The Remote Laundries project
The Remote Laundries Project was launched in 2019 by the Aboriginal Investment Group (AIG) to address the health issues associated with overcrowding and a lack of washing facilities in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
The project provides communities with a purpose-built, free laundry facility while also creating employment opportunities.
Four laundries are currently in operation:
The communities of Borroloola, Gunbalanya, Ngukurr, Lajamanu and Umbakumba are next in line to benefit from the laundries.
- Eight out of 10 Aboriginal babies who live remotely will get scabies before their first birthday.
- Skin infections caused by itching the scabies mite lead to serious diseases like staph infections, kidney disease and rheumatic heart disease.
- Access to clean bedding, towels and clothes is crucial to being healthy and regular washing and hot drying help to keep parasites and bacteria under control in conditions where overcrowding is common.
- As strange as it might seem in Australia in 2023, working washing machines with hot water, constant power supply and good detergent can be hard to find in remote communities. Our laundries provide a solution to this need.
Set in a secure shipping container for ease of transportation to remote communities, each laundry has a hydraulic arm that opens and securely closes the laundry. The patented design includes four washers, four dryers and a separate automated chemical room.
Since our first laundry was installed in the community of Barunga, about 80km southeast of Katherine, scabies presentations at the health clinic have fallen by 60 per cent. Since 2019, the laundry has spun 13 937 cycles and injected over $167 000 of wages into the community. And incredibly, the laundry has operated at 93 per cent capacity since its inception, a true indication of the pride of the five staff now employed at the laundry.
In 2021, a cost-benefit analysis by KPMG found that over five years, one laundry provides $3.7 million worth of net savings to government. Read the full report here.
Our partners and supporters are key to our success
As a charity, we are seeking partnerships with organisations that share our mission of helping Aboriginal communities to grow stronger through washing. Find out how you can partner with us https://www.remotelaundries.org.au/partnerships/
Or donate today!