About the Remote Laundries project
Our project is a charity that began in 2018 and our first laundry was installed in the remote Aboriginal community of Barunga in early 2019. Today there are three laundries operating in the Northern Territory. The project is part of core business for Aboriginal Investment Group, an Aboriginal owned Aboriginal corporation that operates in the seven northern regions of the NT with a mission of building stronger communities.
Access to clean bedding, towels and clothes is crucial to being healthy and regular washing and hot drying helps to keep parasites and bacteria under control in conditions where overcrowding is common. As strange as it might seem in Australia in 2022, working washing machines with hot water, constant power supply and good detergent can be hard to find in remote communities. Our laundries give people the choice.
The Remote Laundries project is effective with three simple outcomes:
- Improve health
- Improve quality of life
- Improve social and economic outcomes
We know access to washing machines and dryers that work, good quality detergent and hot water reduces diseases of the skin because washing kills parasites and bacteria.
Scabies infestations are a chronic and widespread issue in remote communities made worse by overcrowding, which is far too common NT communities. The scabies mite makes skin itchy, and scratching creates skin sores that become infected and lead to serious disease such as rheumatic heart disease and kidney disease. Tackling scabies is a powerful tool in improving the health of everyone but in particular children.
We launched the laundry in Barunga in early 2019 and health data in 2021 indicated a 60% drop in scabies cases in the community.
Improve social and economic outcomes
Improved social and economic outcomes from our project are driven by direct employment of local staff. Employing locals means the money stays in the community which helps to build a stronger local economy that better serves the whole community.
Creating jobs in community is a key priority and is linked to our project goals. We’re proud of the high success we’ve had in recruiting, training and retaining staff.
There is a misconception that people living in remote communities don’t want to work. The rate of employment and retention in our laundries shows this is simply not true. Nineteen staff are employed by the Remote Laundries project and 90% of staff have achieved at least 26 weeks of retention. We believe this is because of the flexible style of staff management, training and support.
Improved quality of life
We define an improved quality of life by the absence of disease – both primary conditions like painful skin sores and secondary like rheumatic heart disease and kidney disease.
Over time the reduction of medical conditions will becme increasingly evident and we are excited to launch more advanced data collection methods which will help to more accurately quantify the impact of each laundry on the community.
For a cost benefit analysis of the project including financial modelling and projections for financial and social gains across our three project outcome goals visit check out our Cost Benefit Analysis of the Remote Laundries project prepared by KPMG.
Partners and supporters are key to project success
Laundry costs are divided into two sections: the setup costs and the ongoing costs. Its costs $225,000 to set up a new unit which includes the build, setup and staff training. The ongoing costs are $105,000 per annum per unit which includes laundry staff wages, chemicals, maintenance, power, water and internet.
The Remote Laundries project needs supporters and financial partners to help cover the ongoing costs, and our partnerships are growing.
Partners: amazing organisations that have a contractual agreement with Remote Laundries to donate a defined amount in a defined time.