Inner West


Christmas Spirit

Support Burdekin youth this Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

We have been able to decorate our properties for our young people thanks to the donations from our amazing community!

We really want to make this time of year as magical as possible, Christmas, while it comes with a mixed bag of emotions, is also a great opportunity to build up a new bank of positive memories and traditions for the future.


22 handmade wreaths were donated to us to decorate our properties where our young people live – which is just amazing, see in the photo below how we used them.

Oxford Falls Grammar School

Thanks to the staff and students from Oxford Falls Grammar for these amazing Christmas hampers – the children and young people in our care will be so excited! Thank you so so much for your ongoing support!

Christmas campaign

We have received numerous donations from individuals and organisations. Our Patron, Brian Burdekin, AO has pledged $5000 towards our Youth Development Fund.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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:

Westfields Local Hero

Vote for Jacqui your Westfields local hero for Burdekin

Winner update

We are so, so proud of Jacqui and her achievements on behalf of the children and young people we support.

Congratulations on being recognised by your community as a Westfield Local Heroes finalist for Westfield Hurstville for 2022. To be nominated by your community and selected as a finalist is a wonderful achievement. Jacqui was awarded a $5,000 grant to support the continuation of her work!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote – it is much appreciated! Thank you also to Westfields Local Heroes grant for the amazing opportunity!

Jacqui accepting her grant award!

Westfield Hurstville Local Hero finalist: Vote for Jacqui Gildaly and help her win $20,000 for Burdekin!

Burdekin’s own Jacqui Gildaly is one of three finalists for Hurstville in this year’s Westfields Local Heroes Awards. Jacqui is a passionate Program Manager for young people in out-of-home care.

Caring Jacqui Gildaly digs deep to keep life regular and happy for children in out-of-home care. In her role with The Burdekin Association, she is always willing to go the extra mile to find carers nearby children’s original community so they don’t need to change schools and can see their friends.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities. The finalist with the most community votes will become the Westfield Hurstville Local Hero for 2022, receiving a $20,000 grant for the organisation they represent. If Jacqui is successful, The Burdekin Association will put the grant towards its Uplift Fund, which pays for a therapist for the children, tutoring and needed items such as school laptops.

It only takes a minute to recognise and give back to someone in your community who is doing amazing work. Vote for your Westfield Local Hero today. Visit Jacqui’s profile on the Westfields Local Hero’s page – Jacqui Gildaly, Hurstville.


Genuine. Caring. Passionate

Westfield Local Heroes is a recognition and awards program that shines the spotlight on individuals in Australia and New Zealand who make a positive impact to their local community or environment.

EoFY thank you and winner!

Kids in out-of-home-care highly vulnerable

Through the generous support of our amazing community across Sydney we managed to raise $51,870… just slightly off our $60,000 target with another $8,230 to go! We are incredibly grateful for each and every person who supported our ‘Educational Inclusion Pays Off’ EoFY campaign.

Young people who come into our care are a highly vulnerable and disadvantaged group, at high risk of negative outcomes such as mental health disorders, involvement in the juvenile justice system and incomplete education. 69% of the children and young people who come to us are unable to participate effectively in learning provided through the education department due to their personal situation.

Your support has enabled us to provide a positive and safe learning environment that caters to the individual’s needs, abilities and preferences, whilst achieving academic outcomes. Please take a look at what outcomes young people are achieving with your help.

Thank you to Community Bank Freshwater and their Chairman Trevor Sargeant (below) who presented CEO Justene Gordon with a cheque for $5000 which will go towards funding for an Education Specialist. Also thanks to our Patron, Prof. Brian Burdekin who matched your donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000!

There’s still time

If you’re reading this and you didn’t have ways or means to donate before the end of June – there is still time! All donations no matter how big or small will help us to finally reach our target!

Winner of Donate to Win

As part of our campaign we also ran a donate to win prize draw, whereby all online donors were entered into a prize draw to win a Manly Warringah Sea Eagles package! The lucky winner of the prize is Richard Griffin – congratulations Richard – enjoy! Special thanks to our sponsors – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles for the amazing prize!

Thank you to our sponsors Manly Warringah Sea Eagles!

Celebrate our Volunteers with us

We recently celebrated National Volunteers Week as well as the second anniversary of the Burdekin Volunteer Program so, we saw this as a perfect time to celebrate our volunteers and all they do for our young people with an appreciation dinner. Of course we appreciate our volunteers every day of the week.

Just like our dinner last year, our volunteers received certificates of appreciation for their extraordinary contribution during the challenging times over the past two years as we navigated working with Covid-19. We acknowledged particularly the huge impact a trusted adult can have on the life of a young person, especially one who has experienced childhood trauma.

It really has been a time like no other and we thank each and every volunteer!

We have recently just completed another round of volunteer training and cannot wait to welcome new recruits into the team. We are currently in the process of “matching” some of our volunteer recruits with clients. We take this process seriously, looking at the skills, interests and availability of the volunteer and thinking through who might be the most suitable young person and whether they’re ready for a new adult in their lives. Many of our young people have lost trust in adults so it’s important that they are in a good place to be ready and willing to meet with a volunteer mentor. When the match works well, it is brilliant and over time, a very strong bond can develop. As one of our young clients said, “it’s so good that there’s someone who wants to meet with me who isn’t paid to meet with me.”

In the meantime, if you would like to know more about volunteering we have lots of information on our website, you might like to start here and then search volunteer. Please get in touch if you are interested and we will let you know once the dates for the next sessions have been confirmed – we love hearing from you. If you have any questions, please email: