly laundered clothes or a child attending school with pride in a clean uniform. Behind each one of these cycles is a strong and empowered community breaking the cycle of disease while creating meaningful jobs for locals.”

Bickerton Island laundry.

The impact of 30 000 cycles
Each one of the 30 000 cycles has contributed to the incredible reduction of scabies infections by up to 60 per cent, a crucial step in reducing the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), a 100 per cent preventable condition in remote communities.

For the Barunga community, the first community to operate a remote laundry, this milestone equates to the 70 households within the community receiving free washing and drying five times a month. 

The purpose 

The Remote Laundries Project was created in 2019 in response to community calls to address two major problems within remote communities – the prevalence of scabies and the lack of jobs available in community. While scabies is not something many would have heard of in southern Australia, it is a well-known health emergency in Aboriginal communities in northern Australia.

The project has three key outcomes: improved health, improved quality of life, and improved local economy through job creation.

Fast forward to 2023, and the project now runs four laundries and employs 20 local laundry attendants.

The Barunga laundry.

Why are scabies so prevalent?

Eight out of 10 Aboriginal babies who live in remote communities will get scabies before their first birthday. It’s a staggering statistic. And one that continually drives us to expand the impact that our remote laundry project can provide.

Overcrowding in remote community households in the NT puts strain on the health of all occupants as the scabies mite thrives on warm climates and people living close together.

The itch created by the mite exposes the body to nasty bacteria. But, there are some particularly nasty bacteria like staph that can be slowed down and even stopped with regular washing of bedding, towels and clothing.

It’s all about repeated infections – overcrowding means people (especially children) are exposed to nasty bacteria over and over again.

By improving sanitation through washing clothes, bedding and towels with detergent, hot water and a hot dry cycle we can help to break the cycle of repeat infections and the risk of diseases such as renal failure and rheumatic heart disease.

It’s a complex problem, but we have found a simple, effective solution. That’s why our laundries are making a difference.

Help us to create real positive change in remote NT communities…

The word has got out and our Remote Laundries project is growing in demand, and we need your help to continue to provide access to this simple yet effective solution and to impact more communities.

This year, four new communities will benefit from a remote laundry and our goal is to expand our reach to all remote communities in the NT.

Incredibly, if every working Australian donated $1 a week, an extra $728 million would be raised each year. Similarly, if every working Australian donated just 1 cent per year, a remote laundry would operate for free!

 To break that down further:

  • $3 per week – provides electricity for two families to receive free washing for a year at a remote laundry
  • $5 per week – supplies three families with detergent for a year at a remote laundry
  • $10 per week – donated by 250 people a year provides free washing and drying in one community for 12 months at a remote laundry

Every dollar helps. You can donate as a once-off or become a regular donor like Dr David Bertholini, who has been donating monthly to the Remote Laundries Project since 2020. His ongoing donation has equated to one year’s worth of washing support for one of our laundries – impressive!

Find out David’s ‘why’ to join our project here

We look forward to hearing from you www.remotelaundries.org.au/donate