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HousingPEOPLE December 2015

AHI HousingPEOPLE Newsletter
December 2015
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Issue: December 2015

The festive season is approaching very fast and we are very excited about the coming year. During the last month we have had numerous opportunities to talk to our members and  listen to their feedback and ideas during the End of Year Member Networking Events, AGM and through the member survey. Thank you to everyone who took part in these discussions about the future of your association. It will be a very exciting year ahead for Andrew Davis, the new AHI President, and the refreshed Board of Directors, who will lead the Institute in order to meet expectations of the vibrant social housing profession community. On behalf of the AHI board of directors and staff, we would like to wish all our members a very happy and safe holiday.

The 2015 AHI Annual General Meeting was held on November 26th in Sydney. The meeting was treated to an enlightening presentation by special guest speaker Anne Skewes, Deputy Secretary of the NSW Land and Housing Corporation. Please, download our 2014-2015 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. Read more 

AHI Member Survey - Thank you for your participation!

We wish to thank all members who took time out to complete the 2015 AHI member survey. Read more

Welcome from new President

We are delighted to welcome Andrew Davis, Business Development Project Manager, Unity Housing Company, who was appointed as the AHI President during the AGM at the end of November. Read more

High Tea with the Housing SA Service Delivery Directors

AHI South Australian Branch members had the opportunity to meet Housing SA’s new service delivery directors at a delicious high tea at the Stamford Grand Hotel at Glenelg on 4 November this year. The newly appointed directors introduced themselves and their roles in the recently restructured Housing SA. Read more

AHI office hours over Christmas

The AHI office will be closed from Monday 21st December 2015, and will reopen on Monday 18th January 2016. However, please note that our reception will still be available in January for urgent inquiries. If your enquiry is not urgent, please e-mail to and your e-mail will be responded to on Monday, 18th January. We look forward to working with you to make 2016 a great year for housing.

Aboriginal Housing Master Class

A new AHI Aboriginal Housing Master Class will be held in Sydney on 27-28 June 2015. Read more

Other Industry Events

Read more 

Housing Jobs

Read more

Welcome from the New President

The Christmas and summer holiday season is a time that tends to sharpen one's focus in lots of different ways. Its a time when many of us are busy getting ready for our own celebratory arrangements, or striving to finish our priority list before going on holidays, or simply rushing to meet the inevitable end-of-year deadlines. 
As housing professionals, this time of year also brings us stark reminders that many of the people for whom we provide homes face escalating challenges at this time of year, and that without the collective efforts of our housing sector, many more families would be facing unhappiness and even homelessness this Christmas. 
Secure, appropriate and affordable housing is the most basic of human rights, and it is in that context that I say how proud I am to be one of around 20,000 housing professionals around Australia and New Zealand. The AHI plays a key role in the professional development and connecting-up of the people who work in our sector, and I am grateful and humbled to have been entrusted with the responsibility of becoming the newly elected Chairperson of the AHI.
So, whatever your plans for this festive holiday season, take a few moments to reflect and enjoy some quiet satisfaction for the important contribution that you make to providing homes and improving the lives of others. If nothing else, it will make others curious about why you are smiling!
On behalf of the AHI, I wish all of our members a safe, enjoyable and restful festive season.
Andrew Davis
AHI President

AHI Annual General Meeting 2015

On November 26th, a very hot and extremely windy Sydney afternoon, a dedicated band of AHI members defied the very uncomfortable conditions and attended the 2015 AHI Annual General Meeting at the Rydges Hotel in Central Sydney.
After a welcome from retiring President Donald Proctor, the meeting was treated to an enlightening presentation by special guest speaker Anne Skewes, Deputy Secretary of the NSW Land and Housing Corporation. Anne delivered a lively and informative talk about the future of the housing sector in New South Wales, and in particular the exciting Communities Plus program.
The formalities of the AGM were then conducted, in particular the new Officers and Members of the Board were announced and congratulated. The Board for 2015/16 comprises:

  • Vicki McLaren, New Zealand Director
  • Andrew Clapham, Northern Territory Director
  • Frances Paterson-Fleider, Queensland Director
  • Francis Brazil, NSW Director
  • Faye Minty, ACT Director
  • Chris Chaplin, Victorian Director
  • Lisa Roberts, Tasmanian Director
  • Julie Rehn, South Australian Director
  • Su Groome, Western Australian Director
  • Andrew Davis, President.

The newly elected AHI President, Andrew Davis, then introduced himself and spoke about the opportunities and direction of the AHI Board for the coming year. Of particular note was the fact that this is the first time that every jurisdiction in Australia and New Zealand has been represented on the AHI Board, an indication of a healthy and growing organisation.
Andrew then thanked the retiring members of the AHI Board, Greg Orchard (New Zealand), Haleh Homei (Victoria), and Kathleen Gregory (Western Australia) for the tremendous contribution that they have made to the AHI. In particular, Andrew expressed the AHI Board’s gratitude to retiring President Donald Proctor, noting the many significant advances that have been made by the AHI during his term, and presented him with a gift as a token of the Board’s appreciation.
With the AGM formalities completed, the guests then adjourned for some social drinks and Christmas cheer, looking forward to the coming year.
Please, download our 2014-2015 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.

