In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Nicholas Marchesi who was a Winner in the 2016 7NEWS Young Achiever of the Year Awards for Queensland.
Nic is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Orange Sky – the world’s first free mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness.
2016 Young Australian of the Year and 2020 Order of Australia Medalist, Nic Marchesi is an entrepreneur, innovator and storyteller. Nic is committed to solving problems and making a difference, recognised by being selected as one of 200 Leaders to attend the 2019 Obama Foundation Leaders Program. Meeting with Former President & First Lady Barack & Michelle Obama, together they discussed education, environment and entrepreneurship. Nic is also a recent scholarship recipient to study at Stanford Graduate School of Business in the USA.
In this episode:
- Hear how Nic and Lucas’s dream became a reality
- Find out how Orange Sky does much more than just wash clothes
- Learn about the Sudsy Challenge – could you go 3 days in the same clothes?
- Reliant on volunteer support, maybe you would like to help? Check out the website
Want to volunteer, support or know more? Head to the Orange Sky website
Want to nominate someone? (It can take as little as 2 minutes to recognise someone making a difference)
Welcome to the inspirational Australians podcast, with a chat to people, making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host for today, Josh Griffin.
So for today’s dose of inspiration, we’re speaking with Nic Marchesi OAM, he’s the co-founder of Orange Sky Australia. And we’ll hear from him a bit more about what that exactly means, but there’s quite an impressive laundry list of achievements for Nic and yes, pun intended there. He was a 2016 Young Australian of the Year and we’ll ask him in a second, I believe it was co winner of that with Lucas, but there’s also, as I mentioned his name, he’s an OAM and he got the Order of Australia medal in 2020, which is pretty cool now Nic and Lucas, they handle Orange Sky, which is incredible program. I’m really excited to talk to Nic about this. Um, it’s one of those things where it’s just inspirational at what you can do with an idea that has a huge impact on so many people’s lives. So like I said, there was a long bio I’m going to save it for the show notes, so people can read that. Let’s turn it over to you Nic, welcome. Thanks for coming on.
Thank you for sharing that story.
Absolute pleasure for those who haven’t heard of it. Um, can you just explain a little bit what Orange Sky is? Um, and maybe as we get there, we’ll find out where it started and kind of how that idea became a reality as well.
Yeah. So orange sky started in October 2014 here in Brisbane with my best mate Lucas and I. We’re having a really crazy idea to put some washing machines and dryers in a van and simply drive around and wash and dry clothes. And our first ever mission was to improve hygiene standards. So, um, got a van and put some washes in it and hit the streets of Brisbane, um, and broke a lot of washing machines. And then, um, after a few trials and tribulations realized that Orange Sky had very little to do with washing and drying clothes. It sorta had everything to do with sitting down and having a yarn while the washing was on. So, um, I guess since then Orange Sky has grown a little bit, we’ve now got 33 vans in operation around Australia and New Zealand. Some of those vans are run by over a thousand, incredibly compassionate and empathetic volunteers that every week put their lives on hold to go in and connect with people from all walks of life. And I guess that mission of Orange Sky positively connecting communities happens, uh, each and every day through, um, people from all walks of life coming together, uh, whether it be through a load of washing or shower or, um, in its simplest form, I’m sitting down on a orange chair.
Can I ask you a quick question? Was it harder going from, you know, that first van to the second van than it was, you know, from say the 10th van to the 20th van?
That’s a really good question, I think we always talk about, um, you know, challenge being a part of our DNA. And I think something that you know, it was challenging from day one was, you know, I came home from, uh, working in my, what I thought was my dream job. And I said, Hey mom, I’m going to start a free mobile laundry. And she said, Nic, have about you start washing your own clothes? So you know, I think the challenge was there on, on van one and two and, um, challenges with vans 10 and 11. So, um, I think what is really interesting though, is that whatever the challenge may be, we’ve been super lucky that people from all walks of life have supported us with it. So, you know, the challenge of the second van was, you know, getting it to operate in Melbourne without that being our hometown and not knowing much about the community for vans 10, 11, and 12, it was sort of growth around the central coast, in New South Wales and operating in more regional areas. So, um, you know, there’s always a little bit of challenge, but, um, like I said, that was, I’ve become not by myself or Lucas by, um, people from all walks of life coming together and helping us out.
