|TOTAL WORKFORCE as at 30/6/18
|NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WHO IDENTIFY AS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
3 employees with tenure of 5 years
1 employee with tenure of 10 years
2 employees with tenure of 11 years
1 employee with tenure of 13 years
Average tenure: 3 years
Average age: 44 years
|Yr 12 - HSC
|Diploma - Advanced
|Degree - Bachelor
|Degree - Masters
The Board of Argyle Housing is proud to announce the appointment of Trevor Fair as Argyle Housing’s second Patron following the passing of our first Patron, Chris Benton.
“I am honoured to follow Chris Benton, a fellow Rotarian, who was passionate about Community Housing and Argyle Housing in particular. When offered the position of Patron, I felt it both an honour and duty to make sure that the efforts invested by Chris in Argyle Housing are remembered and built on into the future.”
Trevor is a well-known face at Argyle Housing having served on the board for nine years and 11 months before retiring in 2018. Trevor held the position as Chair of the Remuneration Committee on retirement and was responsible for providing the Financial Report to stakeholders at the annual meeting.
A quiet achiever, Trevor helped to guide Argyle Housing through a significant period of growth in which Argyle’s housing portfolio increased from approximately 500 properties to over 2,000 properties.
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.
“I will continue to provide support and encouragement to the Board and hope to remain an integral part of the Argyle Housing story for many years to come.” Trevor Fair.
Jennifer Chapman is the Team Leader for the Griffith, Young and Yass cluster of offices covering a vast geographical area of over 400 km between sites with a small team of Tenancy Officers and Tenancy Action Workers.
The current number of Argyle Housing properties that Jennifer and her team are responsible for:
Griffith – 109 properties
Young – 160 properties
Yass – 115 properties
Upon commencing with Argyle Housing, Jennifer undertook substantial practice changes across all locations, particularly in Young and Yass where there had been stock transfers from Family and Community Services. One of her main focus areas was addressing the high rate of staff turnover in the district offices. Given the remoteness and isolation, Jennifer restored faith and respect by ensuring that her management style was based on having clear goals for the Argyle Housing staff and providing a platform whereby staff feel valued, recognised and trusted in their positions. Jennifer has shown resilience, tenacity and innovative approaches in engaging tenants to have their say through an over 95 per cent return to the biannual tenant satisfaction survey.
After reviewing the Argyle Housing tenancies in the districts, it was found that rent arrears were extremely high. Jennifer provided training, mentoring and support to her team on developing their practice with the primary motivation of sustaining tenancies and bringing down the percentage of arrears. This was done by training the Tenancy Officers on specific ways of evaluating tenants’ needs and building a relationship-based model with them. By understanding the specific needs of tenants, Tenancy Officers were able to guide tenants to support services, such as financial planning. This has led to a 90 per cent reduction of rent arrears within the Griffith region and an 80 per cent reduction in Yass.
This relationship-based model has also built trust and respect between the tenants and Argyle Housing. The team has been given the tools to work with tenants effectively, through increased communication with the tenants has alleviated their concerns. Jennifer has also ensured that the tenants know the office has an open-door policy, where they are always welcomed in the office to find an Argyle Housing staff member who will listen carefully to their needs or issues, and act on their concerns.
Alongside her work with the Argyle Housing team and tenants, Jennifer has also been building and restoring partnerships with the local businesses. When she started in her role, the team faced a large number of 90-day notices from real estate agents that Argyle Housing had tenancies with. This was partly due to the upturn in industry and economic growth within the region and landlords were taking advantage of this by evicting Argyle Housing tenants and increasing rent rates by over 50 per cent. Jennifer and her team approached the agents and worked closely with them to restore a fragile relationship resulting in some notices to vacate being withdrawn. Over time, the relationship between Argyle Housing, local businesses, and support services have been rebuilt. The success of this relationship means that tenants feel supported within their homes, tenancies sustained, there are less evictions and housing stress on social housing has been relieved within the region.
