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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.

VOTING CLOSES 22ND AUGUST – BE QUICK!

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: volunteer@burdekin.org.au.

Reasons to consider Foster Care

Young people in need of homes

Right here, in Sydney, there are children and young people in need of a safe and stable home. A home could be provided by one person, two people or any existing family unit. Whether the home mimics a traditional family, or a non-traditional family type unit, is not as important as whether young people have a safe place and nurturing carers.

Could this be you?

Could you provide a safe, caring and nurturing environment to provide the foundation to overcome challenges in order for a young person to live their life to their full of potential? Could you experience the privilege of walking side by side a young person as they grow, as their personality begins to emerge, and they find their footing and grow in confidence?

As at June 2020, in Australia almost 46,000 children were in out-of-home care.

Being a Foster Carer with us

The children and young people in our care are considered ‘older’, as they are between the ages of 9 and 18, but most of our children and young people are teenagers. Embarking on a journey as a carer may appear challenging but it need not be, at Burdekin we are able to support you through your journey to becoming a carer and will walk alongside you each step of the journey. As a Burdekin Foster Carer you are part of a team. We don’t stop providing support following your initial training, our team provide ongoing, wrap-around support on an ongoing basis. This included post placement with a young person in care.

We would love to hear from you if you think you could provide a safe place for one of these young people – we can also support you with accommodation, if that may be a barrier to providing care for young people.

Children and young people who are in the Out of Home Care system have all come from “hard places”. They all have a history of trauma and broken attachments and that may mean that as a carer, you may need to learn to manage their big feelings and emotions with a little more skills and training, but we will be working alongside you to provide you with that support. Remember that older foster children and young people are just like any children and young people – in need of love, stability, and a secure home, to thrive. These bright individuals will have stuff to work through, building a connection may take a bit of time, but if you hang in there, you may get to see the walls come down as you learn more about them and they learn to trust you.

Are you a little bit curious about how it would work for you? Please chat to us and find out how it’s possible.

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.