So going back to that, um, that time when you, you know, your Lucas started it, how does that kind of idea even formulate in your head where you kind of go, obviously there was a, you saw a need or something. Can you explain how it kind of happened in the first place?
Yes. So growing up here in Brisbane, Lucas, and I were lucky enough to go out on a school food van that fed people doing it tough. And I guess our eyes were open to a population of people in our own backyard that didn’t have access to things that we took for granted, things like laundry or showers or someone to talk to her place to wait. So I guess through growing up, you know, that’s something that didn’t sit right with us and we wanted to, um, you know, quite naively and selfishly find a way to get our friends together and have a good time and help people in those communities. So, um, dreamt up the crazy idea of putting some washing machines and dryers in the back of our van and called that first van Sudsy to work. And, um, that was sort of, um, the, the moment that we realized the profound impact of what we’re out there to do.
Yeah, for sure. And so that first time you were out there in the van, you’ve got the laundry machines in there. Did you kind of know you had a plan in place, you know, where you’re going to go?
Yeah. The first ever wash was actually alongside our old school food van, so we can park in Spring Hill and rocked up and, you know, at the same time and same place and, um, started, uh, trying to, to operate in the first time we took Sudsy out, it was a disaster. And, um, you know, we, um, woke up a guy by the name of Jordan and said, Hey, you know, there’s this van over here that can wash your clothes. And he thought we were pretty crazy and he trusted us with these only possessions. And, um, we let him down the van broke and we went back the next morning. And, um, there was Jordan again. And for whatever reason, Jordan trusted us to, um, you know, wash and dry his only possessions in his life. So we, um, put the washing in and the exact same thing happened. So the third morning, um, we sort of took the van out again and, um, Jordan was there and, um, the van works perfectly. And then we realized that, you know, Orange Sky had, um, not much to do with the washing. So I had an opportunity to sit and that chat with Jordan changed my life and definitely changed the trajectory of where Orange Sky has, um, has gone.
Yeah. Well, that’s good resilience from you guys and also from Jordan to keep saying, Oh, I’m giving him another chance and it’s not the chance. Oh, that’s great. And, you know, I love what you said about, um, you realize it wasn’t about the laundry. The laundry is just an excuse to pull those connections, I suppose, or what’s a pretty good excuse. It gives people a, you know, a great result, but can you tell us a bit more about that kind of, you know, having a yarn as you put it?
I think, you know, something that, um, we know is that people, uh, um, all incredibly unique and, um, everyone, um, has their own, uh, challenges. So, we, you know, thought we’re out there to help people who didn’t have access to laundry and child services. Um, and what we realized is that we’re out there to help people from all walks of life come together. And the thing that, you know, it’s most people in the communities that we help is, um, you know, I’m sitting down and providing a safe space for people to connect. And, um, the majority of the time that’s through conversation, you know, some of the times it’s actually through no conversation at all. It’s purely giving people a safe place to, um, feel like hi, or, um, you know, there’s been times where I’ve been out on vans and haven’t been able to, um, verbally communicate with people, but we’ve both been able to connect on a, on a really safe and impactful level. So, um, you know, the conversations, we didn’t think we were out there when we started would be, um, a part of our service. And, um, now looking back on it, we couldn’t say Orange Sky without that special component.
Yeah. I agreed. And to me, yeah, that’s one of the inspirational parts about what you do is that I guess that, um, the ethos of everyone deserves dignity, everyone deserves just that common chance to have a conversation with people to connect with people. So, yeah, that’s a really moving part of what Orange Sky is all about. And I think that’s why it’s been so successful from my outside perspective. So I’d love to hear a bit more about your team there in Brisbane. You know, how many of you out there working on Orange Sky and you mentioned you’ve 33 vans. Uh, so how many people are out there throughout Australia, kind of working with you?
