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Young Aussies seek Orange Sky


OrangeThe 2016 Young Australians of the Year (AOTY) are packing up their van and driving from Brisbane to Melbourne, ABC News reports.

Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett founded Orange Sky Laundry – the world’s first free mobile laundry service for the homeless – in 2014.

To help promote nominations for the AOTY awards, they are driving more than 2,000 kilometres in five days with a bus and their latest laundry van.

“The Australia of the Year bus will take our crew and we’re going to document the whole process as we go,” Mr Marchesi said.

Each week Orange Sky Laundry has 600 volunteers who wash nearly six tonnes of laundry while engaging in more than 1,200 hours of conversation.

Their 10th van will travel south alongside the Australian of the Year bus that was created by the group.

Mr Patchett said the tour planned to “celebrate Aussies worthy of attention”.

“Winning AOTY has given us rocket fuel for Orange Sky, and to be given the opportunity is something we want to highlight,” he said.

Mr Marchesi said many doors had opened since winning the award.

“We were just two blokes who had a crazy idea of chucking two washing machines and two dryers into a van, driving around and washing clothes,” he said.

“We started 20 months ago and we never thought we would get to the point of having 40 washing machines in our fleet in 66 locations and it’s going to keep growing.”


Orange Sky Laundry road trip: Young Australians of the Year search for people making a difference (ABC News)

Orange Sky Laundry

Large image: Orange Sky Laundry (Facebook)

Small image: Nic Marchesi (left) and Lucas Patchett (right) prepare to head off on their east coast road trip. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)