Christmas Appeal 2023

As we approach the festive season, we launch our appeal for annual donations for our children and young people. Christmas can be a challenging time with its huge emphasis on the family unit. This can have an unintended side effect on people without a family who feel more alone and isolated than usual.

This year we have a number of ways in which you can support our children and young people:

Christmas Wishing Tree

Our children and young people need us to meet not only their emergency needs but to provide normal experiences of childhood, such as the simple joys of a Christmas gift that they would really love and which gives personal meaning to the festivities.

You can either select a cash donation for the value of a particular gift, which we will then purchase in time for Christmas and/or purchase a gift card which allows our children and young people to enjoy participating in fun activities, such as going to the movies.

You can purchase a gift voucher from JB Hi-Fi, Rebel Sports, Kmart, Big W, Priceline / Sephora, EB Games, Westfields and a Myer or David Jones voucher and email it to us to at:

It is through these events that we can enrich the lives of children and young people who would otherwise – and in many ways do – go without.

Support young people this Christmas
Christmas Wishing Tree

Monetary donations

Alternatively, monetary donations which can be used by our dedicated staff to fulfil the wishes of our young people on your behalf is also hugely welcome. If you would like, you could make a donation for the value of one or several gifts online or by direct debit into our donation bank account. Simply click on the donate button on the right of this page.

Monetary donations may also be used to provide the more basic needs such as education support, internet access, reading glasses, swimming lessons, school supplies, course fees, driving lessons, crisis support and so much more.

So, before you finalise your Christmas shopping, please consider a thoughtful gift that supports our young people. Often these gifts are the only gift that a young person will receive at Christmas and the joy that it brings is immeasurable.

End of Financial Year Campaign 2023

Help us raise funds to employ two education specialists

Our end of financial year campaign is asking everybody to get behind us to raise funds for the continued employment of our Education Specialists. We are delighted that even when times are tough, our supporters show up again and again!

End of financial year is a busy time and we are not the only organisation asking for your help, so to those of you who have donated or are considering donating to Burdekin thank you so much! We don’t ever take it for granted.

Our young people need our support more than ever.

The Burdekin Way and positive social change.

  • At Burdekin, we ensure young people have a quality home where they can fulfill their potential. A home well beyond simply a physical space, rather, a home in which young people feel safe and emotionally well. A home which provides the foundation for a sense of belonging and connectedness to culture, to peers and the community. A home where they truly feel at home. No more and no less.
  • Once a young person has settled into their home, in line with our holistic understanding of a young person’s needs, they are supported to successfully transition to independence – breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
  • Once young people live an independent and well-connected life, they can contribute to their respective communities.

The Burdekin Learning Space

One of the ways, we help a young person to successfully transition to independence is with education but with the children and young people who come to us, participation in a traditional school can be difficult. In fact, 69% of the children and young people who come to us are unable to participate effectively in learning provided by the education system due to personal circumstances. 100% of young people attending the learning space lacked in confidence in a formal educational setting.

What we do works!

As a result of our dedicated Education Specialists, young people with low literacy and comprehension skills are enrolling in TAFE courses, students who were highly disengaged are now committed to learning and development, relationships and self esteem are greatly improved. Just take a look at our case studies!

Our Goal

We need to raise $180,000 annually to employ two Education Specialists full-time. If you are part of the paid workforce, you can donate directly from your salary before tax! This means you can maximise the amount you are giving. Your money goes directly to your chosen charity. By donating this EoFY, you are also taking charge of where your money goes, plus if you’re on the edge of your tax bracket, you might be able to reduce your taxable income enough to bring your tax bracket down. Check out the tax calculator!! It’s a win for everyone!

With a relatively modest investment we can help young people receive an education to reach their full potential. Please consider The Burdekin Association for your end of financial year tax donation.

Read more about our Learning Space

Read more about our Education Outcomes

Donate today

Home Sweet 2023 update!

Home Sweet 2023

The countdown to Home Sweet 2023 has officially begun, on 17 March we will return to the waterfront of Freshwater where community will unite for a sleepover to raise funds for and awareness of homelessness.

The event is also about celebrating our community and an opportunity to connect and nourish local relationships – get to know local people whilst supporting a great cause!

We are proud to be part of this event and appreciate the organisers, Link Wentworth, for their work in getting this event off the ground. In times of hardship we must act generously and compassionately to benefit those who are less fortunate.

