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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 February 2018) . . Page.. 99 ..

Orange Sky Laundry was born. Orange Sky Laundry has now spread right across the country, and it launched in Canberra in early 2016. The mates behind the organisation were recognised as Young Australians of the Year in 2015 and are now expanding their services from clothes washing to personal showers. Last Monday I was honoured to help welcome their new hybrid van to Canberra. The new hybrid vehicles are a one-stop shop for washing machines, dryers and a shower. The capacity of what this vehicle can provide means the old laundry-only vehicle that was in Canberra—Dasher—can be redeployed to another of Orange Sky’s many locations in Australia.

The most important thing of all, of course, is that the bright orange chairs that are associated with Orange Sky Laundry remain. You see, Madam Speaker, Orange Sky Laundry is not just about providing some basic hygiene services that we often take for granted. Above all else, it is about restoring dignity to people who are too often overlooked, judged or sidelined.

When Orange Sky Laundry friends are waiting their turn to take a shower or for a load of washing to finish, they can sit on the bright orange chairs and have a chat with one of the volunteers. It is a chance to befriend volunteers and others and to share their stories. The power of being heard and valued in these circumstances cannot be overstated. Similarly, it is an incredible opportunity for the Orange Sky Laundry volunteers to take a walk in someone else’s shoes and to shelve some preconceptions many of us hold about homelessness.

Orange Sky Laundry is testament to how a simple idea, well executed, can make a real change in our communities. If you are interested in being part of the growing Orange Sky community, you can help out by volunteering your time or donating some funds. You can help someone do a load of washing for a donation of only $6 or you can sign up to volunteer on the Orange Sky website. I encourage everyone to get behind this great cause if you are able to. There are big things happening for this organisation.

Lunar new year

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (5.31): Madam Speaker, on Friday evening I had the honour of hosting members of Canberra’s Chinese community here at the Assembly to celebrate the upcoming Chinese new year. The event celebrated the rich contributions made to Canberra by the Chinese community, and I was very thankful that leaders from peak ACT Chinese community organisations were able to attend.

The Chinese community in the ACT is one of the fastest growing multicultural communities in our city, and it continues to play a significant role in our city. Through their efforts in business, innovation and education, and involvement in cultural and community groups, Chinese Canberrans have greatly contributed to life in the territory.

I greatly respect the strong entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese, as well as their deep commitment to family, especially their reverence for elders and past generations.

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