Every week around Australia, New Zealand, we have thousands of volunteers that go out and run our vans and I’m, every van is run by volunteers. And then behind each van is a support team here in Brisbane and around the country that, um, help out teams just go out and help people, um, as impactful as possible. So, um, within our team, we have you know, community of operations people. We have, uh, a community of fundraising, marketing, admin and support. Um, and we’ve got a team of people that build a product called campfire that charities use to run their volunteer operations. So, um, something we sort of, um, identified through starting our own charity is that the sector really didn’t have tools that were able to, um, help other our help, um, you know, manage things like volunteer onboarding and, um, operations management. So, um, came up with the idea of commercializing that software and the dream that it could be, uh, a revenue stream for, for Orange Sky. And, um, we, uh, we now sort of help other charities with that. So I really amazing team that I’m also build and support and maintain that.
Well, I think that kind of topic would be really interesting for a lot of our listeners, you know, through the Young Achiever Awards and the Community Achiever Awards programs that we’ve run so many people who have a passion for helping others and they start locally just like you did, but sometimes those kind of programs can be scaled. You know, there’s a need in many communities. And so I think what you’re talking about there is so interesting because it’s really hard to go from that local involvement to spreading that wider. So I guess part of your building that team and that software and everything was important to have the right people around you, um, kind of, if you can catch my back, who were some of those key people initially who were able to help you out? Was it internally they’re part of the team, or did you work with third parties or how that work?
Yeah, I think from day one, yeah, Lucas was, was by my side and us doing that, but then people from all walks of life and whether that be our you know, or the friends that trusted us and gave us encouragement and support. Um, and then there’s also, you know, the, the volunteers and our staff. So, um, you know, we’ve, we’ve had, um, our, our friends and family by our sides from, from day one. So, um, we, uh, you know, we’ve been really, really lucky with, um, people from all walks of life supporting us.
That’s awesome. And so obviously 2020 we’re faced with, you know, it’s global pandemic, it’s affecting everyone. Um, how have you guys had to change or have you had to change your operations and what you do to deal with the COVID-19 situation?
Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, what Covid has done is, it challenged people from all around the world and reminded them about the importance of hygiene and human connection. So, um, prior to COVID yeah, 116,000 Australians every night, struggled with hygiene and human connection. And now globally, people are reminded and struggling with that. So unfortunately, you know, Orange Sky isn’t alone in that struggle. And, uh, for a period of time, six days, we had to decide to, um, put our services on pause. And, um, for a majority of people like Jordan who had been laid down their lives and we’d become a regular and reliable support mechanism we didn’t show up. And, um, that was a really tough decision for us to make. And it’s been really cool to see now in some of the toughest restrictions in Oakland and in Victoria, um, Orange Sky is now able to continue operating in a really safe, safe way. So, um, there’s definitely challenges as an organization. Um, we’re, you know, finding ways to deliver service in new operating environments, but we’ve also seen, um, as always people from all walks of life, um, jump on board and support us.
This might be a bit of a naive question, but with your, you know, the people that you’re helping the homeless and disadvantaged people, is it hard to connect with them sometimes if you need to spread that message that we have to pause for this time, they might, and as you said, they might not know that, that you can’t come.
Absolutely. And that was something that was so hard it’s that there were a percentage of people that would have rocked up who we did, we weren’t able to communicate with. And they would have been expecting a bright orange van there and to connect. And, um, we went there and that was something that was very hard. And it’s something that, um, continues to remind how to now communities have had a way, um, you know, effectively communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, whether that be our supporters or volunteers or friends who, um, used the service. So, um, yeah, it was definitely a challenge and still is.
And so did you say six days was all that you had to pause for?
Yeah, so, um, that was, um, in, in most areas, some areas are still rebounding and some areaswas a bit quicker, but, um, it was a period of six days there.
Yeah. We’ll credit to you guys for trying to get that turned around so quickly. That’s not a lot of time when you think about it. That’s very, um, they’re very responsive.