Throughout her term as Team Leader, Jennifer has developed key working relationships with community support providers, entering into support and partnership agreements to support Argyle Housing tenants, engaging with local police on community policing strategies, and holding a particular focus on the delivery of housing and support to tenants experiencing domestic and family violence. Jennifer also has close working relationships with Women’s domestic violence court advocacy service and attendance at Safety Action Meetings. She attends monthly meetings with the Linking Communities Network, monthly inter-agency meetings, provides transitional properties for the Youth and Women’s refuge and ensures Argyle Housing staff are involved with community events such as NAIDOC week.
Jennifer’s work with her team has ensured that tenants in these areas see Argyle Housing as a ‘safe place to land’, where they are supported through the good times and the bad, to make mistakes and recover from them without fear of homelessness.
The return to the biannual tenant survey earlier this year for Jennifer’s district was impressive with over 95 per cent survey return rate in Griffith and Young, with above benchmark in tenant satisfaction.
The purpose of this survey was to obtain candid feedback from Argyle employees on what they like and don’t like about working at Argyle. The survey was launched on 8 August 2019 and was open for all employees to complete for a 2 week period. The survey closed on 20 August 2019.
The survey consisted of 34 questions/sections and took approximately 35 minutes to complete. Each question/section of the survey asked employees to indicate their level of agreeance with a range of statements, and provided the opportunity for employees to share greater details on their thoughts for improvement as well as the areas in which Argyle excelled.
Overall, the results were relatively positive in nature and demonstrated that employees at Argyle enjoy working here and are proud of the work that Argyle does within their local communities.
The key areas that have been identified are areas that need IMPROVING include:
The key areas that have been identified are areas that need MAINTAINING include:
Our staff make outstanding contributions across housing, tenant engagement, and staff wellbeing. We are proud to recognise, reward and celebrate the achievements of so many of our people through a range of award programs.
There are five awards which employees are able to be nominated for:
WINNER: Cherrie Tizzoni, Team Leader (ACT)
Cherie received two nominations for this award.
In the short time that Cherie has been with Argyle Housing she has demonstrated through her work that she lives Argyle Housing’s values. Cherie has embraced the diversity of the tenant base in the ACT and has shown enormous care and respect for the tenants through all her interactions. Cherie has provided a strong role model for her team in developing positive working relationships with tenants regardless of their background or circumstance. She has led the ACT team to greatly enhance the safety and the quality of life of the residents.
She encourages the team to take every opportunity to improve services for tenants across all ACT sites with a strong focus on giving tenants a voice and always striving for Argyle Housing to do better.
WINNER: Madeleine Napolitano, Team Leader (HSP)
Madeleine has spent countless hours developing systems, tools, working documents and procedures for the HSP program, and has demonstrated considerable initiative and innovation in the development process. Madeleine has been striving to build the systems that not only support the work that we do with the tenants in this complex program, but also in continuously looking to improve systems that support and capture the maximum return from this contract. Madeleine has done this under the most trying of circumstances; remotely across four sites and with considerable staffing issues.
WINNER: Alana Brown, Tenancy Action Worker (Griffith)
Alana received two nominations for this award.
Alana has consistently worked with tenant wellbeing as a key focus of her role. There are a number of examples where Alana has made a substantial impact to a tenant’s wellbeing. A recent example was an elderly tenant with early onset dementia who had no family support in NSW and was receiving inadequate levels of aged care services with increasing rates of unaffordable and questionable billing. Alana worked closely with the tenant and reviewed their Aged Care billing, identifying a number of erroneous charges. Alana met with the service and raised a complaint with the Aged Care Complaints Commission for investigation. Alana also tracked down the tenant’s son in far North Queensland to provide information on the rapid decline in the tenant’s health and as a consequence, the son travelled to Griffith to be with the tenant and to make arrangements for the tenant to live with his family.
