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CREATE Case Worker Award Winner for NSW

We have award winning staff!

We have amazing news! Burdekin’s own Narelle Young has won the inaugural CREATE Case Worker Award! Narelle was nominated by one of the young people she supports. The CREATE award selects just one winner per state. We are very proud that Narelle has won in NSW!

Of course, we have known all along how amazing Narelle is – BUT this is wonderful personal recognition for her. We want to congratulate Narelle on this fantastic achievement and thank the young person who has spent the time to nominate her. Also, thanks to the CREATE Foundation for facilitating the conference and award.

The CREATE Foundation Voices in Action Conference was held from 26th – 29th April and featured the inaugural CREATE Case Worker Awards highlighting the appreciation of service and dedication by outstanding professionals in the child protection sector.

The announcements were made during the Closing Session on Day 2, 27 April 2022 with the Overall Australian Winner presented by the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley.

Here is Narelle’s acceptance speech:

A bit about the CREATE Case Worker Awards:

Behind the scenes, the awards are entirely led and coordinated by a group of passionate young people who know what a difference a great Case Worker can make. CREATE’s Case Worker Awards acknowledge excellence in casework for children and young people with care experience. Our Case Worker Advisory Group gathered nominations from across every state and territory in Australia.

CREATE said:

Congratulations on being an amazing role model and advocate for children and young people in out-of-home care. These awards are very special. It is the first time that we have held them, so you are a part of witnessing history in the making.

Many young people tell us how important their case workers are to them – a case worker who listens, understands, does what they said they’d do and is there for you when you need them can make the difference between a good experience within the care system and a bad one. We know that there are many great case workers – dedicated, hard-working, and really invested in helping children and young people, and we wanted to acknowledge their contribution.

New home in the making

Alleviating youth homelessness in the community

An exciting new property renovation is on the way to being a new home for our young people.

The Property Industry Foundation (PIF), SMLXL Projects and Bridge Housing have teamed up with us in support of our Youth Housing Program to renovate a two-bedroom house – Haven House in Balgowlah – with Bridge Housing administering the lease arrangements with the young people.

Graham Bargwanna from the Burdekin Association had this to say:

The Burdekin Association are so thrilled and grateful for the support of The Property Industry Foundation and SMLXL Projects in creating a beautiful home for the young people who have been on our waiting list for housing.  We so appreciate not only the generosity of their money, time and skills, but also the enthusiasm in which they are undertaking this project.  Housing for vulnerable homeless young people is in extremely short supply.  We are so excited this project is happening!

Work is about to commence and expected to be completed by the end of May.

PIF work collaboratively with several charities to break the cycle of youth homelessness, including the Burdekin Association. Their aim is to change lives for the better and as part of their work PIF connects us regularly with other organisations so we, in turn, can alleviate child and youth homelessness. One such organisation is SMLXL Projects, a fabulous company whose staff have thrown their weight behind renovating this new property.

Bridge Housing provides long-term accommodation for people on low to moderate incomes through their property portfolio across Sydney. For Haven House Bridge Housing will be the community housing provider managing the property on behalf of the “owner” (the Land and Housing Commission). The young people who live in the property will enter into a lease with Bridge Housing. 

The Burdekin Association is the youth services provider responsible for the case management of each young person living in the house.

You can view more about the project over on the PIF website, thank you so much to our supporters – we can’t wait to see the final result and if this inspires you to become involved, please reach out – we would love to hear from you!

Our Burdekin Volunteer Program turns two!

We are holding Volunteer Training Dates in May

It is two years since we started a Volunteer Program back in May 2020 during National Volunteers Week. Since then, we have gone on to recruit wonderful volunteers doing amazing things for us and our young people. Or maybe the volunteers recruited us because it is definitely a win-win relationship.

Read more about what our current volunteers are doing here.

To celebrate our 2nd birthday we are launching our next volunteer recruitment drive with training scheduled for:

Thursday 19th May from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and one further day the following week to be confirmed depending on time availability of volunteers, also held via zoom – both training dates are compulsory to become a Burdekin Volunteer.

If you love young people and have between 2 and 4 hours to donate per week this might be for you! Make a difference to the lives of young people and your community. Above all you will also meet new people, gain new skills and enhance your own wellbeing.

Volunteering your time, skills, and resources is one of the most powerful ways to make a difference, to help others, and as it turns out, to enhance your wellbeing.

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on 16 – 22 May 2022. This year’s theme is Better Together. Volunteering brings people together; it builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. Will you join us? You won’t regret it!

To register for this course, please complete an Expression of Interest form or email: volunteer@burdekin.org.au.

More on volunteering with Burdekin:

Volunteer with Burdekin, Skilled Volunteers and Current Vacancies.

Youth Homelessness Matters Day

Supporting young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness

Youth Homelessness Matters Day on April 20th, raises awareness about youth homelessness and advocates learning about and understanding youth homelessness, stimulates debate for change and advocates to support those who are currently experiencing homelessness.

Current stats:

Current statistics show, that on any given night, around 28,000 young people do not have a bed of their own to sleep in, they might be couch-surfing with mates, squeezing into crisis accommodation or sleeping on the streets – some people might not even recognise themselves they are indeed homeless.

From their information in the 2016 Census the ABS reported: On any given night in Australia 116,427 Australians are homeless. 27,680 of these are young people aged 12-24 years.

Regardless of what we might think, young people become homeless almost always due to no fault of their own. The main causes are family breakdown, domestic and family violence and the ongoing housing crisis.

The Youth Homelessness Matters Day campaign for 2022:

Their stories

Many of the young people who come to us have experienced multiple challenges in their short, young lives and we provide the support they need to reach their full potential.

At Burdekin, we believe every young person has the right to a life that offers opportunities to fulfil their potential. Many of our young people have gone on to have happy, healthy and successful lives because we were able to provide them with the support that they needed. You can read some of the stories from our young people here.

You can support our work in many different ways – in kind, in cash and in time. 

Make a donation:

Welcoming neighbours bearing gifts…

Our new office in the Inner West

As many of you know, we recently moved to a new address in the Inner West and our arrival hasn’t gone unnoticed by our lovely new neighbours!

As a welcoming gift, the guys over at Franke Coffee have very generously loaned us one of their machines so our staff can enjoy a good cuppa. This gesture has really brightened our start here and eased the hassle of settling in.

Unknown to the Franke team, our staff had recently requested a coffee machine and we had to turn them down due to lack of funds. We are often presented with challenging work and when our community goes out of their way like this that really lifts our spirits!

Thank you to David Downing and the team for your kind gesture towards the arrival of your new neighbours and what we might need – community helping hands at their best.