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Scholarships donation sparks transformation!

Professor Brian Burdekin, AO Patron of The Burdekin Association

The Burdekin Association is proud to announce that our patron, Professor Brian Burdekin AO, has generously donated $20,000 today to The Burdekin Association to fund 20 young people’s further education scholarships. These are for young people in our care.

Professor Burdekin has made a firm commitment to contribute $200,000 over the next 10 years for these scholarships.

Today being Youth Homelessness Matters Day, is the day Professor Burdekin chose to announce his donation.

The scholarships will be tailored to meet the needs of young people pursuing further education, and can be used to purchase books, pay for tuition fees, or subject-related educational tutoring.

“Education improves access to opportunities such as employment, healthcare, housing, family, community, travel, and playing a full part in society with dignity.

I anticipate that the 20 scholarships created from my donation will have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the young people, and I hope that my donation may encourage others to make a similar gesture.”

Professor Brian Burdekin, AO Patron of The Burdekin Association

Many of the young people who come to The Burdekin Association did not attend sufficient schooling in their formative years. As a result, they are likely to have low literacy and poor self esteem, while needing to recover from the trauma of the challenges that caused their situation in the first place, such as family conflict.

Scholarships like this, assist a young person who is keen to commence or continue with their higher education to receive that opportunity, realise their potential and reach their goals.

To find out more about the positive difference that education makes to young people’s lives, click here.

About Professor Brian Burdekin AO

Professor Brian Burdekin, AO has left a lasting legacy to two of Australia’s most disadvantaged groups – homeless children and people with mental illness.  During his term as Federal Human Rights Commissioner, he presented two landmark reports: a National Inquiry into Youth Homelessness in 1989 and National Inquiry into the Human Rights of People with Mental Illness in 1983.

Read more about Professor Burdekin here. And, read Professor Burdekin’s article, ‘Government is failing our most vulnerable children’ here.

About Youth Homelessness Matters Day

Homelessness Matters Day is a national day that aims to raise awareness and public discussion about child and youth homelessness. It’s been held every year since 1990 and has grown into a national commemoration of young people’s resilience. It’s also a day for Yfoundations and other services like The Burdekin Association to seek innovative solutions to support the needs of children and young people at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. It’s a day that’s showcased online and in communities around Australia. Read more here.

Over 38,000 young people aged 15–24 years presented alone to a homelessness service in 2022–23. Of these young people, almost half experienced mental ill-health and over one third experienced domestic and family violence. 

The majority of these young people were in need of short-or long-term accommodation and most were turned away due to a lack of capacity.

To read more about Youth Homelessness Matters Day, click here.

Creative Collaborations!

The Burdekin Association is thrilled to announce that a former employee, Jay Williams, has established a new skincare company – ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare – and he has committed to donating 15 per cent of the company’s profits to The Burdekin Association for one year.

The Burdekin Association’s CEO, Justene Gordon was joined by young people – Alice and Ava – and Case Managers – Chris and Howie. They were filmed while talking with first-hand experience of how The Burdekin Association provides housing, support and community intervention services for children and young people – helping to solve issues of child and youth homelessness.

ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare products are proudly made in Sydney by reputable partners in the health and beauty field and feature antioxidants, including Kakadu plum extract, lilly pilly fruit extract, bilberry fruit extract, lavender oil, Resveratrol, and Tocopheryl Acetate (a form of Vitamin E).

The funds raised through the sale of ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare products will be used to provide case management services to children in our Out of Home Care. The funds will help them to learn independent living skills, complete their studies, live independently, and go on to gain employment.

We hope through ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare’s advertising campaign, that more people will discover what we do, volunteer with us, become a foster carer of a young person, and donate. 

Justene Gordon, CEO of The Burdekin Association

ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare’s endeavours will help The Burdekin Association by raising our profile, making people aware of how we’re aiming to ensure that every child or young person has a safe home. 

“The main purpose of the ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare brand is about fundraising and supporting organisations who are helping our young disadvantaged kids. That’s what really makes us, us.”

Jay Williams, Founder of ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare

You can visit the ACTIVEAUSSIE Skincare website to place an order and support a great cause (The Burdekin Association!) 💙💛

What a difference volunteers make!

Qualtrics volunteers assist to transform a property for a young person.

A huge thank you to the amazing team of volunteers at Qualtrics for helping us transform a single storey, two-bedroom property for a 19-year-old single mother with two children under the age of two.

Six employees from Qualtrics, which helps organisations improve their customer and employee experience, put up their hands to transform the property as part of their annual volunteering inititiative, XM Day.

Armed with gardening tools and a positive attitude, they participated in a volunteering day, where they assisted in:

  • Painting the living room
  • Moving a new couch into the newly painted living room
  • Pruning and tidying up the garden
  • Patching up a couple of dents in the walls
  • Revamping the kitchen
  • Tidying up the garage and car port
  • Taking rubbish to Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre
  • Scrubbing the bathroom to remove mould
  • Removing plastic bottles and recycling them

The generous team also donated two car seats for the children, children’s clothes, toys, new towels, new cushions and a rug, and stationery to help the young mother with their TAFE studies.

Doctor Cecila Herbert from Qualtrics also went the extra mile and donated plants from her own garden and planted them in the property’s garden.

Thank you Qualtrics, your team of volunteers have truly made a difference in this young mother’s life and we couldn’t be more grateful! This is why we do what we do!

And finally, a big shout out of thanks to Bunnings Warringah Mall for donating paint, that provided the living room with a new lease on life.