WINNER: Lauren Stewart, Tenancy Officer (ACT)
Lauren is always striving to improve her practice to benefit our residents. Lauren goes above and beyond her role on a daily basis. For example, she recently attended the hospital to interview a homeless person in order for them to be discharged to a home of their own, and not on to the street. Lauren is caring and understanding when residents are facing adversities and hardship and residents often come to her for advice, assistance and support, even if they are not managed by Lauren.
Lauren respects the residents at Ainslie Village and in return she has earnt respect from them. Lauren is able to solve any problem that she may face and works with great enthusiasm. She is pro-active on a daily basis, and does not hesitate to take on a challenge.
Lauren is flexible, adaptable, resilient and a much respected member of the ACT Argyle Housing team.
WINNER: Alex Ho, Tenancy Action Worker (ACT)
Alex has been pro-active in sourcing external services to have a presence on site at Ainslie Village to acknowledge the diversity of residents and their needs.
Examples of services that are available for our residents thanks to Alex are: NDIS weekly, Centrelink officer fortnightly, CAHMA which is a peer led service promoting harm minimisation in relation to substance use, mental health services, Directions Healt, mobile dental van, IT workshops, referring residents to pursue education and employment as well as being very supportive and proactive in sourcing other services. Alex has also sourced other services which are on site in Conder such as Baptist Care, My Aged Care, mobile polling booth, senior activities such as yoga, knitting, bingo and other health related services.
Alex goes above and beyond for all his tenants and has helped with mobility scooters, specialised beds to make our residents more comfortable and helps to liaise and coordinate services that are improving the lives and experiences of our residents. Alex has been successful in engaging services to assist and support residents to maintain their tenancies.
Alex has been described as “an angel sent from heaven” on many occasions by our residents. If there is a challenge, or crisis situation Alex is always there to assist and lend a helping hand, nothing is too hard or out of his league. Alex is to be recognised for the hard work that he does every day, that does not go unnoticed by staff or residents.
The Staff Tenure award is an opportunity for Argyle Housing to recognise our employees for their longevity and achievements within the organisation.
10 Years of Service:
5 Years of Service:
Argyle housing is a learning organisation that recognises, respects and nurtures individual employees’ skills and capabilities. At Argyle Housing we support professional development for all staff focussing on core values, attitudes and the practical skills needed to support and deliver a respectful, professional and empathetic service to our customers.
Training events also provide the opportunity for networking with other Community Housing Providers and community organisations. These opportunities are an invaluable tool in growing an understanding of the sector we work in and the people we serve.
Respecting the part every person plays in an organisation such as Argyle Housing is fundamental to an efficient operation. Some are in direct contact with tenants while others keep busy behind the scenes. One of the people who holds an essential role is Mark Wood, who joined the Argyle Housing team earlier this year in the role of Finance Officer – payroll.
Mark’s experience and commitment to this role is evident through the following responses.
What attracted you to Argyle Housing?
In the past I have always worked for profit driven entities but I had been interested in doing work that gives back to community. Argyle Housing attracted my attention as it allowed me to use my financial knowledge in a role that supported our amazing Tenancy Officers to do such great work for those less fortunate than us.
I really like being able to work and live in the same town and get to know people that are passionate about making a difference to the world.
What are you looking forward to in your position at Argyle Housing?
I love making changes that improve the way we work and make our working lives easier so we can focus on what really matters – supporting our tenants and each other to live better and more fulfilling lives. I have only been here 10 months but now feel confident in understanding where processes can be improved. There is much work to do but I’m enthusiastic about creating efficiencies that allow me to support the Argyle Housing team better. My happy place would be creating a spreadsheet or improving a process that saves us hundreds of hours every year.
What changes in processes have you implemented to make working at Argyle Housing easier?
I am currently in the process of implementing a new HR & Payroll system called ELMO. I believe this will have huge benefits in efficiency, communication and feeling connected. Not only will you be able to process and manage leave requests on-line but each staff member will be able to manage their own profile and access relevant information. Potentially in the future, training courses and work flow communication will be utilised through ELMO. This is all in addition to the HR and Payroll benefits, saving time, paper and improving controls.
