Orange Sky Laundry screenshot Orange Sky Laundry

A pair of best friends have been named Young Australians of the Year for doing laundry for the homeless.

Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett have washed, at no charge, more than 75 tons of clothes belonging to homeless people in Australian cities with their fleet of vans equipped with industrial washing machines and dryers.


The buddies from Brisbane started Orange Sky Laundry in 2014 with a single truck they converted into a mobile laundry that contained two washers and two dryers. Less than two years later, they oversee trucks in five cities and have 270 volunteers to help.

Calling clean clothes “a basic human right,” the two 21-year-olds and their volunteers take the mobile laundries, which run on generators, right into parks and homeless centers—wherever people need them.

They’ve also deployed their vans during disasters to help people forced out of their homes by wildfires and cyclones.

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It’s the first time two people have shared the honor of Young Australian of the Year, one of four categories of people honored each year on Australia Day, celebrated on January 26, and marking the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships in the country.

Marchesi and Patchett say their Orange Sky Laundry service helps homeless citizens connect with the community. It also raises health standards, while simply letting the homeless gain respect with a clean suit of clothes.

(WATCH the video from Orange Sky Laundry and READ more at the Sydney Morning Herald) — Photo: Orange Sky Laundry

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