Running for 128 years, Blueline Laundry is more than just a commercial laundry service. Their aim is to create meaningful employment for people with disabilities and those with diverse backgrounds.
The registered charity was recognised at the Tasmanian Disability Festival Awards recently, taking home the Excellence in Creating Inclusive Environments award.
One of the largest commercial laundries in Tasmania, the companies do over 170 tonnes of laundry a week and around 50,000 items go through their facilities each day.
With in excess of over 500 clients throughout the state, the group does laundry for big name companies such as Hotel Grand Chancellor, the LGH and the Royal Hobart as well as smaller places like AirBnB and small hotels.
Chief executive of Blueline Laundry Michael Sylvester said it was a great result for the company.
"Over the last 12 months we have worked really hard to broaden the purpose of our organisation which is more than just employing those of diverse backgrounds," he said.
"We employ people from all walks of life, including migrants and those who speak other languages and we have worked hard to create inclusive work spaces for a cohort of community members."
Founded in 1883 by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, the organisation was developed to provide employment for disadvantaged women and girls.
Since then Blueline Laundry has evolved to become a fully commercial laundry and offers employment, training and development to disabled and disadvantaged people.
The business has survived two World Wars, the Polio pandemic, Spanish Flu, the GFC and now COVID.
"To us COVID was just another form of contamination. So we did have to put in a few extra controls, but they were only fairly small in terms of what was already there and I think that's a testament to the robustness of the laundry processes that Blueline adopts," Mr Sylvester said.
He said that the laundry was a place that encouraged growth and relished in the furthering of an individuals goals.
"An example would be a young lady by the name of Pramila , who's an Nepalese migrant to Australia. She's worked with us for the last few years, but she's also double degree qualified pharmacist hadn't been able to get any work as a pharmacist in Australia," he said.
"She hasn't been able to get any Australian job references so we supported her to have higher level supervisory roles and blue line has enabled her now to get a pharmacist job where she works full time, which is a great example of us being a pathway to other work for those who need it."
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