If your organisation or business would like to volunteer with The Burdekin Association, check out our volunteering opportunities here. We’d love to hear from you.

Community Matters

Justene Gordon, Graham Bargwanna and Emelia Weaver of The Burdekin Association at the 2023 Annual Northern Beaches Breakfast Fundraiser

We are always saying how much our community matters to us, especially at Christmas – because we mean it. The Burdekin Association can honestly do so much, because of you.

We’d like to shout out a big thank you to the following organisations and people…

2023 Northern Beaches Annual Fundraiser Business Breakfast

Thank you to the 2023 Northern Beaches Annual Fundraiser Business Breakfast for announcing in November that The Burdekin Association is a recipient of their fundraising efforts. We are so grateful to be one of the three organisations to be a beneficiary! We received $4,000 during the fundraising event.

Addi Road Community Organisation

We are so thankful to the Addi Road Community Organisation, who once again has provided our young people with deluxe holiday hampers, as part of their ‘Hampers of Hope’ program. Last year, 66 of our young people received a hamper. They were brimming with chocolates, gifts, toys and other luxury items. Thank you so much Addi Road Community Organisation!

Palmolive ANZ

It’s amazing the difference that one donation can make! We received a donation of many bottles of lovely shampoo to give to our young people. Thank you Palmolive ANZ.

Palmolive Shampoo

Share the Dignity

Thank you to Share the Dignity. They donated some beautiful handbags filled with essential items, everyday luxury goods and handwritten notes for young women, girls and those who menstruate to feel a little bit of love and hope this Christmas.

Hillsong Church

Thank you Hillsong Church for your generous donation of hampers. Staff from our Youth Services team gratefully received them and the children and young people in our care will truly appreciate the gifts that you have so generously provided. Merry Christmas!

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Over the past five weeks, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles sought donations of gift cards for children and young people at Burdekin. We are truly grateful for the numerous gift cards that were donated – often these gifts are the only ones that a young person will receive at Christmas and the joy that it brings is immeasurable. Thank you to our community partner, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles!

Energize Health Club Belrose

Thank you, Energize Health Club Belrose, for donating some amazing Christmas presents for our young people! We are truly grateful!

Our Supporters

We couldn’t do the work that we do without our many generous supporters. We thank you and appreciate the trust that you put into us. We strive to do our very best by our young people.

The house diagram below features our supporters from the 2022/23 financial year.

We’ll be updating this post as more Christmas hampers, goodies and gifts arrive at our head office, to be distributed to the young people we support.

In the meantime, if you would like to give a gift card to a young person this Christmas, you can purchase a gift card from JB Hi-Fi, Rebel Sports, Kmart, Big W, Priceline / Sephora, EB Games, Westfields, Myer or David Jones and email it to us to at:

Often these gifts are the only gift that a young person will receive at Christmas and the joy that it brings is immeasurable.

Mentoring Men Volunteer Initiative

Volunteer with us

We are delighted to have entered into a partnership with Mentoring Men to engage male volunteers into our Volunteer Program for our young people. Mentoring Men is a fantastic local charity providing free long-term, one-on-one life mentoring programs Australia wide.


As many of you already know we are big on collaborations and community partnerships here at Burdekin – we believe that together we can make the world a better place – more so than going it alone.

Volunteers play a huge role in contributing to healthier and more resilient communities. Being a volunteer also has positive gains for the person who volunteers, not just the mentee. Being part of a community, making a difference, having fun as well as learning news skills, gaining confidence and meeting new people are all part of the overall experience.

Common goal

With a common goal of making a positive difference to people in our community our partnership with Mentoring Men makes perfect sense. By working together, by sharing our knowledge, skills and resources, we can share the responsibility for achieving this.

Gender disparity in volunteering

With this collaboration, specifically men will volunteer with us in roles like driving instructor, general maintenance, mentoring, program co-ordination, house angel and tutoring. We know that women tend to volunteer more of their time in Australia so we really welcome this wonderful opportunity.

Possible reasons why men don’t volunteer as much as women:

  • They assume it’s just for women?
  • They feel like they don’t have the skillset?
  • They feel like they don’t have time?
  • They feel like their good intentions might be misinterpreted?

Role Models

The truth is that society is crying out for male role models. Steve Biddulph, Parent Educator, Author and retired Psychologist says: “our schools are filled with kids – especially boys who are ‘under- fathered’ and at considerable risk of going off the rails as a result.”

If you would like to know more about our Volunteer Program please visit our pages: Volunteer and Skilled Volunteers and if you would like to know more about our Mentoring Men Volunteer Engagement Initiative, please contact us.

We take this opportunity to formally invite any men in our community to get in touch with us if you would like to volunteer!

Mentoring Men welcome all enquiries for men interested in becoming a Mentor, if you are interested in becoming a volunteer Mentor with Mentoring Men please take a look at what it’s all about.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people of the Cadigal and Gayamaygal Clans. We acknowledge the Country on which we live, work, and gather as being Aboriginal land.

We acknowledge the lands, waterways and skies that are connected to Aboriginal people. We honour them and pay our deepest respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

We respect their rightful place within our communities, and we value their ancient cultural knowledge and practices.

Aboriginal Flag
Torres Straight Island Flag

We deeply respect that this will always be Aboriginal land and we will honour and follow the first peoples’ values in caring for the Country and for preserving their culture.

We deeply value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest living culture in the world and we will continue to work with their peoples and communities to ensure their cultures endure and remain strong.