The very first Remote Laundries project unit was opened in Barunga in February 2019. For us, the Barunga laundry was a pilot, a test to see if the project could work, but for the people of Barunga it has made a very big difference to their lives. For example since the laundry was installed scabies cases in Barunga have fallen a whopping 60%.
Employment is a one of the key outcomes of each laundry and currently Barunga employs SIX locals. Opportunities for meaningful and ongoing employment in Barunga were few, so it was big news when jobs came up to work in the laundry. Staff turnover is low which we see as proof that the staff value their jobs.
The Barunga laundry is funded entirely by the Northern Territory PHN and we are all grateful for their vision and belief in the potential of the project to improve the quality of life for people living in Barunga.
Get to know the Barunga laundry through our stories
Proof our laundries project is reducing scabies
In 2019 the first Remote Laundries project laundry was installed in the remote Aboriginal community of Barunga in the NT and cases of scabies have been falling ever since.
The data from 2021 shows a 60% drop in the number of cases, and we’re thrilled to see proof our laundries are working!
Our mob want this laundry
In the Aboriginal community of Barunga, decisions that affect the whole community are made by its leaders.
The Remote Laundries project started in a Bagala Aboriginal Corporation meeting with community leaders in early 2018.
The group was looking for ways to boost the local economy and met to decide which business ideas would work best in Barunga. The laundry stood out because it could provide jobs and improve the health of the community.
Northern Territory PHN partner with Remote Laundries project
The Remote Laundries Project team are celebrating! We’ve secured a significant partnership with NT PHN and we are very pleased.
NT PHN has included the laundry in Barunga into their early intervention and preventative health program for 12 months.
Their contribution will promote positive health outcomes in community and pay wages of the local laundry attendants
Aboriginal employment with Remote Laundries project
Turn your attention to the Northern Territory where Aboriginal people make up 30% of the population and living in communities is normal for people who choose to live on their country.
A key issue in Aboriginal communities however is the lack of jobs. Obviously not all communities are the same, but a good amount are, and the lack of employment opportunities is widely understood to be a major barrier to moving forward.
Is our laundry valuable for the people of Barunga?
The biggest challenge for our Remote Laundries project in the small Aboriginal community of Barunga in the NT, has been getting people to use it.
People were keen when it first opened in February 2019, and then interest dropped off – nothing new there – most projects in Aboriginal communities would share the same story line.
But why? It’s for their benefit I hear you say….
40 years to wait for a real job
Its a proud time for Freddie Scrubby from Barunga. Not only has he started an apprenticeship in retail through our Remote Laundry in Barunga, but he’s also started in a permanent part time contract.
“I’ve waited 4 years to get a job. This is my first real job and I like it” said Freddie.
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