There’s no shortage of amazing people in South East Queensland – there are inspiring individuals who are making a change, speaking up and motivating others, and there are countless organisations doing great things for our community. So we thought we’d introduce you to a few of the greats:
Orange Sky Laundry – Sofie Formica
There are so many ways that we can each make a difference and sometimes the simplest of ideas can have the greatest impact.
The concept of wearing clean clothes is a luxury that many of us would take for granted. But two young guys from Brisbane realised that not everyone is so fortunate, and they decided to make a change.
School mates Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett were just 20 years old when they started a world-first free mobile laundry service for the homeless.
Orange Sky Laundry provide washing machines, dryers and showers in mobile vans to 11 locations across Australia. They have over 800 volunteers that help wash and dry over 8 tonnes of laundry and facilitate about 200 showers for free every week.
With a change of clothes comes a massive change to the community. Orange Sky also facilitate over 1,300 hours of positive and genuine conversations every week which helps homeless people connect with their community and be heard. The boys have done Brisbane proud and their incredible work saw them receive the Young Australian of the Year award.
Brissie to the Bay with Katie – Sofie Formica
You may know the voice and the lovely face behind Nova’s morning radio show, but while Katie Mattin shares her life over the airwaves to Brisbane listeners every day, there’s something you may not know about this bubbly broadcaster.
Katie was diagnosed with MS, multiple sclerosis, 8 years ago after the birth of her twin girls. It was news that changed her life forever.
MS a disease of the central nervous system that affects more young adult Australians than any other neurological condition. The average age of diagnosis is just 30 years old and interestingly three times more women are affected by MS than men.
Symptoms of MS are unpredictable and affect everyone differently – they can include tiredness, blurry vision, loss of balance and muscle coordination, slurred speech, difficulty walking, short-term memory loss, tingling and numbness or in severe cases tremors and paralysis.
MS is a lifelong disease for which a cure is yet to be found, however Katie’s diagnosis hasn’t stopped her living her life. She’s pursued her dream job at Nova and she’s a wonderful mother for her twin girls. Katie keeps her symptoms at bay with medication, staying positive and by leading a healthy lifestyle – which includes plenty of time outdoors in the sunshine.
Katie decided to come out publicly about her diagnosis in the hope it could help others. She wants other newly-diagnosed people, who are going through the same things she did, to know that they can be okay.
“I wanted other people who are first diagnosed and who are going through that whole what’s going to happen, terrified, what-if stage, that they could maybe say Oh that girl from the radio, she’s go it, she’s doing okay, so I can do okay as well.”
Katie wants to inspire and motivate others to live their lives and remain positive. In her quest to remove the stigma surrounding MS, Katie’s signed on as the ambassador for MS Queensland to raise awareness about the disease. Katie did the 10 kilometre ride with her twins last year and loved it. She says that it’s such an incredible feeling of accomplishment and a great atmosphere, everyone should give it a go.
If you’d like to join Katie in the ride to fight MS jump online and register for Brissie to the Bay on June 18. There are 5 different distances – from a 10 km ride to the 160 km challenge.
Great Day out viewers will receive 20% off registration, so there’s an extra incentive to help worthy cause.
Brissie to the Bay
20% off registration price for Channel 7 viewers
If you’d like to find out more details on the incredible work MS Queensland does and how you can be involved in World MS Day on May 31, visit their website.
World MS Day
Read more & watch videos about other inspiring people and organisations featured in our special episode.