That’s a pleasure. Um, so I was reading on your bio, one of the things, and we touched on this initially, it was going to rewind a little bit. You said you were in your dream job before you started Orange Sky. So you were in the media industry?
Yeah, that’s right. Sort of growing up in high school. I had a passion for you know, uh, storytelling and, um, sort of live, live TV. So, um, found myself sort of after school, working in a few industries overseas and then coming back and you know, finding myself, um, in that, in that industry. And, um, there’s a really great way to see people at the best and worst of their lives and, um, learn a lot as a younger person and see a lot of really cool things and work with some incredible people. So, um, you know, what I’m incredibly grateful for for that and you know, the decision to, to leave and do a gap year and, um, you know, volunteer with my best mate for a period of time to start something that we’re passionate about. Um, you know, it was a tough decision and, um, but also it was one that was really easy to make in a sense of that. We didn’t have family, or we didn’t have significant commitments that we didn’t have family. We didn’t have families of our own that we had to make significant commitments to. So it was probably easier than someone in a different position of their, their lives to, um, you know, really jump in and give something to go. And, and we’re really thankful and grateful that we had that opportunity.
Yeah, well, don’t downplay it Nic, cause that, I mean, it’s a leap of faith, it’s incredible. And to take that year off and then go on a volunteering adventure is a, yeah, it is pretty cool. It’s pretty incredible. Uh, another thing I wanted to ask about here in your bio is you got to meet Obamas, Michelle and Barack Obama. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yeah, so lucky enough to be a Obama foundation leader for the Asia Pacific region and be with over 20 really amazing Australians and a cohort of over 200 people in the Asia Pacific region. So, um, it feels like a world to go the luxury of traveling to, um, you know, Kuala Lumpur and, and meeting with, um, some sensational people from all around the world and you know, really have an opportunity to, um, be inspired and one from, um, some really amazing people. So, um, you know, incredibly grateful to be a part of and still be a part of that program. And, um, it’d be a part of the Obama leader community.
Yeah. Well, one of my questions I wanted to ask you was who or what inspires you, so you touched on it there, other people doing kind of great work. Are there any specific examples you wanted to kind of highlight?
Yeah, I, I think you know, you, you mentioned Lucas and I have been lucky to receive some great awards and meet some great people. And I think, um, what has always been the most inspiring thing for us though is rocking up, um, you know, potentially in a park and sitting down on an orange chair and someone trusting me with their story and, and that’s what, what inspires me is that, you know, everyday people from all walks of life believe in Orange Sky, would that be out of friends? Would that be out volunteers, our staff team or the donors that support us? So it’s always hard to pick specific people or moments, but, um, I guess the, the feeling or the interaction is one of, you know, one of trust, one of, people who are genuinely so, um, generous and, and, um, giving of their, their time or their respect, uh, towards, towards me and other people.
Yeah. Well meeting with those people. I bet you’ve had some ripper stories.
Speaker 3 (17:05):
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, what makes everyone unique is that we’re all, we’ve all got our own story and, you know, for some people that’s something that’s never shared. And for some people, it is something that is shared, but for, um, our volunteers and friends, the opportunity to, um, you know, come together in a location and, and sit down and connect is, is really special. And, um, I think that’s what keeps people coming back every week is that there is an opportunity to, um, live and learn together.
Can I put you on the spot and they can ask you to share, you know, one of those more memorable, whether it’s a bit funny or a bit weird or, or something, what are those kinds of stories from someone you’ve met through Orange Sky?
