Mr Terry Downing – Chair Argyle Housing
Welcome to everyone who takes an interest or plays a part in Argyle Housing. The Annual Report for 2018/2019 provides an overview of our business for the past year. Beyond statistics and data, there are stories about the people who make this organisation what it is today – a place that is all about community. Reflecting on the achievements of the last 12 months, it is apparent that none of these would have been possible without the element of respect that we adhere to in all that we do. You will find the theme of respect throughout the report and I hope it resonates with each person on some level.
Respect is a core value of Argyle Housing and one that defines our interactions with others and the basis on which we operate within the workplace and in the wider community. The act of respecting a fellow human being shows that we have regard for their feelings, wishes and rights. Respect has to be earned. We show respect each day by recognising every person’s differing circumstances and being there for them through challenges and successes.
Every tenant has a personal story that defines why they are at this point in their lives. A respectful approach to each individual tenant’s needs allows us to work together to gain successful outcomes.
At Argyle Housing we endeavour to do what we say we’ll do and offer assistance, and respect the abilities of others.
The abilities of our staff in their fields of expertise have earned respect and in many cases, appreciation from tenants and community partners. We work on a regular basis with a diverse array of stakeholders including tenants, businesses, government representatives, charities and community agencies. Our aim is to always be respectful and that in turn builds a solid foundation for long term positive relationships.
Tenant participation within the business has proven to be successful in creating stronger relationships between tenants and Argyle Housing staff. A mutual respect and admiration for each other has led to tenants and staff having clear and open discussions about how to best serve the needs of tenants and the broader community. Through listening to tenants and respecting their ideas, we have been able to directly change the way we approach and manage some of the core business procedures and policies.
This relationship based model ensures that our staff have the ability to step in and assist tenants to create positive change within their lives. Recently Alex Ho, our Tenancy Officer in Ainslie Village, significantly changed a tenant’s life by linking her with dental services. Dental care had been hard to access but Alex was able to help this tenant with the complex forms and processes and assist her in speaking to the relevant people to gain free dental care. Corrective dental work has built this tenant’s confidence, bringing her new opportunities.
Respect within the workplace is integral to building better communication, higher morale, and greater connections, which in turn leads to long working relationships. It also makes employees feel their work is valued and recognised.
I am pleased to announce that this year we have a significant number of staff who have hit milestones of service with Argyle Housing. Six staff members have achieved five years of service, and I am very pleased to acknowledge Michele Ward and Sally Couchman for achieving 10 years of service. This dedication to Argyle Housing is to be commended, but I would also like to thank all of our staff for a successful year.
This success has been demonstrated in Argyle Housing putting forward nominations to all of the six categories in the Powerhousing Australia Awards. These awards provide an opportunity for Argyle Housing to showcase our staff and our organisation’s achievements. These acknowledge the Community Housing Provider sector and the community at large, as well as the difference that PowerHousing members make to the lives of tenants, local communities and our nation.
There are six categories and this year Argyle Housing is pleased to announce the following staff members and their teams have been nominated for:
Category One – Outstanding Achievement Award and Scholarship
Jennifer Chapman, Team Leader – Griffith, Young and Yass
Category Two – Rising Star
Madeleine Napolitano, Team Leader – Humanitarian Settlement Program
Wollongong, Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Albury
Category Three – Excellence in Tenant Engagement and Social Inclusion
Tenancy Action Workers – Simone Phillips, Megan Mason, Sally Phillips, Alana Brown, Alarna Thomson, Jamie-Lee Sturgiss, Pema Sedon, Kerryn Bishop
Category Four – Project Leadership and Innovation
Older Women in Housing – Justin Nyholm, Property and Asset Services Manager
Category Five – Team Award
ACT team – Cherie Tizzoni, Pema Sedon, Alex Ho, Lauren Stewart, Julie Macie, Nicole Whatford, Dean Montgomery
Category Six – Business Partner Award
Australian Red Cross, the Humanitarian Settlement Program and Argyle Housing
Award winners will be announced at the PowerHousing Member Exchange Dinner and Awards Ceremony on 26 November 2019 at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
The success of Argyle Housing also depends on the respect we have gained over the years with the broader communities in which we serve and thrive. Without our ongoing relationships with government at local, state and federal levels, support services, private developers and local businesses, Argyle Housing would not be able to provide the range of housing services that we offer tenants. As a business, we are growing and we rely on these relationships to build better communities for our tenants.
Wagga Wagga is a regional city in which we have a range of housing options for tenants. The expected growth in population is 100,000 more people by 2032. To assist in the projected growth, Argyle Housing is working with the broader community on the Tolland Gardens project.