What was most surprising to you about Argyle Housing?
I was surprised we had offices as far away as Wagga Wagga and Albury. I look forward to visiting the different offices over time and getting to know the people behind the friendly voices I speak to on the phone.
How can Argyle Housing be most helpful to you right now?
Embrace technology, be collaborative and supportive in overcoming challenges and understanding of the pressures faced.
What is your work history?
In my first job after school I managed an Ice Creamery and tried not to eat the profits during my gap year. I then studied at ANU and worked the graveyard shift (11pm-7am) at the Braddon Mobil Service Station in Canberra. Most of my career since, I have worked for Colonial First State in funds management. I started in Client Services assisting investors on the phone and ended managing a team of fund accountants that analysed fund movements. I have also worked as a retained fire fighter which was my childhood dream job.
What is one of your defining moments in life up to now?
Quitting my beloved but consuming Sydney job to spend more time with my young daughters after commuting from Bowral for two years. It was well worth it.
The Chris Benton Perpetual Award is in recognition of the many years of guidance and support Chris Benton provided Argyle Housing, first as Chairman of the board and later as our patron.
This award is presented each year at Argyle Housing’s Annual Stakeholder Meeting and recognises an individual within Argyle Housing that has demonstrated the following qualities throughout their work:
“Receiving Argyle Housing’s highest staff award was a privilege and very much unexpected. I work for Argyle Housing because it’s what I want to do and have always worked in an environment that serves the community. As far as this award goes, I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything without the support of the team I work with and the organisation as a whole.” Dawn Nixon
Dawn is Argyle Housing’s longest standing employee having commenced her employment with Argyle Housing in 2005 as an Administration Support Officer at our Bowral Office. After six years working in operations, Dawn transferred into our Finance team as an Accounts Clerk and worked alongside the Finance team from 2011 until 2014. In 2014, Argyle Housing introduced a new role and function with the formation of the Rent Review team. Due to her strong background in both administration and financial acumen, Dawn was offered the very first Rent Review Officer position. Dawn made the role her own and was a key influence in how the Rent Review team grew. With the introduction of two other Rent Review team members, Dawn moved into the Senior Rent Review Officer position in early 2017 and in November of that same year, Dawn was promoted to Team Leader of the Rent Review Team.
Dawn is an integral member of the Argyle Housing team who, over the years, has shown exceptional commitment to Argyle Housing’s tenants, fellow team members and Argyle Housing as an organisation.
Four years ago, Dawn oversaw the centralisation of the rent review process at Argyle Housing and continues to lead the rent review team as team leader. Dawn maintains an expert knowledge of her area of responsibility, initiating changes to policy, procedure and process as required. At all times, Dawn has ensured that the impact of change on tenants is minimised and that every tenant has a voice and gets a ‘fair go’ when it comes to the rent they pay.
Dawn is an excellent communicator and collaborator with her own team and held in high esteem by her fellow team members. She is always ready to take on a challenge or opportunity that will improve Argyle Housing’s processes or service.
Dawn lives Argyle Housing’s values and is a credit to Argyle Housing and herself in the manner in which she engages with tenants, other staff members and externally with stakeholders. In addition to her day to day work, Dawn has also contributed to the review of Argyle Housing’s Strategic Plan and assisted with the development of a Centrelink training package and training delivery. Dawn is also a valued member of the Leaders and Partners group and her input to this group is highly valued by her peers.
ARGYLE ANNUAL REPORT HUMAN RESOURCES STATISTICS
|AGE PROFILE (Years of Age)
|Number of Employees
|% of Workforce
|< 18 Years:
|18 – 20 Years:
|21 – 30 Years:
|31 – 40 Years:
|41 – 50 Years:
|51 – 60 Years:
|61 – 70 Years:
|> 71 Years:
|42 Years of Age
|1946-1964 – Baby Boomers
|1965-1980 – Gen X (the Busters)
|1981-1994 – Gen Y (the Millennials)
|1995-2009 – Gen Z (the Digital Generation)
|2010-2025 – Gen Alpha
|Correct as at 30 June 2018
|Correct as at 30 June 2019
Employee Education, Nationality & Languages:
Number of employees who identify as being ASTI: 3 (3.6 % of workforce)
We do not collect any information on employees’ nationality or languages spoken.
