Karen Walsh CEO of Venture Housing Company Ltd Karen Walsh CEO of Venture Housing Company Ltd
Karen’s career spans over 30 years in the UK and Australia in Government, corporate sector and non-government agencies, including disability and child protection in the UK, almost 9 years in a leading Tier 1 community housing organisation in NSW and 14 years in the NSW State Government and NT Governments in senior and executive roles in Aboriginal, public and community housing.
Karen is committed to achieving impact by harnessing the strengths of social purpose and commercial disciplines. She has been instrumental in driving reform and growth initiatives in the Aboriginal and community housing sectors in NSW since 2005/6 and more recently since 2019 in the NT. Prior to moving to the Territory in 2019 Karen was the CEO of Shelter NSW, the housing peak advocacy body. Karen’s NT Government roles include Executive Director, Housing Programs, as well as Acting Deputy CEO Housing, Local Government and Community Development. These roles led housing and homelessness programs delivery and service development, urban housing planning and delivery, as well as community housing and program reforms. Karen was also appointed to the role of Registrar of Community Housing NT in June 2020. Karen is passionate about social justice and addressing social and economic disadvantage through innovation, collaboration and partnerships which include all levels of Government, the private and not for profit sectors, and genuine engagement with the community and tenants. Karen qualified as a social worker in 1991 in the UK, and in Australia gained two Masters Degrees - Social Policy (2001) and an Executive Masters, Public Administration – with Merit (2007) ANZSOG, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and an Honorary Associate of the UTS Institute of Public Policy and Governance. Karen has served as a non-executive Director of many not-for profit Boards, including national peak and industry bodies and community housing providers. DUSHY THANGIAH CEO of Yumba-Meta Limited DUSHY THANGIAH CEO of Yumba-Meta Limited
CEO of Yumba-Meta Housing Association Ltd, Dushy has extensive community housing experience having been employed at Yumba-Meta Housing Association since 1995. During her time Yumba-Meta has evolved from an organization with 33 houses providing only long term housing to Indigenous families, to an organization that provides short term, medium term and long term housing for all disadvantaged groups. The organization also manages a number of Support programs which has resulted in the organization now employing over 70 people.
Dushy initially came to Australia in 1988, spent one year in Sydney and then four years in Darwin and moved to Townsville in 1994. Dushy has the following qualifications: • Justice of the Peace • Management Accountant (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants London) • Graduate certificate in housing management and policy from Swinburne University in Melbourne. Dushy was a member of the Queensland standards and accreditation council for 4 years, and was a member of the task force Managing Public intoxication in Townsville. Neil Willmett CEO of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland and to formally establish the organisation Neil Willmett CEO of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland and to formally establish the organisation
Neil is a national leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander housing, health, economic development and administration. He is known as a leading thinker and for his work in strategy and policy development and implementation. He has a successful track record at the SES (Senior Executive Service) level and equivalent Principal Executive Officer level, leading the development of complex and sensitive economic, social and housing and health policy, projects and initiatives as well as structural, capability and cultural change reforms. He played a key role in the development of the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017 – 2027; the Queensland Building Plan (2017); and the Queensland Procurement Policy (2017); as well as the implementation of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH). He has also led a number of other national and state policies and programs over the last 20 years. Neil was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer in December 2020. As the CEO, he was responsible for establishing the organisation, and is now responsible for implementing the strategic vision of the organisation and overall management of the organisation. He is committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing organisations and Indigenous Councils in Queensland continue to be a driving force in social and affordable housing and housing solutions. Throughout his career, Neil has led a number of peak body organisations and is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC). While the Chief Executive Officer of QAIHC between 2017 and 2020, he built member sustainability, improved partnerships and advocated strongly for inward investment in the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heath Sector. This saw the Sector revenue increase from 350 million in 2017 to over 450 million in 2020. With national and international experience in business strategy, policy and change leadership within dynamic business environments, Neil has a proven track record in achieving outcomes. This has been forged while in leadership roles in Australia, government, the private sector and whilst a visiting (Winston) Churchill Leadership Fellow in the USA, Canada and New Zealand. Neil brings to the Chief Executive Officer role a deep understanding and broad experience and knowledge in executive management, housing and homelessness, strategy execution, policy development, and professional membership organisations. His experience and knowledge are complemented with a public health degree from the University of Queensland. He is also a published business author. Neil has connections to the Waanyi people of the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Kuku Yalanji people of Far North Queensland Andrew Davis Project Manager at Unity Housing Company Ltd Andrew Davis Project Manager at Unity Housing Company Ltd
Andrew has over thirty years of experience in senior leadership roles within the private and not-for-profit sectors. For over 20 years Andrew has served in senior positions in disability services, refugee re-settlement, community housing and homelessness sectors. He has also served on the boards of various peak bodies and sector reference groups in the not-for-profit sector.
Andrew served on the Board of the AHI for 6 years and was the President for 4 years. Andrew has previously worked in community housing with Anglicare SA and Junction Australia – and for the past 7 years he has worked for Unity Housing Company in South Australia, where he is Project Manager. Ollie Sutherland Community Housing Programs & Systems at Venture Housing Company Ltd Ollie Sutherland Community Housing Programs & Systems at Venture Housing Company Ltd
Ollie has extensive experience implementing and managing complex projects and systems to support sustainable, transparent, organised business process. Ollie adopts key principles of project management coupled with natural creativity and enthusiasm for continuous improvement to successfully streamline processes, negotiate and influence people to innovate and embrace change.
In her previous role, Ollie played an integral part in responding to the complex COVID 19 aged care operating environment across Regional and Remote areas of the Northern Territory. Navigating changing legislation and adapting policy and processes to mitigate risks, to meet business needs and fast-changing workplace and consumer expectations. Her nearly 10 years experience within the human services sector, passion for social justice and in-depth understanding of ageing in place provides her with a broad platform to build strong relationships with stakeholders and multidisciplinary subject matter experts through thorough consultation, to effectively develop and implement new initiatives to improve outcomes for people in need. In her short time with Venture Housing, Ollie has successfully implemented three new IT systems, project managed the preparation and development of tenders and submissions for new business opportunities and lead the development, design, system architecture and integration of the Rent Choice Program.