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Monday 26 November 2018

Hunter winery marks its birthday with a charitable approach

Many wineries throw lavish parties to mark significant milestone, but boutique Hunter Valley producer Gundog Estate has opted for a more charitable approach to celebrate its 10th birthday.

Gundog Estate owner Matt Burton has formed a partnership with Newcastle not-for-profit Path 2 Change to help local homeless young people create sustainable futures.

The unique strategic partnership will stretch across a number of projects, from work experience programs at Gundog Estate and mentorships for local youth at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness through to joint development of social enterprise concepts.

"As owners of a small business you travel a challenging personal journey and then suddenly you reach a point where you realise how privileged you are," Burton said.

"Once you realise that, it becomes a really obvious path to find a way to give back to the community.

“To mark 10 years of success with Gundog, I wanted to do something more. I wanted to put a greater emphasis on our role within the local community and step into a leadership position.”

Burton launched Gundog Estate's first vintage as a 26-year-old in 2008 and then  established a Hunter Valley cellar door in 2011.

Path 2 Change executive manager Jennifer O'Sullivan commended Gundog Estate's decision to look for a partnership that has the potential to stop homelessness before it takes hold in a young person's life.

"It is inspiring that Matt and his team are leading the way by taking up the challenge of responding to homelessness at a community level by investing in our youth to create life-changing opportunities,” she said.

Path 2 Change is a not-for-profit organisation established over 35 years ago. It is committed to reducing and preventing homelessness, supporting those at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, to overcome barriers towards a sustainable future.

“We’re excited by the way that Path 2 Change is involved at the grassroots level in the local area," Burton said. "We were looking for a charitable partner where we had an alignment and connection between ourselves, the organisation and those they are helping."

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