Yeah, for sure. I, you know, I mentioned my mum, Claire was a hater from, from day 1 and, um, you know, mum turned around and has been a massive supporter, always been a massive supporter, but a massive supporter of Orange Sky and you know, mum, volunteers every Monday in Brisbane. And, um, late last year I was out on shift in, in Brisbane and, um, was talking to a friend and you know, she was sitting by herself on a orange chair and looking quite, um, quite disconnected and sorta, um, found the confidence to go and speak to this young young lady. And she introduced herself and her name was Dani and she had a thick American accent. And I got talking about, um, you know, Johnny’s interests and she had the washing in, and she was talking about going to a yoga studio later that day and spoke about how she could volunteer at the yoga studio. And, um, they really looked after her there and she found her community. And I was really interested in that and I sort of said, Oh, you know, how did you hear about the yoga community? And she said, Oh, you know, one of the volunteers on this shift, um, gave me the contact and the confidence to go down and, you know, connect with that yoga studio. And, um, the volunteer is incredibly kind and reminded me of my mum. And I was like, Oh, that’s really interesting. And, you know, feeling really proud. And I was like, Oh, what was the volunteers name? Dani was like, its Claire. And Claire’s my mum. And, you know, Dani and I couldn’t have been any more different, um, for, from different countries, different genders, different life experiences. But we both felt the exact same thing from the exact same person, which was this conditional love. And I think that’s something that has always stuck with me is that I haven’t seen Dani again and I might never see Dani, but we shared something in common, which was that, that feeling. And I think, you know, that notion that, um, you know, a lot of us have more in common than we have. We don’t, and that’s something that I hope happens everyday at Orange Sky is that, um, people come together on, um, potentially on uncommon things and find common things throughout the way.
Yeah. I agree, mate. We all have so much in common, you know, the two most different people on this planet have more in common than they don’t. So, um, yeah, that’s a great story. You can, we can always rely on our Mum’s for a bit of a burn on our younger years, and then as you said, at the end of that story, that we can also rely on them for inspiration and you know, that moms are all champions. So I think my mum’s pretty cool too. She’s a producer of this podcast, so I take inspiration from her quite often as well. So yeah, definitely resonated with that story, mate. Um, we can kind of cast your mind back a bit to 2016 it was a big year for you and Lucas. Um, and that’s how we came across you when you won the University of Queensland Create Change Award, which is part of the Queensland 7News Young Achiever Awards. So if you can remember being at that event and kind of hearing them announce your name, what were some of the thoughts going through your head at that time?
Yeah, I think, um, you know, it was a really exciting and profound moment and you know, for me I’m an employee of channel seven which is potentially a conflict of interest there. So, um, we, uh, we had a really great great night and I think, um, you know, what, what is always something that’s, um, you know, we’re incredibly proud of, of Orange Sky and something that’s always been quite hard is to take, you know, acknowledgement and price of, um, a community of people that is far from Nic and Lucas, um, who believe in us every day. So I think we’ve always seen those award opportunities as an opportunity to, um, further, um, connect and inspire and help more people. And you know, that, that award process helped us with that. And a sense of 2016 was a big year for us. It was our second year that we’ve ever been around. And, um, in that year, sort of started with, um, you know, a couple vans and a couple of hundred volunteers and, um, finished with, um, sort of 27 vans operating and thousands of volunteers.
And that one year that massive increase was it. Wow.
Yeah, for sure. For that period, you know, we added a van on average every month and grew into a different region. So you know, it was a really rapid time and but, uh, an absolute I’m really, really thankful for that, that year as well.
Yeah. Wow. That’s yeah. What a year that is. So I guess another thing I wanted to ask you is, um, you know, we, a lot of people ask you about Orange Sky and all the stuff we’ve talked about here, but what do you reckon something that people wouldn’t know about you?
It’s a really great question. I think, you know, a lot of people you know really see Lucas and I as Orange Sky and then two guys in Brisbane, but I think, you know, a lot of people don’t don’t realize that there’s so many people that go into Orange Sky that are far from us. So you know, Lucas and I are incredibly different. Lucas when we went to school together was at the front of the class and I’m getting all the top marks and then also the back of the class being a little bit or being very cheeky all the time. So, um, you know, something that Lucas and I have in common is that we really like helping people and solving problems and having fun and you know Lucas and I built our first ever van and um, still have a very hands on role within shaping the direction of Orange Sky, but also you know, how our successes have been really, um, supported by our incredible people in our lives, whether it be our, our parents or family or staff team or the whole Orange Sky community.
