AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards Program

The Australasian Housing Institute Awards provide an opportunity to showcase social housing success stories. The Awards formally recognise and reward excellence in professional practice, from the grass roots to the most senior levels. They promote to our colleagues and the community at large the difference that social housing professionals make to people’s lives. 

Awards go to housing professionals who are judged to have made a significant and lasting difference: to tenants or service users, to their community, to their colleagues and to their profession.  The Awards recognise the contributions and achievements of our colleagues in the many disciplines which make up the housing profession.

The Institute has run an awards program since 2004. This program has become increasingly popular with members and other housing professionals. In 2017 the Institute received the record number of nominations - 142 entries from all over Australia and New Zealand. 


  • To reward great work and achievements by individuals and teams 
  • To recognise best practice and high standards of service 
  • To promote and celebrate innovation 
  • To develop and increase the profile of our profession 
  • To promote the Australasian Housing Institute

Australasian winners are rewarded by:

  • Public appreciation and recognition by their peers
  • Promotion of their achievements and ideas through AHI publications and networks
  • An article on their work in HousingWORKS journal (written by themselves or others)
  • An opportunity to further promote and explore their ideas through presentations as part of the AHI seminar and workshop programs
  • One year subscription to HousingWORKS for each person who receives an award
  • One year free membership of the AHI for the winners of individual awards

2017 Award Winners


The Australasian winners for the 2017 Professional Excellence in Housing Awards were announced on Wednesday, 29 November in Sydney during the National Housing Conference.

Outstanding Achievement Award
Greg Budworth | Compass Housing | NSW
Inspirational Team Member Award
Julie Davenport| Hume Community Housing | NSW
Leading Innovation Award
Hand Up |Bridge Housing
          Highly Commended: AAHS Collaborative Investment | Horizon Housing | QLD
Leading Community Engagement Practice Award
Community Action Programme | City Housing, Wellington City Council | NZ
Leading Housing Development Project Award
Specialist Disability Accommodation Bundaberg | Regional Housing Limited
          Highly Commended: Lawrence Street, Peakhurst | SGCH | NSW
Tenant Led Initiative Award
Stucco Solar+Storage | Stucco Co-operative | NSW
Leading Asset Management Award
Compass Housing Services Co | Asset Management Compass Housing | NSW
Excellence in Social Housing
Haven; Home, Safe|Sidney Myer Haven|VIC


Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in Queensland were announced on Tuesday, 2 May in Brisbane.

Inspirational Team Member Award
Murray Thompson | Churches of Christ Housing Services Ltd
Leading Community Engagement Practice
Social Buttons - Enabling Community Engagement | BHC - Creating Liveable Communities
Leading Housing Development Project
Specialist Disability Accommodation Bundaberg | Regional Housing Limited
          Highly Commended: Homes4Life – Sippy Downs Coast2Bay Housing Group Ltd, Ausmar Homes Pty Ltd, and Synapse
Leading Innovation
AAHS Collaborative Investment | Horizon Housing
Tenant Led Initiative 
The Green Square Art Project | BHC - Creating Liveable Communities
Excellence in Social Housing
Mission Australia Supported Accommodation Facilities Cairns
          Highly Commended: Compass Housing Queensland

South Australia

Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in South Australia were announced on Tuesday, 23 May in Adelaide.

Inspirational Team Member Award
Nicole Chaplin | St John's Youth Services
Leading Asset Management
UNO, St John's Youth Service, Unison and Housing SA
          Highly Commended: Improving Assets Together, Westside Housing Association
Leading Community Engagement Practice
Tenancy Education Program | ac.care
Leading Housing Development Project
Bowden Rent-To-Buy Development | AnglicareSA Housing Ltd
Leading Innovation
Vacancy Maintenance Inspection Application | Department for Communities and Social Inclusion - Housing SA
          Highly Commended: Sustaining Complex Tenancies, AnglicareSA Housing Ltd
Tenant Led Initiative 
Tenant Art Exhibition - Unity Housing | Unity Housing Company Ltd
Outstanding Achievement
Matthew Woodward | Unity Housing Company
Excellence in Social Housing
Unity Housing & Bedford Alliance

New Zealand

Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in New Zealand were announced on Thursday, 8 June in Wellington

Inspirational Team Member Award
Rosie Gallen | City Housing, Wellington City Council
          Highly Commended: Alice Daniel-Kirk | Housing New Zealand Corporation
Leading Community Engagement Practice
Community Action Programme | City Housing Wellington City Council
Leading Housing Development Project
Tāmaki Makaurau Community Housing Ltd | New Zealand Housing Foundation
Leading Innovation
Smokefree Social Housing Toolkit | Community and Public Health, Canterbury District Health Board
Tenant Led Initiative 
City Housing tenant C.H.O.I.R | City Housing, Wellington City Council
Outstanding Achievement
Peter Jeffries | CORT Community Housing
Excellence in Social Housing
City Housing | Wellington City Council

New South Wales

Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in NSW were announced on Thursday, 6 July in Sydney.

