Governor-General visits Remote Laundries Project

The AIG office was buzzing this morning in anticipation of a visit by Their Excellencies, the Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Mrs Hurley. Before they arrived Steve the CEO pulled the team together explained it was the job of everyone to make sure the Governor-General walked away from his visit knowing how passionate we are about the project – and that’s exactly what we did.

Learning more about the project

The chair of the AIG Board Helen Lee kicked the visit off by explaining the importance of the Remote Laundries Project expansion. “I have been a member of AIG for 17 years and I am very passionate about where the organisation is going, especially the Remote Laundries Project. I want stakeholders to come on board because we want to expand this project throughout all Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory to try and help our families eradicate scabies”.

The Governor-General is a busy man, and it takes a lot of resources to come to Darwin and visit our project, but he still wanted to come and learn more about how we’re targeting health and unemployment through washing.

“A big part of my job as Governor-General is about Indigenous issues, what we need to be aware of and what is happening in the space” he said.

As part of helping to bring him up to speed, the Governor-General was shown the Remote Laundries Project video. Check it out if you haven’t already

Remote Laundries Project
Their Excellencies getting a tour of the Remote Laundries Project unit in Casuarina.

Growing Remote Laundries Project is about finding champions of the cause

AIG Chief Operating Officer Alexa Gutenberger asked the Governor-General how we can spread awareness of our project when we are in remote Northern Territory and out of sight. He responded by saying we need champions.

“Who are your champions? You need to have voices down there and playing the game, people you can bring up here and show them what you’re doing so you have a voice down south” he said. “You need to get people who are going to lift your profile.”

Scabies issues are largely unknown

Both the Governor-General and Mrs Hurley expressed her surprise at the statistic of 8 in 10 Indigenous babies in remote communities having scabies before their first birthday, and agreed the figures were unacceptable.

“We got rid of polio, we got rid of smallpox, why can’t we get rid of scabies? It’s a will thing and about putting the resources in the right place.” said the Governor-General.

He went on to say making the extent of the issue more obvious nationally was important to achieving long term financial support for our project.

Ending with roo tail stew and singing (yep we sang!)

Laundry attendant Sam Autai made roo tail stew to share with the guests and started the meal by saying “this meal here is a very simple meal. This is the kind of cooking I do for my own family on the weekends, made with love as it is for you fellas here today. Please enjoy my humble meal”.

In recognition of the importance of hope and sunshine, Her Excellency Mrs Hurley asked us to sing You Are My Sunshine, and while we’re not normally the singing type – everyone joined in and as she said it would, it felt good.

It really was a pleasure and a privilege to have the Governor-General and Mrs Hurley visit and we thank them for their time and interest in our Remote Laundries Project.

Happy singing faces in the boardroom!