Sure. When you had Lucas, are you able to hang out now outside of Orange Sky and kind of, you know, relive those old high school days of being mates?
Yeah, we always chat about that. So we started as friends and went on to more, but you know, the friendship and the opportunity to meet some remarkable people and, and have some of the best and most challenging times in our lives. Um, but being through that together as being incredibly special and then I’m forever thankful for that. So, um, you know, a lot of our, our chat and banter does revolve around things that are orange or potentially a washing machine, but, um, they’re awesome, really, you know, um, awesome opportunities just to, um, you know, have a yarn and then connect, which is you know, part of Orange Sky, but also part of everyday life.
Yeah, for sure. I can only imagine what it would be like, you know, knowing what my best friend is like if we were, um, working together every day, I don’t know if it would have ended up quite as amicably as you and Lucas, but, um, that’s fantastic, Nic. You know, touching on what you said about the awards and that being a part of the growth and kind of, I guess, spreading your message and helping to impact people. You know, what would you say to anyone out there who’s thinking of nominating, say two young guys that I know who’s come up with this crazy idea.
Yeah. I think, you know the success of organizations like Orange Sky does come from awareness and the great thing about awards programs like this is an opportunity to share and connect with like minded people. And, um, it’s not always about winning it’s about, um, you know, opportunities to, um, be recognized and to meet new people. And you know, we always talk about, um, that, you know, Orange Sky’s success has relied on, on people, um, having an awareness of orange sky and believing in it. And, um, you know, we’ve had, we’ve been so lucky that so many people have believed in us. So, um, the opportunity to nominate, you know, so many amazing people out there in our own backyards that do really great things, um, is something that sometimes is overwhelming because I think as an Aussie, sometimes they’re incredibly, um, humble and we, um, you know, don’t, uh, there’s, this fears of other things as well. So, um, I think it’s, you know, putting yourself out there is something that is scary, but also can further the cause. And that’s been something that has happened for Orange sky.
Yeah, for sure. That’s um, I think you couldn’t have put it any better yourself. It’s kind of, we are a bit as Aussies, aren’t we a little bit, um, I don’t know if afraid is the right word, but we’re a little bit worried about putting our own name forward. And I think that’s sometimes a bit misconception because if, if you have something that people believe in, as you know, you talked about so many volunteers, they have this volunteer led operation that relies on belief, doesn’t it? Cause I need to really believe what they’re doing in order to volunteer their time to it. So people are doing things like that, then there’s no, there’s no worry about, I guess, putting yourself out there because you know that what you’re doing is really worthwhile.
Well Nic, I just want to ask you about where people can follow, you know, I know you’re a storyteller and I was looking at your website earlier and there are some really cool stories on there as well. How can people find out a bit more about Orange Sky or even potentially get involved?
Yeah, it’s really, really easy just jumping onto our website, orangesky.org.au, you can learn about the impact or in shows happening or having, you can see our vans operate in real time. You can hear some really awesome stories. You can register to volunteer and make a donation, um, here about, um, now amazing partners that we worked through all throughout our website.
If you’re happy to talk about it, what is the kind of the process, if people did want to volunteer, how would they go about that?
It’s really, really easy. Just jumping on to the website and filling in an application or an expression of interest. You don’t need to be a laundry expert or a shower console. You just need a little bit of time, and be game to have a chat we’ll connect. So you know, once you fill in that expression of interest, you’ll be sent what we call an orange-tation, which is a bit of an orientation with an orange touch. And then throughout that process, a really simple process. And, um, at the moment we’ve got plenty of shifts that need volunteers. So really encourage anyone listening, who has a bit of free time to jump onto our website and register to volunteer.
Yeah. And as you said, like yourself, you didn’t, you don’t have to be a laundry expert as your mum would attest to. But, um, the other thing I noticed is that on your tee shirt there, people obviously can’t see that we’re looking at each other over zoom, but you’ve got The Sudsy Challenge, is that right?
