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Catherine Yeomans
Chief Executive Officer
Mission Australia

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Catherine was appointed CEO in March 2014. Prior to this, Catherine served as Chief Operating Officer, and during that time held responsibility for functional areas including advocacy, media, marketing, fundraising, HR, legal, IT, procurement and property. With a law degree by academic background, Catherine has held senior management roles in a broad spectrum of fields across the corporate sector. She is a Director of Mission Australia Early Learning, Mission Australia Housing, Mission Australia Housing (Victoria) and Many Rivers Microfinance Limited. Catherine is passionate about social justice and actively speaks out against inequality on behalf of the people we serve.


Speaking On:
KEYNOTE: Place based & community development approaches to reducing homelessness
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Rebecca Pinkstone
General Manager, Operations
Bridge Housing

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Rebecca Pinkstone has over twelve years experience in social housing. Rebecca joined Bridge Housing in June 2013 and is currently responsible for its asset, applicant and tenancy management functions as well as its community engagement initiatives. Before joining Bridge Housing, Rebecca worked in a variety of senior operational and policy roles to deliver major social housing reform initiatives to improve services and grow both the Aboriginal and mainstream community housing sectors. Rebecca is a passionate advocate for affordable housing and the fundamental role that social housing plays in providing stable housing for those in need.


Speaking On:
Implementing a housing first approach in the private rental market
Opening remarks from the Chair
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Katherine McKernan
Chief Executive Officer
Homelessness NSW

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Felicity Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
The Mercy Foundation

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Felicity Reynolds is working to end homelessness in Australia. She has been the CEO of the Mercy Foundation since 2008 and has previously worked in senior management roles in homelessness, mental health and health research.

 

Felicity is a former Churchill Fellow and was Chair of a women’s housing and homelessness service and Chair of the Nepean regional Homelessness Taskforce for 4 years until 2014. She is currently a Director of the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness and, since 2005, she has been a part-time member of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal.

 

Felicity co-authored the chapter on homelessness services reform in the Book ‘Homelessness in Australia: An Introduction’ published by UNSW Press in September 2014.


Speaking On:
Opening remarks from the Chair
Ending chronic homelessness & taking permanent supportive housing to scale in Australia
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Kathryn Williams
Manager Housing Services
Wentworth Community Housing

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Cathy Humphrey
Chief Executive Officer
Sacred Heart Mission

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Cathy Humphrey has been with the Mission for more than 12 years. During this time, she has overseen the operations of a number of different service areas at the Mission including Aged Care, Sacred Heart Central, Women’s Services and the Rooming House Plus Program, in addition to taking on the CEO role.

 

Cathy has been working in the disability, community housing and homelessness sector for more than 20 years, and has been working in areas more specifically focused on people experiencing homelessness, both in government and in various not for profit organisations since 1996.

 

Cathy has qualifications in social welfare, disabilities, administration, training and executive coaching. Cathy currently sits as a director on the board of Council to Homeless Persons, the peak body for organisations working with people who are homeless in Victoria.


Speaking On:
Investing in individuals through tailored & long-term support
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Karyn Walsh
Chief Executive Officer
Micah Projects

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Karyn Walsh is the CEO of Micah Projects, a not for profit organisation in Brisbane. Micah Projects is committed to social justice through service provision and advocacy to improve the lives of disadvantaged and marginalised people, including people who are homeless.

 

Over the past 20 years the organisation has been actively involved in change process in our service provision and in advocacy for investment toward more effective policy and programs which can end homelessness with individuals and families rather than constantly managing their homelessness – resulting in years of living on the streets, in overcrowding situations, in cars and transitional housing.

 

an organisation we are committed to integrated services which provide individuals and families with resources, services and opportunities to have a home, connection with their families and a quality of life.  Karyn is a Founding Member and active in the Australian Common Ground Alliance. She was the President of the Queensland Council of Social Services for 7 years and a Board Member of Australian Council of Social Services. Karyn has worked in the not for profit sector and homelessness for 35 years.


Speaking On:
Addressing homeless people’s primary needs
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Jenny Ranft
Manager Community Services
Wentworth Community Housing

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Jenny joined Wentworth Community Housing in October 2014. Person centred service is at the heart of Jenny’s work to strengthen families and individuals and to build community. She has led teams and managed programs to deliver prevention, early intervention and intensive support services to people in Western Sydney from within government and non-government organisations for over 30 years. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Sydney Unit and a Masters in Applied Science – Social Ecology from Western Sydney.


Speaking On:
How community housing can be part of the solution to end homelessness
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Cindi Petersen
Executive Officer
Launchpad Youth Community

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Cindi has over 20 years’ experience in the human services sector in non-government, state government and local government organisations.

 

Most of her experience had been in the youth, homelessness and health sectors and she also has a Masters in Community Management from UTS.

 

Her strengths are in the development, implementation and evaluation of projects, developing strategic responses to complex issues and fostering community connectedness.