Argyle Housing is aiming for all its staff to be culturally aware and culturally competent. Cultural competence is not just knowing about other cultures, it is about being aware, sensitive and respectful to other cultures.
Cultural competence is the knowledge, behaviours, attitudes, policies and systems that enable service providers and workers to work effectively in cross-cultural situations and respond to the needs of a culturally diverse population.
Adam Hansen, the Aboriginal Liaison Officer from the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), attended the Argyle Housing Leaders meeting to assist in providing the team with the tools and knowledge around being culturally appropriate and culturally competent. Adam collaborates with Community Housing Providers (CHPs) by running workshops and providing one-on-one guidance to assist them in ensuring their practice aligns with the Aboriginal Cultural Competency Standards for CHPs. This is a self-assessment tool to support housing providers to improve their Aboriginal cultural competency and help to deliver the Aboriginal Outcomes strategy.
The process is designed to work in a complementary fashion along with other community housing sector resources (including Foundations for Success – a guide for social housing providers working with Aboriginal people and communities released in March 2015) and to facilitate achievement of other CHP deliverables, including:
As the name suggests, Argyle Housing is about finding a place for people to live and enjoy a stable existence. Yet, this is only possible through the expertise and experience of the people who make this organisation such a catalyst for positive change in our communities.
The following information outlines the status of various aspects of the property portfolio and management of Argyle Housing.
1-5 YEAR TENURE
The Board of Argyle Housing is proud to announce the appointment of Trevor Fair as Argyle Housing’s second Patron following the passing of our first Patron, Chris Benton.
“I am honoured to follow Chris Benton, a fellow Rotarian, who was passionate about Community Housing and Argyle Housing in particular. When offered the position of Patron, I felt it both an honour and duty to make sure that the efforts invested by Chris in Argyle Housing are remembered and built on into the future.”Read full story
Jennifer Chapman is the Team Leader for the Griffith, Young and Yass cluster of offices covering a vast geographical area of over 400 km between sites with a small team of Tenancy Officers and Tenancy Action Workers.Read full story
The purpose of this survey was to obtain candid feedback from Argyle employees on what they like and don’t like about working at Argyle. The survey was launched on 8 August 2019 and was open for all employees to complete for a 2 week period. The survey closed on 20 August 2019.Read full story
Our staff make outstanding contributions across housing, tenant engagement, and staff wellbeing. We are proud to recognise, reward and celebrate the achievements of so many of our people through a range of award programs.Read full story
The Staff Tenure award is an opportunity for Argyle Housing to recognise our employees for their longevity and achievements within the organisation.Read full story
Argyle housing is a learning organisation that recognises, respects and nurtures individual employees’ skills and capabilities. At Argyle Housing we support professional development for all staff focussing on core values, attitudes and the practical skills needed to support and deliver a respectful, professional and empathetic service to our customers.Read full story
Respecting the part every person plays in an organisation such as Argyle Housing is fundamental to an efficient operation. Some are in direct contact with tenants while others keep busy behind the scenes. One of the people who holds an essential role is Mark Wood, who joined the Argyle Housing team earlier this year in the role of Finance Officer – payroll.Read story
The Chris Benton Perpetual Award is in recognition of the many years of guidance and support Chris Benton provided Argyle Housing, first as Chairman of the board and later as our patron.Read full story
ARGYLE ANNUAL REPORT HUMAN RESOURCES STATISTICSRead full story
Argyle Housing is aiming for all its staff to be culturally aware and culturally competent. Cultural competence is not just knowing about other cultures, it is about being aware, sensitive and respectful to other cultures.Read full story