Our Volunteer Program

Would you like to volunteer with The Burdekin Association

The Burdekin Volunteer Program was established in 2020 following numerous expressions of interest to volunteer with Burdekin. The purpose of the Burdekin Volunteer Program to date has been to:

  • identify potential areas where we could benefit most from the work of volunteers;
  • create a volunteer team;
  • identify what skills are required for the volunteer positions;
  • organise a support system for our volunteers;
  • recruitment; and
  • training and induction.

The team

A lot has been going on behind the scenes as we put our team together and focused on the objectives of the Burdekin Volunteer Program.

  • Jill Wrathall is our Volunteer Manager, who throughout the process has helped us to understand what we needed.
  • Kim Backhouse was next to come on board as our Volunteer Co-ordinator.
  • And we also have Kerri Muir as the Northern Beaches Co-ordinator and Renee Harrison as the Inner West Co-ordinator.
Our Volunteer Co-ordinators
Jill Wrathall, Volunteer Manager and Kim Backhouse Volunteer Co-ordinator

The team meet on a regular basis to discuss:

  • the areas of activity that we have highlighted as potential areas for volunteer engagement;
  • volunteer recruitment, induction and training;
  • how the program is progressing;
  • what the problems and solutions are;
  • yearly activities;
  • harnessing the energy and commitment of our team of volunteers.

Current volunteer vacancies

  • driving supervision;
  • mentoring support;
  • coordinating programs;
  • general maintenance;
  • ‘House Angel’ – this role is varied to suit the needs of a particular residence – for example cook.
We are recruiting volunteers in the Northern Beaches and Inner West areas of Sydney.
Maybe you have skills such as driving supervision that you would like to share with young people

Potential vacancies in the future

  • Events
  • Campaigns
  • Admin
  • Sports
  • Companion
  • Teaching
  • Tech

Our Volunteers

We currently have a total of 10 volunteers with another 3 going through the recruitment process and 4 that are on student placements as well as volunteering.

Volunteers should be able to give 2-4 hours per week and live in or near Sydney’s Northern Beaches or Inner West areas.

If you would like more information about our volunteer program please visit our volunteer page and our current vacancies page.

Volunteers are people of all ages and backgrounds and play a significant role in creating a society that we all benefit from directly or indirectly.

Our young people and the community benefit immensely from volunteers.
Volunteers bring immeasurable value to the lives of young people

The Easter Bunny visited Burdekin

Community support for Burdekin

Where would we be without our supportive community sometimes appearing in the form of the Easter Bunny dropping off bags full of easter eggs.

Our young people were thrilled to bits and we were over the moon by the generosity of Zac Marsh and family of Watts Electrical. Thank you for digging deep and donating all these wonderful Easter goodies. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Community support for BA at Easter

It is the kindness of community, families, businesses and individuals that make the lives of children and young people who have not had the best start in life a little bit better.

We thank Zac and his family, especially these two gorgeous girls for their beautiful gesture.

World Homelessness Day 2020

The Burdekin Association Youth Accommodation and Support Services

10 October 2020 marks World Homelessness Day and World Mental Health Day/Week and we have Anti-Poverty Week in October too. All of these issues are interrelated and need to be addressed holistically. There are strong links between homelessness, inadequate education, unemployment and mental illness.

Homelessness and mental health

The Down and Out Report in 1998 found:

  • 46% of the women were affected by schizophrenia
  • 23% of the males were affected by schizophrenia
  • 33% had serious mood disorders
  • 38% of the women had experienced a major depressive disorder

Professor Brian Burdekin’s speech, National Youth Homelessness Conference 2019

Homelessness and poverty

The 2020 Poverty in Australia Overview states:

  • 3.24 million people in Australia (13.6% of the population) live below the poverty line
  • 774,000 children under the age of 15 (17.7% of all children in Australia) live below the poverty line
  • More than one in eight adults and one in six children live below the poverty line in Australia
  • The average poverty gap (the gap between the poverty line and the incomes of people in poverty) is $282 a week
  • The single rate of Youth Allowance (plus Rent Assistance and Energy Supplement) is $168 per week below the poverty line
  • Our survey of young people on Youth Allowance found 9 in 10 skip meals and1 in 3 have withdrawn from their studies because of a lack of funds

UNSW and ACOSS February 2020

The Burdekin Association has developed a range of distinct but interrelated programs.

Our experience

The top five reasons for presenting to our Youth Housing Program:

  1. Relationship and family breakdown
  2. Current issue with housing (eviction/lease ending/affordability)
  3. Mental health
  4. Financial difficulties
  5. Lack of family/community support

What we do

The Burdekin Association provides support and accommodation options to children and young people (12-24) and their families in the Northern and Inner West areas of Sydney.

We provide an accommodation, care and support continuum that is responsive to the individual needs of a diverse range of young people aged 12-24 years and their families.

This has involved putting together a range of flexible and innovative programs. This flexible approach, combined with the individual nature of service provision, trauma informed practice, a commitment to creative solutions and appropriate expectations enhances the ability to work with more children and young people.

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.