Inspirational Team Member Award
JOINT Winners: Julie Davenport, Hume Community Housing and Joy Sneesby, Evolve Housing
Leading Community Engagement Practice
Heading Home - Ending Homelessness Here! Wentworth Community Housing
Leading Housing Development Project
JOINT Winners: Lawrence Street, Peakhurst, SGCH and Maccarthur Gardens CLT Apartments, BlueCHP Ltd
                            Highly Commended: Ashfield New Generation Boarding House, Bridge Housing
Leading Asset Management
Compass Housing
                            Highly Commended: AHO/Two Fold Aboriginal Corporation Project
Leading Innovation
Hand UP, Bridge Housing
Tenant Led Initiative
Stucco Solar and Stroage, Stucco Co-operative
                            Highly Commended: The Collectives- Utlising Lived Experience Insight, Hume Community Housing
Outstanding Achievement
Greg Budworth, Compass Housing
Excellence in Social Housing
Compass Housing


Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in VIC were announced on Tuesday, 18 July in Melbourne.

Inspirational Team Member Award
Kristie Looney, Property Initiatives Real Estate
Leading Community Engagement Practice
Love Your Laneway Mural Project, Housing Choices Australia
Leading Housing Development Project
Women’s Property Initiatives Reynard Street Coburg Development, Women’s Property Initiatives
Leading Asset Management
Tenant Induction Program, Port Phillip Housing Association
Leading Innovation
HomeGround Real Estate, Launch Housing
                        Highly Commended: National Housing Service Standards, Housing Choices Australia
Tenant Led Initiative
Ashwood Cook Up, PPHA
Outstanding Achievement
Steve Bevington, Community Housing Ltd Group
Anthony Hardy Excellence in Social Housing
Sidney Myer Haven, Haven: Home, Safe


Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in TAS were announced on Thursday, 3 August in Hobart.

Leading Community Engagement Practice
JOINT Winners: Resident Community Fund Grant Program, Housing Choices Tasmania and Tenants Strengthening Communities, Mission Australia Housing
Leading Housing Development Project
Trinity Hill: Partnering for Innovation in Youth Housing, Anglicare - Tasmania
Tenant Led Initiative
Social entrepreneurship: ‘Lend a Hand’, Anglicare - Tasmania
Excellence in Social Housing
Common Ground Tasmania

Western Australia

Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in WA were announced on Tuesday, 19 September in Perth.

Inspirational Team Member Award
Tony Benson, Access Housing Australia
Leading Housing Development Project
Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives Development, Access Housing Australia
Leading Innovation
JOINT Winners: Foundation Housing ‘Homes for Carers’ Program, Foundation Housing, Western Australian Department for Child Protection and Family Support; Western Australian Housing Authority and SHIP Assisted Rental Pathways Pilot, Housing Authority of WA
Leading Community Engagement Practice
Transitional Housing Program, Housing Authority of WA in partnership with Kimberley Development Corporation
                        Highly Commended: Creating Choices Program, Access Housing Australia
Excellence in Social Housing
Foyer Oxford, Housing Authority of WA in partnership with Anglicare WA, Foundation Housing Ltd and North Metropolitan TAFE

Australian Capital Territory

Winners of the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in ACT were announced on Tuesday, 17 October in Canberra.

Tenant Led Initiative
Ainslie Village Cycle Recycle Workshop, Argyle Community Housing Ltd
Leading Housing Development Project
Mura Gunya - Older persons housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Housing and Community Services
Leading Community Engagement Practice
Linking into new communities taskforce and the transforming communities partnership, Housing and Community Service
Excellence in Social Housing
Common Ground Canberra, A Canberra Housing Proposal

Northern Territory

Leading Housing Development Project
Bloomfield Street Project, Central Australian Affordable Housing Company


Housing Excellence Showcase


Australasian Housing Institute is delighted to launch the inaugural Housing Excellence Showcase – an upcoming series of special events showcasing some of the standout achievements from the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand.

