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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

CDP supported Karratha businesses servicing industry, creating local jobs

CDP supported Karratha businesses servicing industry, creating local jobs

Indigenous Affairs Employment Community Development Program (CDP)
Monday, 14 January 2019

National Indigenous Australians Agency

Large room with pale walls and hard grey floor is filled with heavy cleaning equipment. In the back corner a woman dressed in dark clothing works at a steam press.

Local Aboriginal employment organisation REFAP opened Karratha’s first commercial laundry in July 2018.

Building on the success of REFAP’s laundromat, which opened in November 2017, the two businesses are making a big impact on the community.

They are now self-sustaining due to commercial contracts and local community usage.

To ensure long term commercial success and sustainability of the laundry, REFAP drew on the same community expertise they used during construction of the laundromat.

Skilled locals were engaged to deliver building trades, marketing and artwork.

Since completion, it has been successful in servicing a broad range of industrial clients including the mining, defence, emergency services and hospitality industries.

The owner, Triscilla Holborow and her mother Val, had a shared vision to bring the laundry facilities to Karratha and create local Aboriginal employment. These laundries, which include a dry cleaning service attached to the laundromat, are the only ones of their kind in the West Pilbara.

REFAP is also the Community Development Program (CDP) provider for the West Pilbara region and the laundries employ nine CDP participants.

To start the commercial laundry, capital funding was obtained through the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and an equipment loan from IBA, along with some self-funding.

In 2019, the REFAP laundry will move to expand and introduce new lines of service such as formal wear hire. REFAP will expand the laundry services into Port/South Hedland, once they finalise commercial vehicle leasing arrangements.