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.

On the move!

We’re excited to report that The Burdekin Association has officially moved its Inner West team into our new premises in Marrickville!

The new spaces bring opportunities for children, young people and our team of staff to connect, create (especially in the industrial kitchen) and feel at home.

We can choose from four different rooms to: host visitors or clients, undertake training and inductions, hold smaller confidential meetings or have an informal chat. Multiple lounge areas are now also available for sharing lunch with team members, holding discussions, chilling out or cooking up a storm in the adjacent kitchen!

The furniture was generously facilitated by The Property Industry Foundation, an organisation that brings together the property and construction industry to positively impact youth homelessness.

The furniture was generously facilitated by The Property Industry Foundation, an organisation that brings together the property and construction industry to positively impact youth homelessness. 

Most of the furniture was kindly donated from Charter Hall, one of the members of the Property Industry Foundation. Charter Hall is one of Australia’s leading fully integrated property investment and funds management groups, and the largest CBD office manager in Australia. We are very grateful to them for managing the movement of some our office furniture! No easy task! 

“It’s brilliant when opportunities like this come together. Charter Hall is always incredibly generous and when the Burdekin Team came to us asking for support for their new office fit out, The 1 Shelley Street Charter Hall Team jumped at the opportunity to make a positive impact. They went above and beyond sharing over $20,000 worth of second-hand furniture which they had in storage. It was a beautiful example of a win-win scenario from both a sustainability and social good perspective. Thank you to all partners and individuals involved.”

Penny Kaleta, NSW State Manager, Property Industry Foundation

Among the furniture donated to our new office premises are a three-seater leather lounge suite, arm chairs, casual office chairs, three coffee tables, leather ottomans, cushions, a rug, dining table and chairs and bar chairs for the industrial kitchen. The donated furniture is estimated to be valued at over $20,000, and by being re-purposed, diverts much waste from being sent to landfill. We can’t begin to estimate how many tonnes of furniture was donated, but to give you an idea, there was a quantity large enough to be moved to one space ready for collection!

The remainder of the furniture – printers, IT equipment and office furniture – was relocated by Egans Removals and Relocations. Alongside our office relocation, they loaned us reusable packing crates, a great sustainable option to reduce our waste.

Our new office premises in Marrickville looks amazing with our fantastic re-purposed furniture and dedicated meeting spaces. The Burdekin Association is so proud and grateful to have such great partnerships with The Property Industry Foundation, Charter Hall and Evans Removals and Relocations to help make our new space so comfortable and home-like.

Justene Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of The Burdekin Association

Other furniture that was moved from our St Peters office to our new premises had previously been provided by Mates on the Move. At that time, Mates on the Move had disassembled our re-purposed conference desks and office chairs, moved them and then re-assembled them for us.

In case you didn’t know, Mates on the Move provides education, skills and employment training for people who have left prison, giving them a second chance to thrive at life. Mates on the Move is the social enterprise of the registered charity, Prisoners Aid Association of NSW.

Take a peek at Burdekin staff enjoying our new office premises and our wonderful re-purposed furniture below. Why not come and check it out for yourself? We’re at 99 Chapel Street, Marrickville.

Community in action

The Burdekin Association OOHC Project

We have the BEST community around us and it shows! Last week Burdekin and a number of our Manly fans were invited to attend the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles URM community round game day at 4 Pines Park in Brookvale against the North Queensland. What an incredibly exciting opportunity and our young people were thrilled!

And then there is Andre from Lion Window Cleaning who, with his colleague, provided complimentary window cleaning at one of our properties because he heard about our work and wanted to help!

Furthermore, we secured grants from the Lendlease Future Steps program and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. Read more about all of these wonderful examples of community spirit below.

Lendlease Future Steps program grant

The Burdekin Association OOHC Project

We wanted to say a huge thank you to Lendlease and Bendigo bank for this incredible opportunity that will allow us to make significant improvements to the Burdekin Out-of-Home Care project. Please read what our CEO Justene had to say about it:

We are very excited to share the good news that we have been successful in securing a grant from Lendlease and Bendigo Bank with their Future Steps program improvements to the Burdekin Out-of-Home Care project. This grant means a lot to us. We are planning to utilise this grant for improvements to and an increase in bed capacity to our staff care home in Stanmore. We will be creating a self-contained Caretakers unit which allows us to convert the current staff bedroom into an additional client bedroom. This will improve the current staff office and accommodation as well as gives us more space to home an additional young person. The current office for staff also doubles as a bedroom. The improvements mean the house will qualify as a Semi-independent living (SIL) home once the works have been completed. We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Lend Lease and the Future Steps program.