Starting in September 2017, these best-practice sharing events will see recent award winners and highly commended award recipients from each jurisdiction present the development or initiative that was formally recognised for its significant and lasting impact on the social housing sector.

The Australasian Housing Institute Awards acknowledge outstanding professional practice at all levels and promote the difference that social housing professionals make to people's lives. With the Awards program growing in size and popularity since it began in 2004, we believe our industry’s greatest success stories should be celebrated by members, other housing professionals, and the wider community.

Join us at any Housing Excellence Showcase event to support the housing sector and discover the leading innovations and projects of 2017.

Silver Sponsors



2017 Program Sponsors

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Australasian Awards Reception Sponsor:

NSW Awards Reception:

SA Awards Reception:

QLD Awards Reception:

VIC Awards Reception:

TAS Awards Reception:

WA Awards Reception:

ACT Awards Reception:

2017 AHI Awards Committee


One of the strengths of the AHI Awards program is the comprehensive judging process, which relies on the generosity of the panel of judges who are highly experienced and respected social housing professionals from all around Australia and New Zealand. The Judging process is transparent, fair and independent. We thank those whose job it is to make the very difficult decisions:

Francis Brazil, Chair, NSW

Francis has worked in housing for nearly 20 years in Australia and the UK. He now works in the largest Community Housing provider in NSW and works as a Place Coordinator connecting community services and government organisations with public and private tenants to increase the overall collective impact in turning around areas of disadvantage and increasing outcomes. He is a member of the AHI NSW branch and is the NSW Director on the AHI board. He is also a part time teacher at TAFE teaching community development and engagement methods.

Chris Chaplin, VIC

Manager, Policy & Compliance at Port Phillip Housing Association
Chris Chaplin has 22 years in the not-for-profit sector, including 18 years in housing and homelessness across a diverse range of roles including strategy, governance, policy and compliance, management, public policy, teaching and research, and project management; and direct service delivery in tenancy management, front-line homelessness and outreach, public housing support and advocacy, and student housing. Chris is an active member of the Victorian Branch Committee and sits on AHI’s Awards Review Committee.

Andrew Davis, SA

Andrew has 20 years of experience in senior leadership roles within the private and not-for-profit sectors. Over the past nine years Andrew has served in executive positions in the disability, community housing and homelessness sectors. He has also served on various peak body boards and sector reference groups in the not-for-profit sector and is the current AHI President and Chairperson of Shelter SA. Andrew has a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (Management), Diploma of Business (Human Resource Management) and Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

Alicia Follent, QLD

Alicia is the Operations Manager – Business Support with Churches of Christ Housing Services and has been working in the community housing for 10 years currently specialising in quality and compliance, risk management and project governance. She is currently the treasurer of Queensland Shelter and has previously represented the sector as a Board member the Queensland Community Housing Coalition. Alicia passionate about social housing and strongly believe in supporting providers to build a robust and professional community housing sector.

Victor Jackson, QLD

My primary profession is business accounting and consulting, self employed since 1970. I provided support facilities in management and coaching. This included computerised systems and software. I was invited to assist the local community housing service (1998). Was their treasurer, president and coordinator/manager over time. My prior experience in housing (1970's) stood me well. I have been an active member of AHI’s valuable services since year 2000.

Rosie Gallen, New Zealand

Community Action & Eng Manager | City Housing | Wellington City Council
Rosie is the Community Action Manager for Wellington City Council’s Housing Unit and has worked in social housing for 17 years specialising in community and social development, engagement, place-making, research and case management. Her experience also includes senior leadership, operational management, policy development and is a strong proponent for tenant participation within the delivery of housing services. She has held a number of positions in the non-for-profit sector and is a current member of IACD, IAP2 and is a Level 3 Certified Housing Professional with AHI.

Nerilie Gilson, TAS

Manager Community Housing Programs | Housing, Disability and Community Services | Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania
As a public sector professional, Nerilie has extensive experience managing complex, changing and challenging service delivery, policy and program settings in health and human services. Over the past 15 years, she has worked in key leadership and change agent positions, successfully imbedding major system and service reform in child protection, child health, mental health (New Zealand), and disability and community services.


Alison Kimber, SA

Principal | ak advisory
Alison Kimber specialises in strategy and governance advice for affordable housing providers. As Director, Community Partnerships and Growth for Housing SA and later Renewal SA, Alison led the introduction of the national regulatory system in SA, the transfer of 1700 public housing properties to the community housing sector and the reform of legacy programs.