So, gather up your comfy stuff and join us at Freshwater Surf Club on Friday March 17th!  Expect fun, food, talks and lots of mingling – maybe a household name or two! Will you be in the class photo for Home Sweet 2023?

Our event ambassador and MC on the night is Jay Lenton – wicket-keeper for NSW – we are delighted that Jay could lead the proceedings again this year and thank him for his support! Burdekin have a special friendship with Jay, Manly Warringah Waratahs and Manly Warringah District Cricket Association. read more about our partnership here.

Food and entertainment kindly provided by the Mounties Group, merchandise and giveaways from Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. The event kicks off at 6pm on Friday 17th – please take a look at the event program and house rules below. It’s getting exciting!!

What if you can’t sleepover?

Participate in the virtual sleepout.

This year we also have the option to join us virtually – you could sleep out in your backyard or car or maybe couch – couch surfing is common for young people who are amongst the most hidden groups experiencing homelessness.

Support our Team

We also have a ‘Team Burdekin’ you can support or individual team members directly – we really appreciate any and all support. No amount is too small!!!

More about this year’s event and previous events can be found both on our website and the official Home Sweet 2023 website, we are also loving the new photos of those involved including our CEO, Justene Gordon, Andrew McAnulty, CEO of Link Wentworth and Annabelle Daniel, CEO Women’s Community Shelters as well as sponsors Pitcher Partners and Experteq – check them out here.

Christmas fundraising update

Christmas Fundraising Campaign 2022

A quick update on our Christmas Fundraising Campaign. As you probably know, we aimed to raise money for our Youth Development Fund as well as fulfill the gift wishes of our young people.

As always, our community was incredibly generous with the supply of gifts, vouchers and cash,, all of which goes directly to the children and young people in our care.

As our organisation continues to grow and the number of young people in our care too, your support is more important than ever. YOU, make a huge difference to the vulnerable young people in our care.

Below is a glimpse into who made Christmas 2022 possible, there are so many more behind the scenes.

In total the value of the gifts, vouchers and cash reached $29,870. With more than 100 children and young people to shop for, we were able to bring many smiles on Christmas morning. Gifts were delivered by our very own elves, who also deserve huge credit for their tireless work making sure that each and every young person had a special Christmas.

Thank you so, so much to our amazing community for making moments like this happen – you guys are amazing! We look forward to another year making things happen with you by our side!!

Home Sweet is back!

Five years after the initial Home Sweet event, and three years since the follow up event, the Link Wentworth team are back at it again, raising much needed funds for homelessness with Home Sweet 2023.

Home Sweet commenced in 2017 and now, five years later, its needed even more due to the ever worsening housing crisis. There are more than 116,000 people experiencing homelessness across Australia and more than 17,000 Australian children under the age of 12 have no permanent home.

The Home Sweet campaign has raised over $300,000 across the two events in 2017 and 2019. This year, with your help, we hope to raise $200,000 plus. Money raised will be donated to The Burdekin Association (youth homelessness service), Women’s Community Shelters (providing safe accommodation for women escaping domestic violence) and Link Wentworth Scholarship Program (helping social housing tenants access education and employment training).

The event will be hosted on 17 March 2023 at Freshwater Surf Club with an added option to join virtually.

What’s next?

Donate, support a “sleepee” or sleep over yourself at Freshwater Surf Club on17th March 2023 to raise money for this valuable cause. You can also join virtually on the night by sleeping out in your car or backyard. Our CEO and some of our staff members will be sleeping over at the event and you will have the option to donate to the organisation or to an individual. More information.

Sponsor the event

Are you a business or individual who would like to sponsor the event? Please let us know if this is something you would be interested in supporting — we would love to hear from you! 2017 Press Release.

Famous faces in the past include: Brad Hazzard, Andrew Reid (Reidy), Christian Wilkins, Michael Regan, Jay Lenton …

You can read more about the event here: Home Sweet 2023 and/or download the Sponsorship Proposal.

The Home Sweet 2023 sleepover event is the perfect way to connect and reunite following a difficult couple of years, it will also provide economic, social and cultural benefits too! So we hope that you will jump onboard with great enthusiasm and support a wonderful community event that supports a number of initiatives.


Link Wentworth is one of the largest community housing providers in Australia, managing approximately 6,400 homes with around 10,000 residents and 200 staff. Link Wentworth is committed to providing more homes and delivering better services to enable a brighter future for people facing housing stress and homelessness. Read more…

Some photos from the 2017 event:

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.