Tolland Gardens is our long term housing goal where we are connecting local councils, state government, property developers, support services and the federal government to create a model community within Wagga Wagga that is the right mix of private, affordable and social housing. The revitalisation of Tolland Gardens will create an environment where people feel respected and safe within their community. We are very excited about this project and the opportunities it brings to connect the relevant parties to iron out problems and find solutions to the range of issues that building a new community housing project brings.
Business partnerships are essential so we can continue to grow Argyle Housing and offer more safe and secure housing options to people in need. The partnership between Red Cross and Argyle Housing plays a vital part in managing the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP). This program offers support to refugees and humanitarian entrants into Australia by providing safe housing and building the skills and knowledge they need to become self-reliant, respected and active members of the Australian community. Red Cross partnered with Argyle Housing and won the five year tender to deliver humanitarian programs.
Samir Aziz Ali and his family are an example of how the HSP has helped show a level of respect and care for this family’s needs in their pursuit of freedom from persecution for their cultural beliefs. Samir Aziz Ali and his family fled to Iraq, where they lived for four years in a refugee camp. It was from Iraq that Samir, who has two children with disabilities, was assisted to come to Australia. Samir has said that having a home in Australia means that they are free and living without discrimination. It does not matter whether you were born here or whether you immigrated here, we are all equal and respected members of the community.
The partnership of Red Cross and Argyle Housing is very important for the success of housing security for the incoming entrants to Australia. During 2018/19, the HSP housed 1,099 individuals in 223 families, with Wagga Wagga housing 429 individuals. This is the first time that a Community Housing Provider is sourcing accommodation in partnership with a large multinational company.
This year we welcomed Tracey Wadsworth and Julian Sawicki to the Argyle Housing Board. They bring a range of experience with them from their long careers in community housing, finance, property, risk management and human resources. Their contributions to date have been valuable and we look forward to a successful long term relationship with them both.
We also appointed Trevor Fair to the position of Argyle Housing Patron. Trevor is a well-known face at Argyle Housing having served on the board for 10 years before retiring in 2018.
As a member and past president of the Bowral-Mittagong Rotary Club, Trevor is committed to helping bring about positive change in the community and lending a helping hand when required.
Finally we would like to thank Pamela Edwards for her valued contribution to the Argyle Housing Board. Pamela was appointed in April 2012 and brought with her extensive business and legal experience in Australia, the UK and Europe. She has also served the community on the boards of Australian arts organisations.
I thank all the employees, tenants, community partners and board members who have made this year such a success.
Welcome to the 2019 Annual Report for Argyle Housing.
Welcome to everyone who takes an interest or plays a part in Argyle Housing. The Annual Report for 2018/2019 provides an overview of our business for the past year. Beyond statistics and data, there are stories about the people who make this organisation what it is today – a place that is all about community. Reflecting on the achievements of the last 12 months, it is apparent that none of these would have been possible without the element of respect that we adhere to in all that we do. You will find the theme of respect throughout the report and I hope it resonates with each person on some level.Read the full report
We have regard for the feelings, wishes and rights of everybody
Respect is a large umbrella, covering everything we do. It means different things to different people.
To us, it means practising tolerance and being considerate of the feelings of others, honouring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings.
Argyle Housing’s approach or actions in response to our tenants crystallises the need for us to maintain respect and empathy. Every tenant has a personal story that defines why they are where they are at this current point in their lives. A respectful approach to each person’s needs allows us to work together to gain better outcomes for tenants.
It is a two-way street ensuring employees respect the business, and allowing employees to feel their work is valued and recognised. A respectful workplace can significantly increase job satisfaction and productivity, which in turn will benefit our tenants.
Argyle Community Housing acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.
Argyle Housing is governed by a Board of Directors who bring a diverse set of skills, experience and knowledge to guide the strategic direction of Argyle, while our Chief Executive Officer and Leadership Team lead an organisation of dedicated individuals to implement this strategy.
Chairman of the Board
Terry is an experienced non-executive director with current and prior positions in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He brings extensive financial, risk management, corporate governance and commercial experience to the Argyle Board.
Terry was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 4 April 2012.
Pamela has extensive experience in the investment management business in Australia, the UK and Europe. Prior to that, Pamela was a partner in a prominent Australian law firm. She has also served the community on the boards of Australian arts organisations.
Pamela was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 4 April 2012.