End of Year Member Networking Events

SA Branch End of Year Event

South Australian AHI Branch members held an end-of-year breakfast to celebrate what has been a busy and successful 2015. Thirty five people enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Adelaide Pavilion set in the beautiful parklands, and mixed with colleagues for some lively and enjoyable conversation. 
The formalities were kept to a minimum, but Branch Chair Andrew Davis gave a brief summary of the many local AHI activities conducted during 2015, and thanked key sponsors Housing SA, Anglicare SA, Unity Housing, Junction Australia, Smallacombe Sanderson Real Estate, St Johns Youth Services, and Global Skilled Solutions.
Andrew also thanked the Branch Committee members, whose hard work made 2015 an eventful and interesting year for the local Branch members.  In particular Andrew acknowledged and thanked Stacey Theologou and Theresa Walker who are stepping down from the Branch Committee after many years of voluntary service. Stacey and Theresa were presented with a small gift of appreciation on behalf of the AHI.
Given the vacancies arising from Stacey and Theresa's departure, Gregg Ryan (Housing SA) and Nicole Chaplin (St John's Youth Services) were welcomed as new members of the Branch Committee.
The South Australian Branch is looking forward to another fun and interesting year in 2016, watch out for details of an Inner Urban Walking Tour of the Bowden precinct early next year!

NZ Branch End of Year Event

Wellington’s November networking event was an opportunity to congratulate New Zealand’s AHI award winners and share the highlights from the Perth AHURI / AHI and NZ Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) conferences.
The Wellington City Council team that attended the AHURI conference were impressed with the calibre of the research presented and shared their highlights from the wide range of topics covered. Most noticeable was the alignment between stakeholders within the sector and the recognition that this presented a very real opportunity to address the challenges that Australia’s housing system faces.
CHA conference highlights were shared by Scott Figenshow, Director of Community Housing Aotearoa. He told how the CHA conference (also held in October, but in a wet and cool Wellington) and awards had been a huge success in elevating the sector and creating opportunities to discuss social housing with the wider sector and politicians.
Housing New Zealand’s Jackie Pivac was MC for the evening and had the honour of congratulating the AHI National Excellence in Social Housing award winners - her Housing NZ colleagues in Christchurch. 
Shane Austin, programme manager for the audacious Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Programme recounted the short but impressive history of his team, assembled in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes of 2011 and tasked with repairing 5000 homes and building 700 new ones within two years. Shane told how they met this challenging deadline while working around anxious and quake-weary tenants in a city with broken infrastructure.
Vicki McLaren gave an update on the AHI Certified Housing Professional (CHP) programme and introduced the five accredited CHPs in attendance, and outlined plans for a comprehensive 2016 Professional Development Programme.
Special thanks to sponsors DesignGroup Stapleton Elliot, Novak+Middleton, Housing NZ, and the Branch Committee for an informative, inspiring and enjoyable evening.

AHI Member Survey 2015

We wish to thank all members who took time out to complete the 2015 AHI member survey. We are very pleased to report that a high percentage of members indicated that they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with AHI services, communications and publications. We received some great ideas for seminar topics and HousingWorks themes.
It was also great to see that so many members are interested in applying to become a Certified Housing Professional in the New Year, we look forward to receiving your applications.
Once again your feedback and suggestions are greatly appreciated and we look forward to implementing your ideas in 2016.
If you didn’t get the chance to complete the survey but you have ideas or comments on how we can improve our services please don’t hesitate to send us an email or contact our office, your feedback is very important to us. Contact us

Aboriginal Housing Master Class

A new AHI Aboriginal Housing Master Class will be held in Sydney on 27-28 June 2015.
The intent of this Master Class event is to provide an opportunity for senior housing professionals whose primary focus is housing aboriginal people and leaders from emerging aboriginal housing to share results and generate ideas to work toward resolving existing aboriginal housing issues and act on future aboriginal housing needs.
The format of the Master Class will combine relevant case studies, discussions and workshops around different aspects of Aboriginal Housing, such as tenancy and property management, economic development, employment. 
A key focus will be; how do we combine the experience of mainstream housing and aboriginal housing to learn from each other and support a sustainable housing sector for the Aboriginal people committed to the principle of self-determination?
Registrations will be open early next year, but book the dates in your diary.
We would like to thank NSW Aboriginal Housing Office for their support in preparation of the Master Class program. Attractive sponsorship opportunities are available, download sponsorship brochure.

