young people


Lifeline, Northern Beaches

Prof Brian Burdekin talks to Lifeline Northern Beaches Counsellors

Coordination between The Burdekin Association and Lifeline, Northern Beaches.

On the evening of 29 April, in response to a request from the CEO of Lifeline in the Northern Beaches, our Patron, Professor Brian Burdekin AO, delivered a major address to approximately 100 Lifeline counsellors as part of a special Professional Development Training.

Professor Brian Burdekin, AO Patron of The Burdekin Association
Professor Brian Burdekin, AO addressing Lifeline Counsellors

In his remarks, entitled: “Why we need Lifeline – and the essential contribution Lifeline makes to Australia’s well-being“, Brian outlined the progress which had – and had not – been made since his landmark inquiry as Federal Commissioner on: “Human Rights and Mental Illness” three decades ago.

Focusing on a number of critical areas affecting the mental health of our community – including, in particular, our young people, Brian indicated the urgent need for government to allocate more resources to mental health and the areas in which this had to occur. His speech, followed by questions, was part of Lifeline’s program of professional development training.

Lifeline Northern Beaches has proudly been serving our local community for more than 50 years
Justene Gordon, CEO The Burdekin Association and David Thomas, CEO at Lifeline Northern Beaches

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

Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2021

It is time for a National Strategy to end youth homelessness

Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2021 takes place on Wednesday 21st April.

The day aims to raise awareness and invite public discussion about youth homelessness so that we can develop sustainable and innovative solutions for not only supporting the needs of homeless young people but supporting their dreams.

Youth Homelessness Matters

Raising awareness and inviting public discussion is vital. This is because Australia needs a national strategy to end youth homelessness and until such time this has happened, awareness days like these are instrumental in reminding us that a lot of work needs to be done. We need to ensure that our most vulnerable young people don’t fall between the cracks of services and opportunities.

We currently support children and young people aged 9 to 24 and in March of this year, The Burdekin Association provided a home for 83 children & young people across the Northern Sydney and Inner West regions.

Our work is not done and we continue to stretch ourselves.

There is a National Youth Homelessness Conference taking place this year, you might like to join the discussion there.


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Inner West Foster Carers Needed

Are you ready to help a young person in need?

Ever thought about becoming a Foster Carer? We are always looking for Foster Carers and currently particularly in the Inner West/South East, Eastern Region of Sydney.

Being a Carer with The Burdekin Association is different from traditional foster care with lots of different options and huge support! Are you ready to make a difference to a young persons life?

Foster Carers are part of a support team that work with our young people (aged 9-18 years) enabling them towards independence.

We can even provide a home for you and the young person – rent free – or you can live in your own home with the young person. You must live in the Inner West/South East, Eastern region of Sydney for this particular call out.

For more information please contact Sarah: 02 8976 1777 or

We are looking for Foster Carers in the Inner West/South East, Eastern region of Sydney.