Yeah that’s right, The Sudsy Challenge is all about wearing the same clothes for three days. And during those three days starting as many conversations to help raise awareness and raise some funds to keep Orange Sky the road. So as you heard with Jordan, it took three days to finally get Sudsy to work. And, we’ve had two weekends now after this weekend and our fourth and the first weekend of October where over a thousand people have worn the same clothes and raised money for Orange Sky.
So I’m going to tell you, I will take part in this challenge, however, I’m in Melbourne. So I don’t know how many people would notice my three days old clothing, but I’ll give it a go and I will start some conversations and maybe the odors will start that conversation for me as well.
Yeah, we’ve seen of that being a really interesting time for The Sudsy Challenge and, you know, a lot of people have been talking about it. It’s almost a positive to the challenge that people have to stay 1.5 meters away from each other. But I guess what the, the challenge, you know, it does have a serious side to it is that, you know, for, for me participating in the challenge, it was something that, um, I did for three days and, um, could go back and access things that, um, you know, potentially other people don’t. So, um, just, um, you know, reflecting back on, um, throughout those three days, um, you know, the, um, the challenge of things like loneliness or isolation, or, um, you know, being able to, um, Wiki, I heard a lot last weekend that a lot of people couldn’t decide whether they wanted to wear an outfit that they could go to work in, but also work out in, or, um, hanging out with certain people. And, um, I guess the challenges for people who don’t have the luxury of things that I’ve taken for granted in my life.
Yeah, for sure. Um, I guess the last thing, you know, before we wrap up that you might want to leave the listeners with is, I love this idea of best starting conversations cause it is really important. Um, what would you encourage people if they are coming across someone, you know, whether it’s someone who is homeless or someone who has been to the van, it doesn’t have those same things that we take for granted. Now, what would you kind of, I guess, encourage people to do to start a conversation, cause that can seem daunting for some people,
For sure. And you know, where they lock it Orange Sky, that there is a commonality there around, um, a shared place that laundry takes time. And you know, that’s something that we genuinely believe in has helped our connection with others. I think that, you know, like we were saying before, there’s a lot of things that people have in common, but potentially we say the things we don’t have in common, uh, in common as, as blockers to starting those connections. So, um, I think it’s, you know, with, um, what, uh, really those basic things around treating people with non-judgment and really being open for a conversation. And I always talk about the best conversation starter is sometimes a smile or, um, you know, asking someone their name and, um, that’s all that’s needed. Um, at the moment there’s, uh, some more common conversation starters that COVID or sport or the weather in Queensland, but, um, yeah, I always say that for anyone wanting to start a conversation, it’s some potentially just a smile and introducing yourself
That’s right. It’s spot on. And I think people sometimes forget that we’re all just the same. So however, you’d start a conversation with your mate exactly the same way you do it with someone else. So Nic, I want to thank you for your time today and thank you for all the work you do. There’s so many people out there who, as we’ve already said, take the grant at these simple things. Um, and sometimes it’s hard to put ourselves in the shoes of others. So yeah. What you Lucas and everyone there, all the volunteers, they are doing a great job, but yeah. Thanks a lot.
Thank you for sharing our story.
I hope you enjoyed our interview. Join us each week, as we talk with ordinary Australians achieving extraordinary things. If you know someone that’s making a difference you can contact us through our Instagram page, inspirational.australians or head to our website awardsaustralia.com and you can nominate them, help spread their story, share their message. Awards Australia is a family owned Australian business, our awesome producer Annette is my mom and other podcast co-host Geoff is my dad. We proudly aim to make a difference in the lives of Australians. And we thank our corporate and not for profit partners for making our awards programs possible. Would your business like to know how to get involved, contact us now. Please subscribe to our podcast, so you won’t miss an episode. And please share this episode with your network and pay it forward. Who doesn’t like to hear a positive, good news story, but also greatly appreciate that if you review and write this series as well, we’d love to hear your thoughts until next week, stay safe and remember, together we make a difference.
Thanks for joining us today on the inspirational Australians podcast, we hope you enjoyed listening and have been inspired by ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things. So it’s goodbye for another week. Remember, together we make a difference.