Nicholas Loder, NSW

B.Arch, M.Built Env. Grad.Dip PSM, CHP3
Nicholas Loder, Senior Project Officer, Assets division, NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Family and Community Services. Since 2003 he has provided policy advice for all new construction and major refurbishments to the LAHC housing portfolio. Nicholas sits on the NSW Chapter committee of the Australasian Housing Institute and is a founding Director of the Centre of Universal Design Australia.

Kathryn Moorey, WA

Regional Manager – Tenancy Services | Access Housing Australia Ltd
Kathryn is currently Regional Manager – Tenancy Services for Access Housing, WA and has been working in Community Housing in WA for the past 10 years providing front line delivery of property management in both metro and rural settings. With a Degree in Surveying, Kathryn has previously worked in the UK Social Housing sector for both government and the not for profit housing providers. She spent 10 years working in the UK in Housing Advice and Homelessness and has also worked in the areas of Housing Needs, Policy Development, Allocations, Voids, and Supported Housing provision in different settings.

Wendy Malycha, SA

CEO, St John’s Youth Services.
Wendy has over 25 years of experience in housing and homelessness, and is a strong advocate for affordable housing and alleviating homelessness. She has been instrumental in the development of foyers across Australia, and the world’s first apartment based crisis accommodation service located in a mixed tenure high-rise building. Wendy was a founding member of Homelessness SA, has served on the Boards of National Shelter and Shelter SA, and currently sits on the Board of the Foyer Foundation. Wendy’s qualifications are in Social Work and Housing Management and Policy, and is a Level 3 Certified Housing Professional and is the City of Adelaide’s Citizen of the Year 2017.

Mark O'Dwyer, NSW, Tenant Representative

Member of Compass Housing Services N.S.W Operations Advisory Committee & inaugural chair ( 2015 - ), current chair of the CHS Appeals committee, was a CHS Director between 2012 & 2014. In 2014 Mark participated in a study tour looking at UK Social Housing. He is a former CHS tenant and is a strong advocate for tenant involvement and self management in the delivery of housing services. He has served on several CHS Board appointed committees relative to Governance, property enhancement and tenant participation. Mark is also a member of the Management Committee of Hunter Homeless Connect Inc, an organisation committed to eradicating homelessness from the Hunters demographic.

Clare Phythian, QLD

Project Manager, Q Shelter
Clare has 15 years’ experience working in the sector in Australia, New Zealand and the UK in organisations varying from small and large NFPs, a peak-body representative training organisation and Government. Clare’s experience includes executive management, operational management and business improvement. Clare maintains up-to-date and relevant knowledge of the sector through her state-wide position and her memberships and accreditation of the AHI and the Chartered Institute of Housing. Clare has an interest in service improvement and innovation as well as the promotion of the sector through showcasing.

2017 Award Categories

The 2017 AHI Awards Program features eight categories: two individual awards, five team awards and one tenant award.


Past Awards

2015 Awards Cycle

28 October 2015, Perth

Working in housing is anything but a glamorous job, yet one that housing professionals have chosen to dedicate their lives. Recognising how important it is for us to stop, smell the roses and recognise the triumphs and accomplishments of our colleagues, the 2015 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards ceremony was held at Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre to coincide with this year’s National Housing Conference. Shattering the previous record crowd for an AHI Awards reception, a capacity gathering of 180 guests enjoyed the opportunity to get together with colleagues from across Australia and New Zealand on 28th October for the gala occasion.  

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2013 Awards Cycle

31 October 2013, Adelaide

The National Winners for the 2013 Australasian Professional Excellence in Housing Awards were announced on 31st October 2013 at the Awards Presentation Dinner during the National Housing Conference 2013 in Adelaide. People from all around Australasia had an opportunity to gather together to celebrate the success and achievements of housing professionals, hear inspirational stories and congratulate the worthy winners. 

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2011-2012 Awards Cycle

1 November 2012, Brisbane

The National Winners for the 2011-2012 Australasian Professional Excellence in Housing Awards were announced on 1st November 2012 at the Awards Presentation Dinner during the National Housing Conference 2012 in Brisbane. The dinner brought together national industry leaders and a number of special guests and was an excellent illustration that there is much to celebrate in the social housing industry.

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2009-2011 Awards Cycle

27 October 2011, Melbourne

A successful AHI Australasian Awards event was held in Melbourne yesterday, 27 October 2011. Held just once every two years, the event was a celebration of the most recently completed cycle of AHI Awards for Professional Excellence in Housing, where the achievement across, and winners from, previous awards are lifted to a nation-wide level.

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