Justene Gordon, CEO

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and URM – United Resource Management

The Burdekin Association
Justene (CEO) with Steve “Beaver” Menzies, a Club legend, and also Thomas Keneally, the famous author and die-hard Manly fan.

We celebrated the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and our community at the recent URM community round game day with other local service providers. The event was a celebration of URM’s twenty six year sponsorship and partnership with the club and a really great opportunity for families and children to join the celebrations of belonging to a community.

For one home game per season, the Sea Eagles honour their community partners (WhatAbility, Youth Up Front) and us), recognising our work and the people. Our young people get free tickets to see the game, and some get to go onto the ground to watch the team warm up, and also form the guard of honour as the players run out for the match. This year the community partners were awarded a framed Community Round jersey (the players wore this special jersey just for this game – it’s the jersey the team wore in the 1950’s).

At half time there was a competition to push a giant football down the length of the field, and young people participated.

As always, we thank our partners for their continued support and opportunities like this for our young people – it was amazing!

Andre from Lion Window Cleaning

The Burdekin Association

Recently, we needed the upstairs windows at one of our houses cleaned. We received three quotes including one from Andre. He then came back a couple of days later to say he would do it for free as he had seen what Burdekin does and so he was not going to charge us! So kind and much appreciated. Thank you so much. If you need your windows cleaned, please give Andre a shout at Lion Window Cleaning.

We have also been successful in securing a multi-year grant for the Learning Space from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and are ever so grateful and excited about this!

We can’t thank all of our supporters, small and large, enough.

Volunteer Week and 3 Years of our Volunteer Program

Volunteer with young people

Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on 15 – 21 May 2023. The week also means the Burdekin Volunteer Program turns three!

This year the theme for Volunteers Week is The Change Makers. The week recognises the vital support that millions of volunteers provide to their communities and encourages people to consider volunteering.

The value of volunteerism within Burdekin

In the three years, since we launched the Burdekin Volunteer Program, our volunteers have added a considerable contribution to our organisation. Infact, in our 2021/22 financial report, we measured the cost benefit and estimated total savings during this financial year up of $45,000, a monthly saving of about $3,700.

But of course it’s about much more than the economic benefits. Volunteerism builds healthier, more resilient communities. The practical support provided by our volunteers often fills a gap that otherwise might not be fulfilled. Not to mention the beautiful relationships that develop between our young people and volunteers.

It’s a win win

Volunteering is bidirectional because everyone gains, whether a volunteer is helping a young person with education support, practising a skill like cooking or just going for a walk or coffee together and keeping each other company. Volunteers feel great satisfaction in making a difference and young people give something back in their own way too.

Do you live in Inner West or Southeast Sydney?

Our Volunteer Program in the Northern Beaches is pretty robust, in the Inner West and Southeast Sydney areas we need more volunteers – particularly volunteers who would be prepared to do L driving supervision hours with a young person. If L driving isn’t your thing, there are other volunteer mentoring activities available. See what else our volunteers are doing here and here.

Have you got two hours per week?

Many of our young people aged 16 or 17 want to get their Ls but they don’t have a trusted adult in their life who could drive the required hours with them. Burdekin can provide the car. In return, we seek good confident drivers who have about 2 hours each week to support a young person. All young people will have had at least 5 professional lessons before being matched with a volunteer.

Supporting a young person with L driving supervision is such a fantastic way to connect with them and to provide the opportunity to get their licence. Don’t we all remember what a fantastic feeling it is to finally get ones licence!!!

Is volunteering for you? We would love to hear from you! Please either email: or complete the form below. Read up on all of our other volunteer related posts by typing volunteer into our search bar.

To celebrate Volunteer Week, we host our volunteers at an annual event during volunteer week, where they will be presented with certificates of appreciation. More on this soon!

Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2023

Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2023 sign the petition

Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) takes place on Wednesday 19th April and was conceived in 1990 to raise awareness and public discussion about child and youth homelessness.

Over the years, it has grown into a national celebration of young people’s resilience and an important day of advocacy for sustainable and innovative solutions to support the needs of children and young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

The Burdekin Association is honouring the day in a number of ways.

This year YFoundations are calling for the development of a standalone National Child and Youth Homelessness and Housing Strategy.

The Burdekin Association has signed the petition and ask that you sign it too. Please also share with friends, family and colleagues. Join the conversation and help us half youth homelessness by 2030.

Sign the petition, register your own YHMD event, get more information about YHMD2023.

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.