Media releases

Building hope from the ground up this NYE

Published 12 December 2016

If you’re looking for a 2017 resolution as impressive as the Harbour fireworks, pledge to volunteer for the City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve charity partner, Habitat for Humanity Australia.

Habitat for Humanity Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that has supported more than 6.8 million people by creating safe and decent housing in Australia and overseas. The organisation has also furnished inner city social housing units.

“Earlier this year, Habitat for Humanity Australia worked with community volunteers and corporate supporters to provide new furniture for 10 inner city social housing units,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“This kind of practical assistance helps some of the most vulnerable people in our community build a stable and secure home – the basis for positive life change.

“I encourage everyone who feels inspired by the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks to make their New Year’s resolution a pledge to volunteer their time and help people who are less fortunate.”

Habitat for Humanity Australia offers volunteering opportunities across the country to help disadvantaged Australians find their feet. Its Global Village initiative bands volunteers together to build a home for families in need overseas.

“Habitat offers a practical way for Australian volunteers to travel and build alongside families in desperate need to build a home,” said Martin Thomas, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Australia.

“The charity has built, rehabilitated and repaired almost one million homes, inspired by the positive change adequate housing provides for people living in poverty.

“It’s a direct and powerful way to see the impact a home has on families, and we’re hoping more Australians will make the resolution to volunteer and help those less fortunate in the new year,” Mr Thomas said.

Glebe resident Svetlana Zhukova this year travelled to the outskirts of Phnom Penh in Cambodia with Habitat for Humanity Australia on a week-long expedition.

“This experience gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment – I know the brick walls we laid will protect this family and will help them build a better life,” said Ms Zhukova.

The hand-up – rather than a handout – approach, allows people struggling with housing issues to focus on health and education rather than mere survival, building better lives and stronger communities.

“Our group of eight came from such different walks of life from across Australia. But we became one amazing team that shared long days, sweat, tired laughter and cold coconuts – and built a house in five short days,” Ms Zhukova said.

One lucky Australian will win the opportunity to participate in a Global Village program thanks to Habitat for Humanity Australia’s Building Hope 2016 competition. The winner, announced on December 18, will journey to Asia, Africa or the Pacific to help build a better future for the less fortunate.

The competition is a part of Habitat’s free photography exhibition ‘Home’, displayed at Customs House in the lead up to New Year’s Eve. The exhibition showcases images of global citizens who have been given a hand-up by Habitat for Humanity Australia. For details on volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, see:


For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Belinda Wallis 0467 810 160 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay on 0432 182 647 or email