Fast paced innovation with a focus on the real issue

22 Oct 2021

Orange Sky's Imagination & Innovation Project Engineer, Ben Battaglia, tells us what he's learnt while spending time with our first van Sudsy, and why he decided to take on The Sudsy Challenge.

Everything at Orange Sky Australia moves very fast. We are always looking for that next opportunity to help more friends doing it tough, either through fundraising, more efficient vehicle operations, disaster relief or scaling to remote communities. 

Since joining Team Delta as a Project Engineer, my experience has been exactly that - fast paced. Cultivating and curating Imagination and Innovation is a core mission within team Delta and Orange Sky, and it’s through that mission that we recently converted Sudsy into a research and development vehicle to test some new technology in our vans.

I was responsible for operating Sudsy and taking it to shifts around Brisbane, all while collecting and validating data. We visited Wickham Park, Jaeys St in Bowen Hills and Hugh Muntz Park in Beenleigh. Sudsy even got a service at the local mechanic.

While on shift with Sudsy, I learnt that some friends felt safer living on the street rather than living in community housing or dwellings. This really shocked me, especially because of how cold it was outside during the winter months. I also met some friends who simply loved connecting with Orange Sky volunteers, even if they had access to a washing machine. I think having a genuine conversation helped them feel connected and more part of the community. 

At the end of each shift I found myself telling my colleagues more about the connections I had, rather than the technical discoveries we made. Taking Sudsy out on shift was a great opportunity for me to slow down, connect with our community and learn more about people experiencing homelessness. I decided to take on The Sudsy Challenge to continue learning and help raise more awareness about the issue. 

A massive congratulations to Ben, who has raised over $1000 during this year's Sudsy Challenge for our friends doing it tough.

For more stories from The Sudsy Challenge, check out our blog!