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HousingPEOPLE December 2013

Issue: December 2013

Dear Member,

Christmas spirit is definitely in the air - in every home and in every office. It was great to celebrate with our members and industry peers during the Member Networking Events and the Annual General Meeting held at the beginning of December. As this is our last newsletter for 2013 we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year’s results and share our plans for the year ahead.  

AHI news

Annual General Meeting 2013

The AGM was held in Sydney. At the meeting members had an opportunity to hear from the outgoing AHI President Tony Gilmour, and the newly appointed President, Donald Proctor and the special guest, Mike Allen, CE, Housing NSW.The following board members were ratified as being duly elected:
  • Donald Proctor, President
  • Frances Paterson-Fleider, Director, Queensland               
  • Haleh Homaei,  Director, Victoria
  • Andrew Davis, Director, South Australia
  • Kathleen Gregory, Director, Western Australia
  • Faye Minty, Director, ACT
  • Greg Orchard, Director, New Zealand

Word from Incoming AHI President

Firstly, I would like thank the people who encouraged me to nominate for AHI President.  Until now, I have enjoyed the safety and security of supporting roles, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and take on the opportunities that arise.  This is part of my professional development, and providing such opportunities is what the AHI is about.
Secondly, I would like to acknowledge and thank Tony Gilmour for his brilliant achievement as AHI President over the last 2 years.  I have had the privilege of working with Tony while on the AHI board and therefore I have been able to see close up the extraordinary effort, wisdom and achievement that Tony has brought to the AHI presidency.  Tony has devoted a huge amount of time to the AHI while his own consulting business has been taking off as well.  He has been a very busy person and achieved a tremendous amount for the AHI, as his President’s Report and the healthy state AHI finances attest.
Thirdly, the AHI Board, Branch Committees, staff and I invite you to make a note in your diary or e-calendar to get involved in AHI events 2014.  We are coming into an exciting year for social housing professionals.  The AHI aims to keep you up to date with the latest, and support you in getting involved with the action.
Have a look at the website to see the new AHI Strategic Plan discussion paper. We want to get input from members and stakeholders over the next few months before adopting a new Strategic plan by June 2014.

Word from Tony Gilmour, Out-Going AHI President

I’ve really enjoyed being in the privileged position of leading the AHI’s board, staff and members through a period of great change. Over the last two years we have certainly faced more than our fair share of challenges. However, we have emerged stronger and with a clear focus on our future role in supporting housing professionals. Many thanks are due to Kelly, Olena and Donella who provide a Rolls Royce service on a Holden budget. We also have a great team of supporters throughout the sector who lend a hand when needed.
I’m delighted to be handing over as President to Donald Proctor - a longstanding supporter of the AHI and a leading housing professional. Donald has a clear vision for the AHI, and I will be giving him and the team my full support over the coming few years. Exciting times ahead!
Picture: outgoing AHI President, Tony Gilmour and newly appointed President, Donald Proctor 

Hello from Andrew Davis, AHI Director, South Australia

The AHI is a key organisation for the future of the social and affordable housing sector in Australia and New Zealand, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the organisation’s future. In particular I look forward to serving our South Australian members by continuing the great work of Stacey and the SA Branch committee, who are a particularly enthusiastic bunch.  The next few years will be an exciting and challenging time for the social housing sector. As we grow and develop, we have the opportunity and responsibility across both public and community housing sectors, to deliver better housing outcomes for our tenants and the wider community. This will require an increasingly skilled, collaborative and energised social housing workforce, and the AHI will play a key role in achieving this.In my ‘day job’ I am the Group Manager of Housing Services at AnglicareSA, where I have held various roles for the past six years. Prior to AnglicareSA I worked in various roles in the disability sector and in private enterprise.  Thank you for welcoming me to my ‘new job’ with the AHI.

2012-2013 Annual Report:  past achievements, current challenges and future goals

We're incredibly proud of the work we do as a professional body in creating an exceptional environment for housing people to learn, network and share experiences. Click here to view the 2012-2013 AHI Annual Report to explore and learn more about our broad range of programs and people behind them, who through active participation help us to deliver our services. 

AHI office hours over Christmas

The AHI office will be closed from Monday 23rd December, and will reopen on Monday 13th January 2014. However please note that our reception will still be available in January for urgent enquiries. If your enquiry is not urgent, please e-mail to and your e-mail will be responded to on Monday, 13th January. We look forward to working with you to make 2014 a great year for housing. 

