We are proud to have a number of committed and dedicated Ambassadors who are passionate advocates for our cause.
“I am very proud to represent Habitat for Humanity Australia. I’ve been given many opportunities to spend time in other countries with people who live below the poverty line and I’ve learnt first- hand how people are made vulnerable to poor health and insecurity when they don’t have a street address, a roof and a front door to lock at night. When I discovered there was a practical and affordable way for Australian volunteers to travel with Habitat to work alongside families in desperate need to build a home – brick by brick together – I wanted to be part of sharing this message. There’s something very special about building a home that will protect generations to come. It’s possibly the most powerful way to bring about long term change.”
Rebecca Gibney is an Australian household name. Best known for her lead role in the Television series Packed to the Rafters. Rebecca’s illustrious career has spanned thirty years, including the lead role in the long running Tele-movie series Halifax F.P. She recently starred in the Peter Allen mini-series and appears alongside Kate Winslett in the soon to be released The Dressmaker. Her long running relationship with Channel 7 has resulted in a number of Telemovies, including Winter, The Killing Fields and she has now created and is Producing her own Television series for Channel 7, Wanted. She was the Gold Logie award winner in 2010. And with numerous other nominations and awards over the years, Rebecca was judged by Readers Digest last year as Australia’s most trusted face. She has been voted many times over by various magazines as most inspirational woman of the year.
“I’m very proud to become a Habitat for Humanity Ambassador. I work between Australia and the U.S. where Habitat is a household name, providing relief to people who lose their homes due to natural disasters and economic challenges. It’s not unusual to see a former U.S. President in the press painting a window or hammering nails alongside a Habitat family in need. Or to see actors such as Brad Pitt dedicating his time and celebrity status to bring about change. My work has taken me to places where I come face to face with dire need. In India I visited children in slums and it broke my heart to see their vulnerable lifestyles. I’m currently working in South Africa where I see desperate poverty on the streets. I drive past townships everyday on my way to location. Home is where our heart is. So I can only imagine the stress that comes for families or orphans whose only option is mobile shelter or a tin shed. I’m a collaborator and I love the spirit of team-work. So the idea of volunteering my time for a week to help a family build a home that will bring stability, safety and security makes my heart sing. Thank you for this life changing opportunity.”
Simone Kessell has been appearing on screens since her work as a child actor in New Zealand. Leading her to Australia screens and more recently to the U.S. On our local screens she starred in the Channel Ten series, Wonderland. She was a co-lead in the Fox Television series Terra Nova, Produced by Stephen Spielberg. She has appeared in the movie’s San Andreas, Frost/Nixon. In 2016 Simone will be in movie theatres opposite Josh Hartnett in The Lovers. And is now the co-lead in the U.S. ABC prime time Television series Of Kings and Prophets, currently filming in South Africa and set for US release in 2016. This is Simone’s first opportunity to be invited to become a public advocate for a cause. Her personal passion for key issues has motivated her to leverage her network to produce many fund raising events over the years. She is well known among her peers for championing causes to great effect.
“After extensive travel throughout the developing world, spontaneously choosing to take part in a Habitat for Humanity build in Guatemala in 2004 was one of the most joyful, communal and ultimately humbling experiences of my life. Nothing can compare to the rawness of building side by side with a family in need, literally raising the walls together under the cheeky guidance of a local tradesman. Sharing laughter, tears and well-earned meals with volunteers and local community alike, all on the slopes of the majestic four thousand metre Santa Maria Volcano. This opportunity not only ignited my understanding of immediate need in the field, but the undeniable value of practical hands on solutions for all involved, giving me a glimpse into other worlds and the universal humanity that sustains us all. It is on the foundations of this very personal experience that I relish becoming an Ambassador for Habitat for Humanity Australia.”
Damian Walshe Howling is an award winning actor. Appearing on Australian Television screens for twenty years. He commenced his career with an ongoing role in Blue Heelers and was awarded for his work in the first Underbelly series, followed by many lead roles in movies such as The Reef and as the Host of Border Control. His more recent work has seen him in lead roles in the television series Bikie Wars; Brothers in Arms and Old School for the ABC. He is currently appearing again as the Co-Lead in the second season of Janet King for the ABC. Damian has travelled extensively, and has had the opportunity to learn about key poverty drivers through previous ambassador work with World Vision. His choice to now become an advocate for Habitat for Humanity Australia is driven by his independent and first-hand experience of volunteering to build a Habitat house in his early 20’s.
Angela Catterns is a well-known and much admired Australian media personality and radio presenter. Best known for her work on Australian radio, Angela has presented Mornings on Triple J, the National Evening Show on ABC Local Radio, Breakfast on 702 ABC Sydney and now 2UE. Angela began her career as an advertising copywriter, then became a reporter on the Logie Award winning kids TV show, Simon Townsend’s Wonder World. She’s also produced an AFI Award-winning film documentary “Double Concerto”. During Sydney 2000, Angela was the “voice of the Olympics”, and after more than a decade, still presents on Qantas in-flight music channel. Angela also freelances as a radio consultant, interviewer and presenter, voice-over artist, and MC. Angela has been a Habitat for Humanity Ambassador since 2011 and has participated on two Global Village builds in Cambodia for people living with HIV. In recognition of Angela’s services to social welfare organisations, Angela was awarded an AM in June 2014.
“We’ve been so fortunate in our lives and we are so grateful to be able to do some good and give back as best we can.”
TV personalities, Adam and Lisa joined us on the Global Village Everest Build in November 2014. Just when they thought renovating one room was a challenge, Adam and Lisa worked alongside another 500 volunteers from around the world in Chitwan, Nepal to build 36 homes in one week. The standard of living in parts of Chitwan is very poor and Adam and Lisa spent a week constructing safe and decent homes made from locally sourced mud-and-brick, bamboo and “green” clay brick.