High Tea with the Housing SA Service Delivery Directors

South Australian Branch members had the opportunity to meet Housing SA’s new service delivery directors at a delicious high tea at the Stamford Grand Hotel at Glenelg on 4 November this year. The newly appointed directors introduced themselves and their roles in the recently restructured Housing SA. They provided information about the introduction of Housing SA’s new service delivery model, which continues to move towards Housing SA’s vision of Connecting People to Place, placing customers at the centre of the business.
The event also provided a great opportunity for the various housing sectors to exchange information and ideas and to further network while being updated on events in the public housing arena.
The establishment of three new service delivery directorates within Housing SA – Statewide Services headed up by Carol Shard, Northern Services headed up by Gerrie Mitra and Southern Services headed up by Tim Baker, has been integral to the restructure.
Carol Shard probably needs no introduction to the housing sector, having been a long-time director covering most aspects of housing and homelessness in the state. Her current role incorporates service evaluation, practice development and reform, Aboriginal programs, the Eastern Adelaide regional office and remote regional offices including Umuwa, Coober Pedy, Ceduna and Port Lincoln, and domestic violence and homelessness responses, including the Aged Homelessness Program and the Parklands response.
Gerrie Mitra, as Director Northern Services includes within her directorate all the regional service offices north of the city, including the northern areas of the state, other than those covered by the Aboriginal programs. Gerrie also has the lead on developing local employment initiatives with a focus on improving opportunities for public housing tenants to connect with employment. Gerrie came to Housing SA from the Service to Youth Council as their deputy Chief Executive Officer and brings a strong background in youth homelessness and youth housing issues to her new role.
Tim Baker, as Director Southern Services incorporates customer relations, workforce strategy, cross-government coordination and all the regional offices south of the city, including the southern rural areas of the state. Tim’s background is in senior management roles across both State and Federal Government, including with Families SA and the Australian Sports Commission.
With the expansion of the new service delivery model across the State, Housing SA continues to strive to prevent and respond to homelessness and keep people housed safely. Under this model, the focus has included recognising and responding to complex needs through new specialist resources.
Since June 2014, the new service delivery model has supported over 1,700 people with complex needs, particularly those experiencing domestic violence, child protection issues, and eviction or homelessness.
The new model has been implemented in regional offices in stages. Offices which have transitioned to the new model include: Ceduna, Umuwa, Adelaide and Modbury (Statewide Services); Noarlunga, Marion, Murray Bridge, Berri and Mount Gambier (Southern Services); and Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Lincoln (Northern Services).
By 7 December 2015, all remaining offices will complete the transition. The final offices include: Salisbury, Elizabeth/Gawler, Croydon Park, Port Adelaide and Coober Pedy. 
Wendy Hackel
Senior Policy Officer, Planning & Reporting, Housing SA
AHI SA Branch Member

General Manager, Property Services The Housing Trust, NSW

The Housing Trust are a proud, values based Not for Profit organisation who have been providing safe, affordable housing solutions for customers across regional New South Wales for over 30 years. Based in Wollongong they make a fantastic contribution to the local community and have a vision that everyone deserves a decent place to call home. As part of their continued success story they have an exciting opportunity for an experienced General Manager, Property Services to join their Executive leadership team. Read more

Human Resources Advisor, Link Housing, NSW

Join one of the Best Places to Work in Australia! Awarded as one of Australia’s the best places to work in 2015, Link Housing is Tier 1 Community Housing Provider with 35 permanent staff members. Link Housing manages 1,300 properties ‘providing a better future for those in need through safe affordable housing’. With ambitious plans for future growth including potential expansion to other states, Link Housing is an organisation that celebrates excellence, embraces diversity and values each person’s contribution towards the achievement of our vision. The HR advisor is a new role which will report to the Chief Financial Officer and will be responsible for driving the HR Calendar of work and providing ER/IR advice to managers and staff. Read more

Development and New Business Director - $200k package, Link Housing, NSW

Link Housing has just been announced as one of Australia’s best places to work (under 100 employees).  This Tier 1 Community Housing Provider located in Chatswood is geared for growth.  This new role will form part of the Executive team, report to the CEO and be a key advisor to the Development Committee (sub-committee of the Board). Read more 



The Australasian Housing Researchers Conference 2016

17 - 19 February 2016, University of Auckland, New Zealand,
The conference provides an essential opportunity for housing researchers to exchange their theoretical and empirical research with other researchers from a wide range of disciplines, and from academic, government and non-government sectors. It is open to all researchers concerned with housing issues including: affordability and homelessness, housing policy and planning, housing economics, housing sustainability, and regional, national and international housing markets. The Abstract Submission Portal for the Australasian Housing Researchers Conference is now open. Submission is through the abstract submissions portal. The portal and more details are available at:
Australasian Housing Institute  
PO Box 6100 MAWSON ACT 2607
P +61 2 64947566
Copyright © 2015 Australasian Housing Institute. All rights reserved.
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