AHI Christmas Networking Events

AHI Branches in Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria held end of year networking events for AHI members and other industry peers over the last few weeks. The events were not only an opportunity to catch up with colleagues and celebrate the festive season, but a great occasion to gather together to discuss the strategic direction of the housing industry association in 2014 and the role state branches play in developing of the AHI as a vibrant and relevant organisation in the working lives of housing professionals.Members in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria expressed their willingness to revitalise their local branches; while guests of the NSW and South Australian events had an opportunity to meet industry leaders, Mike Allen, CE, Housing NSW and Phil Fagan-Schmidt, ED, Housing SA.
We would like to thank everyone who was involved in organising the events - the Institute would not exist without the support of its Branches and Members.
  Pictures: AGM and NSW member networking event guests 

HousingWORKS - AHI collaborates with AHURI, Housing SA and Community Housing Aotearoa to deliver the best industry publication to our members

The AHI team in collaboration with AHURI and Housing SA have prepared a nice holiday read for AHI Members,HousingWORKS subscribers and the National Housing Conference 2013 participants. To maintain your festive mood, we've filled the December HousingWORKS edition with lots of inspirational stories from the AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards and topped up with the analysis of the outcomes of the Conference. The edition will be delivered next week not only to our members  and subscribers, but also to everyone, who attended AHURI's National Housing Conference in Adelaide earlier this year.

In the meanwhile, we are excited to announce that the topic of the first 2014 edition of the journal will be"Social Housing in New Zealand” and we are delighted to collaborate with Community Housing Aotearoa to explore in detail the New Zealand social housing Industry. 

We are currently seeking a mix of contributions from Government, academics and mainstream NGOs and want to ensure that there is a contribution from every region and that regional and urban issues are covered. Please, read the detailed Contribution Guide. Articles should be submitted electronically by e-mail to by Friday, 14th March 2014. Remember, you do not need to be a professional writer to publish interesting and valuable work. Read more

AHI Seminars and Forums

Stock Transfer: Opportunities and Challenges. Professional Practice Seminar 

The AHI’s Stock Transfer Seminar in Brisbane on 27 November 2013 attracted a record turnout, no doubt a sign of the rapid changes taking place in this area. We had delegates from most Australian states and territories, as well as from New Zealand. Everyone who came agreed was open in sharing information, which made a great contrast to the competitive environment when organisations bid to take-over tenancies from public housing agencies.
As AHI President Tony Gilmour noted, contemporary ‘stock transfer’ is a misnomer as you do not get the assets, and management responsibility is contracted-out rather than passed over to you for the longer term. Professor Hal Pawson gave insights not only from his co-authored AHURI research on Australian transfers, but also what has happened in Britain over the last two decades. One thing we need to learn from the Brits is how to put in place consistent transfer mechanisms for both staff and tenants.
The day’s highlight was the Expert Panel. We were joined byJason Cubit from Horizon Housing, Hal Pawson, Nick Sabel from Wentworth Housing, David Eades from the Queensland Department of Housing Works and David Cant, BHC. One panellist afterwards described this as the most electric panel session he had ever attended, and this was from someone not known for overstatement! Although there were many challenges identified, a consensus emerged that transfers seem to be the way to go in the future. We just need to learn from best practice.

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Place Making Forum

At the beginning of December the Australasian Housing Institute in collaboration with the Community Housing Federation of Victoria (CHFV) ran a half-day Place Making Forum. This engaging and thought-provoking event provided housing practitioners with an interest in placemaking, community renewal and urban regeneration an opportunity to openly discuss approaches to make great places.Acknowledged industry professionals joined us to share their ideas on benefits and barriers of placemaking, the necessity of community participation in changing places and innovative approaches to developing and implementing placemaking.
We would like to thank to everyone who took part in the discussion and to CHFV for partnering.

AHI Workshops

Following requests from the industry we're excited to announce that the Making Tenant Participation and Engagement Meaningful Workshop will be run again in Sydney on Tuesday, 25th February 2014. This one-day workshop uses a strong blend of theory and practice to give participants a clear context for engaging with tenants as part of social housing service delivery. Participants will explore a range of aspects of tenant participation and engagement using practical tools to plan and achieve outcomes for their agencies and the people they serve. The workshop is designed to strengthen skills and expand techniques for tenant engagement;  enable participants to better understand the value and purpose of engaging tenants; and to strengthen a culture of tenant engagement in line with good practice in social housing management. Read more and register on-line


The AHI team would like to wish all members a safe, happy and restful holiday season!