Easy Read | 3-5 minutes
How much do you know about the conditions of small remote communities in Australia? I know I wasn’t very aware of just how bad the conditions are in some areas of our “Lucky Country” but it’s organisations like Remote Laundries Project, and the individuals that work with them, that are assisting change in these areas and too many peoples lives.
I caught up with Brittany from Remote Laundries Project, to find out a little more about what they do, that’s helping to improve the health and quality of life for people in remote communities…
Firstly, can you please tell the Boom community a little about yourself?
My name is Brittany Ciupka and I’m the project officer for Aboriginal Investment Group’s (AIG) Remote Laundries Project. I’ve always been interested in health and medicine, but even more so fascinated about the social determinants of health.
I moved to Melbourne several years ago from the US and pursued a Master of Public Health degree. Like many people living in metropolitan areas of Australia, I knew remote communities faced health and social challenges but didn’t know how to be part of the solution.
Fast forward to moving to Darwin in the beginning of 2020 and eventually joining team AIG. I was drawn to AIG because their passion, innovation, and impact was evident through their long list of successful projects.
What is Remote Laundries Project?
Remote Laundries Project is an initiative that improves health, quality of life, and social/economic outcomes for Aboriginal people living in remote communities through free and reliable access to laundry facilities. Through something as simple as clean clothing, this project reduces (and even prevents) scabies, which in turn prevents kidney and heart disease later in life. Remote Laundries Project also creates five sustainable Indigenous employment positions, which injects money right back into the community.
The laundry itself is indestructible and equipped with specific machines and chemicals to eliminate the scabies parasite and other bacteria. One of the most fascinating aspects of the design, in my opinion, is the automation. Each machine is controlled by a tablet that automatically injects detergent, sanitiser, and softener into the wash cycle. From our office in Darwin, I can see when each machine is started in real time and how much of each liquid is being used. This allows us to ensure track laundry usage and even monitor the supply of chemicals.