Nearly finished!!

September 15, 2021

Nearly finished!!

Back in August 2020, work commenced on ‘The House that Convoy Built’, to help raise funds for the i98FM Illawarra Convoy & Illawarra Community Foundation. “The House that Convoy Built” is a unique fundraising activity where a brand new architecturally designed house was constructed with the help of many tradies, businesses and suppliers who donated their time, products and skills.

The idea of building a house for auction with 100% of proceeds going towards the Illawarra Community Foundation came about after fundraising group Team Dandaloo (consisting of Al Doherty, Rob Starcic & Paul Hadley) met with property group Sheargold and then pitched the idea to the Illawarra Community Foundation.

When Sheargold then generously donated the block of land at Vista Park which is located at the corner of Wongawilli Rd and Bankbrook Drive, Wongawilli valued at $440,000 the idea of building a house became reality. Custom designed by ADM Architects, this three bedroom house also features open plan living with two generous living areas, alfresco dining, a double car garage, and so much more.

GJ Gardner Homes Wollongong were excited to come on board to project manage the build, as well as source local donors to ensure the house was not only built, but with minimal costs incurred – benefitting the Illawarra Community Foundation and the families they support.

Those involved have been overwhelmed with how the Illawarra community has gotten behind this project with over 120 tradies, businesses and suppliers all contributing to the completion of this stunning architecturally designed home. The house consists of 130,000kg of concrete, 3,200m of timber frame, 430m of  Colorbond roofing, 38,440kg of bricks, 1.240m of electrical wiring, 19,980 nails, 178lt of paint and over 1,900 hours of donated labour.

“Faced with considerable challenges throughout the build such as ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, ever changing lockdowns and consistent bad weather, to achieve this build at very minimal cost is something quite incredible” said i98FM Illawarra Convoy Founder, Marty Haynes.

This isn’t the first home GJ Gardner homes have built for a charity, with the team from Wollongong/Shoalhaven also completing two houses for Variety, The Children’s Charity in 2014 & 2019. These previous projects contributed over $609,000 to Variety.

The team at GJ Gardner homes are now putting the final touches on the house, prior to handing it over to the Illawarra Community Foundation. It will be auctioned off with all proceeds going towards the charity to help assist them with families doing it tough due to potentially life threatening medical conditions, as well as local charities and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

“We are inspired by the great work of The Illawarra Community Foundation and it’s an honour to be able to build ‘The House that Convoy Built’. The best part about this project is that we can contribute by doing what we do best – building houses, and in the process we can raise awareness for this charity that does such amazing things for families in our community to help reduce their financial and emotional worries when suffering potentially life threatening illness. It’s so heart-warming to see how our local trades and building partners really got behind this project,” explained Sean Vickery, Director and owner of G.J Gardner Homes Wollongong & Shoalhaven.

“This is a very special house, where the winning bidder will not only be buying the house, but also a range of furnishings including beds, lounges, TV’s, dining tables, outdoor settings, a security system, air conditioning accessories and more. So if you win at the auction, you can just turn the key and start living!” said i98FM Illawarra Convoy Manager Mark Rigby. “It even has a Vespa motorbike donated by Motocity in the garage for the successful buyer, so they can take part in future Convoys.”

The project was scheduled for a September auction, but with ongoing restrictions this date has been put on hold until more interested buyers can physically view the house. The team at MMJ Wollongong will be coordinating the sales process for the house, and renowned auctioneer Ben Mitchell will undertake the all-important auction of the property on a date to be confirmed.

“As a childhood cancer survivor and father of 2 children having battled cancer, personally I have a huge appreciation for how important charities like The Illawarra Community Foundation are to families like ours,’ said Luke Rollinson, Director of MMJ Real Estate Wollongong. “And when given the opportunity to assist in the delivery of the ‘House that Convoy Built’ through provision of our Town Planning and Real Estate services, we at MMJ Wollongong jumped at the opportunity to donate our time for this wonderful cause. Thank you to all the consultants that assisted us with the Development Application and Construction Certificate process, and we thank in advance those organisations who have signed up to support the forthcoming sale process. It is an honour and privilege for MMJ to be involved in this community fundraising project, and we are proud to know the money raised from the sale of this house will benefit many Illawarra families in need”

To register your interest to purchase The House that Convoy Built, head to

Special Thanks to NEG Photography for these amazing photos!!