Connecting to country

“Together our group undertook a series of works including fencing, weed control and light arborist work”

This year Habitat for Humanity Victoria celebrates 35 years of unwavering support to those in need affordable housing - building homes, building hope and building stronger communities. 

 

Habitat Victoria is part of the global Habitat for Humanity network, working in more than 70 countries towards its vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

 

Established in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International is the world’s number one not-for-profit provider of housing and improved shelter for low-income families.

 

In pursuit of this vision, Habitat for Humanity Victoria builds safe and affordable homes and undertakes home repairs, all aimed at building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.

 

Habitat Victoria has provided more than 70 families with a pathway out of unstable housing into home ownership. Providing a safe, consistent home helps create intergenerational impact and fosters opportunity for employment, education and improved health outcomes. Put simply, it can help change lives forever. 

 

ANZ has had a long-standing partnership with Habitat Victoria – aligning with our priorities of affordable housing, financial wellbeing and environmental sustainability. 

 

Recently, Habitat and ANZ broadened this partnership through volunteering together with Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation at Coranderrk in the Yarra Valley. This was part of an initiative to engage with local Indigenous communities, using the skills of both Habitat and ANZ. 

By volunteering at Coranderrk, corporate partners have the opportunity to provide tangible support through contributions to maintenance of the property, which holds cultural significance to the local Aboriginal community. It also has an additional benefit for increasing cultural awareness specific to the Indigenous community at Coranderrk.

 

Together our group undertook a series of works including fencing, weed control and light arborist work alongside Uncle Dave Wandin, a Wurrundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder and Cultural Practices Manager.

 

Uncle Dave was thrilled with the volunteers work and throughout the days, there was a strong education focus on increasing the knowledge of Coranderrk and the local Indigenous culture.  The volunteers learned about country and culture through storytelling, from navigating the land to identifying native plant species.

 

Brad Thexton, Volunteer Programs Supervisor at Habitat for Humanity Victoria said the volunteer days at Coranderrk exceeded his expectations.

 

“The groups completed a broad range of tasks and certainly were not afraid to get their hands dirty. The engagement between the caretakers and volunteers was excellent and I believe all involved benefited equally through the process,” Thexton said.

A key component of ANZ’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is to establish and strengthen relationships with local Indigenous communities to build deeper understanding, connection, appreciation and respect. Working alongside Habitat for Humanity and Uncle Dave at Coranderrk was a practical way of positively contributing to country whilst deepening our shared understanding of history, respect and connection.

ANZ Partnership team - Robert Lichtendonk, Ben Conway, Adrian Kleverkamp and Brendan Gasparini

The relationship between ANZ and Habitat for Humanity Victoria continues to deepen, as we look to the next 35 years of providing affordable housing, underpinned by a belief that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home.

 

Find out more about how to get involved with Habitat for Humanity Victoria here

 

Robert Lichtendonk is a Senior Manager at ANZ.

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