Our Story

Orange Sky Australia is the world’s first free mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness – an idea founded in a Brisbane garage by two 20-year-old mates, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett. In late 2014, the boys installed a couple of washing machines and dryers in the back of their old van and visited parks around Brisbane to wash and dry clothes for free. What started as an idea to improve hygiene standards and restore dignity to people doing it tough has evolved into something much bigger and more powerful. There’s no doubt that clean clothes make all of us feel better about ourselves, but the major impact of Orange Sky does not rely on washers spinning or dryers tumbling. It happens through the hours of conversation that take place on our six orange chairs, which are pulled out at every one of our shift locations. Each week, all over Australia, thousands of volunteers put other parts of their life aside for a few hours to positively connect with our friends on the street through genuine and non-judgemental conversation. We always partner with service providers such as food vans or drop-in centres, and make sure that we set up at locations where our friends feel most comfortable. The Orange Sky community is made up of people who treat others how they want to be treated. Orange Sky has since expanded to 39 services across the country, which includes the addition of shower services and remote vehicles, providing friends with access to free laundry and shower services. Most importantly though, Orange Sky volunteers have engaged in 244,549 hours of conversations to date, helping to challenge the perception of homelessness and positively connect communities all around Australia.