Susan is a non-executive director in the not-for-profit sector and previously in the public sector. She has over 30 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer in the private and public sectors including insurance and electricity. Susan has executive experience as General Counsel of Ausgrid and General Counsel and Company Secretary of Royal & Sun Alliance.
Susan was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 1 January 2016.
Donna is an experienced Company Secretary and Non-Executive Director with proven governance & risk management expertise. She has significant board level experience and leverages her strong record of accomplishment in leading change and resolving complex business issues. Donna’s rich experience, ranging from start-up businesses to large-scale organisations, enables her to engage effectively and credibly with a broad range of stakeholders and provide sound business leadership in changing environments. Donna has executive experience across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors including Qantas, Macquarie Bank and the University of Newcastle, where she has been responsible for achieving operational efficiencies, implementing significant change programs, establishing corporate service functions and governance frameworks.
Donna was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 1 January 2016.
Chris has 36 years of broad-ranging experience in the property industry, covering property funds management (both listed and unlisted); property and asset management; property investment (including acquisition and divestment); property development; project management; financial management; marketing; sustainability; and corporate governance and compliance. He has experience both on-shore (Australia) and offshore (as Regional Head of Asset Management for Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore, with LaSalle Investment Management).
During his career, Chris also has held senior roles with GPT Group, Lendlease, BT Funds Management / Principal Financial Group, Colliers International, Jones Lang Wootton (now JLL) and, early in his career, in the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments. Chris is a non-executive director of Harbison Memorial Retirement Village and is a member of Harbison’s Built Environment Development and Risk & Audit committees. He is currently managing director of Pindari Capital, a funds management company wholly owned by Mulpha Australia.
Chris was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 1 January 2018.
Yvette has over 25 years’ experience in public practice as a Chartered Accountant, working with private groups and not-for profit organisations.
Yvette is currently an independent member of the Governance, Audit & Risk Committee for Shellharbour City Council, and was previously a Trustee and Deputy Chair of Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust and a member of NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity. Yvette has extensive experience in financial and risk management, corporate governance, business operations and commercial management.
Yvette was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 1 January 2018.
Tracey has over 25 years in the property and finance sectors in strategic property and financial advisory, development and project management as well as asset and property management. Tracey has held senior executive positions in both the public and private sector nationally and internationally including with Landcom, Royal Bank of Scotland, CRI and Tamaki Regeneration Company.
Throughout this time, Tracey has been involved in a number of large scale social and urban renewal projects including most recently the Tamaki Regeneration Programme in Auckland, New Zealand. This is the largest social regeneration project in New Zealand seeking to improve the social and economic well-being of a key area of Auckland.
Tracey’s property and commercial background is coupled with a strong understanding of the social and community housing sector.
Tracey was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 1 May 2019.
Julian Sawicki has a 25 year career in executive management and membership of boards. This experience covers financial management, strategic planning, risk management, human resources and culture, quality and compliance with a strong understanding of board governance principles arising from completion of the Company Directors course via the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Julian’s passion for community services is reflected in his senior and Chief Executive Roles with values based organisations providing a wide range of community and personal support services throughout South Australia. His experience in community housing policy and practice arises from significant involvement with community housing companies such as Westside Housing and Unity Housing. This practical experience coupled with knowledge of government policy adds to his board experience in the superannuation, community services, community housing and disability services sectors.
Julian believes that access to safe, secure and affordable housing is essential for a fair community if its members are to participate fully in the life of their community.
Julian was appointed to the Argyle Housing Board on 1 May 2019.
The Board of Directors is proud to present Argyle Housing’s Strategic Plan for 2018/21. The Strategic Plan is tenant and community focused with an emphasis on how Argyle Housing can provide more housing options, exceptional tenancy experience and opportunities for tenants to achieve the best possible outcomes in their lives.
The review completed in 2018 was an opportunity for Argyle Housing to plan how, as an organisation, it can meet the housing needs of the communities in which we operate. The Strategic Plan 2018/21 provides a framework for Argyle Housing to build local partnerships that fulfil and respect the specific needs of the community and to respond quickly and effectively to wider growth opportunities that may arise.
To deliver quality housing options and connections to our community
We have regard for the feelings, wishes and rights of everybody
We seek out ways to improve and add value to the delivery of our services
We are accountable for what we do and how we do it
We face our challenges, we learn and we move forward
Assist people on low to moderate income by providing access to housing solutions
Encourage the involvement of people and organisations in the solution of problems affecting community
Foster an inclusive and positive workplace environment
Develop strong and effective relationships and partnerships to achieve positive outcomes for the people and communities we serve
Increase housing options while sustaining current assets