Speaking On:
Supporting young people experiencing homelessness
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Trina Geasley
Manager, Homelessness
City of Sydney

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Trina Geasley is Manager, Homelessness at The City of Sydney. Trina is responsible for leadership and coordination of the Homelessness Unit creating strategies to effectively reduce homelessness and its impact in Sydney.

 

Trina has a BA in Communications from Dublin City University and a Masters of Arts in Community Development from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Trina has completed research in community participation in disadvantaged urban communities. Trina has worked in a range of Government and Non-Government organisations in Ireland, Western Australia, London and Sydney.

 

Trina is an experienced stakeholder engagement professional and is committed to creating collaborative strategies to strengthen communities and facilitate positive social change.


Speaking On:
How to achieve collaborative action
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Stephanie Oatley
Chief Executive Officer
Platform Youth Services

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Stephanie has worked in the Youth Specialist Homelessness Sector for 24 years as a General Manager, providing leadership to an increasingly growing service system in the Nepean/Blue Mountains LGA. She has successfully and with cooperation brought teams together for improved services to clients and better work place environments for staff.

 

Stephanie was responsible for the emergence of Platform Youth Service – a community based Specialist Homelessness Service which sees the amalgamation of both Nepean Youth Accommodation Service and Blue Mountains Youth Accommodation and Support Services programs including their programs such as Katoomba and Penrith Houses, Willowtree Young Parents Program, Transitional Housing and Outreach Case Management. Her passion for youth and the establishment of community has seen the creation of the Glue Factory Model of service delivery providing immediate assistance options to vulnerable young people under 25 now operating in four locations district wide.

 

In 2014 Stephanie was awarded the Zest award for Outstanding Community Leader in recognition ofher work both internally and externally with stakeholders. She has presented at various forums, conferences and interagencies as well as participated in numerous round table discussions, working parties and reference groups.

 

Stephanie holds tertiary qualifications in Social Science (Youth work/psychology) and has displayed commitment to her learning and development, particularly in leadership and management.


Speaking On:
How community housing can be part of the solution to end homelessness
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Catherine Goodwin
Manager, Partners in Recovery
South East Sydney Medicare Local

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Catherine Goodwin has worked in the non-government mental health sector for the past 10 years, in both direct support and management roles. She is currently the manager of the South Eastern Sydney Partners in Recovery Program and has managed mental health and homelessness services including: Way2home assertive outreach, HASI, PHaMs & the Recovery & Resources Services Program.

 

She is a Psychologist currently practicing in the ATAPS program and a qualified trainer and assessor, currently training staff from the mental health sector in the Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management. In her career to date Catherine has demonstrated a strong commitment to recovery oriented service provision and a passion for ensuring access to quality services for those most vulnerable in our community.


Speaking On:
Facilitating rapid re-housing for rough sleepers
INTERACTIVE PANEL: How to implement an early intervention program
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Jeff Fiedler
Manager
Housing for the Aged Action Group

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Jeff Fiedler is Co-Manager, with April Bragg, of the Home at Last Service of Housing for the Aged Action Group. Home at Last is funded by the Department of Health & Human Services in Victoria to provide early intervention services to prevent homelessness amongst the growing cohort of older people that are at risk of homelessness.

 

HAAG also receives funding from Consumer Affairs Victoria for tenancy and retirement housing services and the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to provide an outreach care and housing service under the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) Program.


Speaking On:
INTERACTIVE PANEL: How to implement an early intervention program
Identifying those at risk of becoming homeless
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Barb McKenna
Manager, Operations
St George Community Housing

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Barb McKenna has worked in the social housing sector for almost 30 years at both an operational and management level. Barb is currently the Manager of Operations at SGCH. Prior to moving to SGCH in 2012, Barb worked for the Department of Family and Community Services (formerly Housing NSW) in a range of policy and project development roles including in the Homelessness Unit and in the Community Home and Place Directorate.


Speaking On:
Unpacking the role of social housing providers in preventing evictions
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Wendy Hayhurst
Chief Executive Officer
NSW Federation of Housing Associations

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Wendy was appointed as the NSW Federation of Housing Association’s CEO in March 2015. In this role she represents the Federation in public and with external agencies and participates in a range of advisory, regulatory and consultative bodies.

 

Wendy has broad experience in senior managerial roles and as a non-executive director in a wide range of housing provider organisations, regulatory bodies, specialist consultancies and performance benchmarking organisations. Immediately before taking up the role with the Federation she worked at the NSW Regulator, in shaping and administering the National Regulatory System.

 

Wendy has degrees from both Oxford and Sydney Universities; graduating from the latter with an Executive Masters in Public Administration taught through the Australian and New Zealand School of Government. She is also has a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing in the UK.


Speaking On:
KEYNOTE: Tackling a lack of housing through meaningful partnerships
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Superintendent Michael Fitzgerald
Kings Cross Local Area Commander
NSW Police

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Jamie Brewer
Inner City Homelessness Manager
NSW Family and Community Services

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