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. 

2019 Awards Program Timeline

Nominations are now open!

the 2019 Program Information Pack

Key dates for 2019 Awards cycle:

  • June 1 - July 15 2018 - Call for judges and sponsors 
  • October 2018 - Award nominations open 
  • January 2019 - Award nominations close 
  • February 2018 - July 2019 - Awards judging and jurisdictions awards receptions 
  • 27 August 2019, Darwin - Australasian Awards reception

2019 AHI Awards Sponsorship

Sponsorship options are available for the 2019 AHI Awards Program. 

By partnering with AHI on the project you will:

  • demonstrate your support of the Australasian housing sector
  • reach a wide audience of housing leaders and professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand
  • enhance long term relationships with your potential customers and partners
  • associate your company’s name with the industry success and achievements
  • have an opportunity to network face-to-face communication with your clients and stakeholders.

to download the sponsorship brochure. 

2019 Award Categories

The 2019 AHI Awards Program features eight categories: two individual awards, five team awards and one tenant award.


2019 Awards Sponsors

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:




Awards Reception Sponsors:








  • 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

2019 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 housing professionals from all around Australia and New Zealand. The AHI Awards Committee is balanced with jurisdictional, sectoral (community, public, private, academic, homelessness) and discipline (assets, finance, development, service delivery, policy, place making, advocacy, Indigenous, tenant representative) interests. 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

Practice Lead Community and Place, SGCH
Francis has worked in housing for over 20 years in Australia and the UK. He has worked for large group structures and small community led organisations gaining experience in tenant participation, community regeneration and place making, as well as evaluation methodology. He now works in the largest Community Housing provider in NSW and manages two teams as a Practice Lead for Community Development and Place Making, connecting community and statutory organisations with public and private tenants to increase the overall collective impact in turning around failing areas and increasing outcomes. He oversees the Community Development strategic outcomes for the organisation. He is a member of the AHI NSW branch and is the NSW Director on the AHI board and has a Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Housing. He is currently undertaking a Postgraduate Diploma in Political Economy at Sydney University.

Chris Ah Honi, NZ

Asset Manager, Accessible Properties NZ Ltd
Chris is the current Asset Manager at Accessible Properties and has worked in the housing industry for the last 15 years enjoying stints in both public housing and the private sector. The sector has enabled him to hold a diverse range of roles including tenancy management, placemaking, quality assurance and compliance, management, maintenance and contract management. Chris's experiences have given him a good all-round view of an industry that he is very passionate about. Outside of work Chris serves as a Board member of a charitable trust in South Auckland.

Julie Blake, SA

CEO, Westside Housing
Julie is the CEO of Westside Housing in South Australia. Julie has worked in senior roles in SA, Far North QLD and the NT in the not-for-profit housing, private construction, and state government sectors. Julie is a Level 3 AHI Certified Housing Professional. She holds a Grad. Cert. in Business Admin., a Grad. Cert. of Social Science (Housing Management & Policy) and a Bachelor of Arts (Communications).

Chris Chaplin, VIC

Owner, BRG Consulting
Chris Chaplin has worked for over 26 years in the not-for-profit sector, including 22 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 assertive outreach, public housing support and advocacy, and student housing. He has served in governance and leadership roles on a range of boards; two terms as National Secretary of the Australian Greens; and 14 years as a health sector consumer representative (ongoing). Chris is currently working as a freelance consultant to the non-profit sector, specialising in governance, strategy, policy-writing and risk management. Chris is an AHI Director and an active member of the Victorian Branch Committee. He is a senior-level Certified Housing Professional, and is also member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Andy Denniss, QLD

Business Development Manager, Churches of Christ Housing Services Ltd
My housing career spans 25 years. With one of the UK’s largest Registered Social Landlords I have been involved in regeneration programs as well as large scale stock transfers and development projects. I moved to Australia in 2008 to join the Brisbane Housing Company and oversaw the growth in tenancy management from 500 to over 1500 mixed tenure units, including the introduction of the National Rental Affordability Scheme. In my current role with Churches of Christ Housing Services Limited as a Business Development Manager, I have been instrumental in the introduction of innovative projects, including a program of integrated communities for over 55’s which has been recognised by the Queensland government as a model of best practice, and has resulted in the successful transfer of over 150 tenants who were under-occupying public housing.

Eli Giannini, VIC

Director, MGS Architects

Eli Giannini is a Melbourne architect and Director of MGS architects. Over the past 25 years Eli has been responsible for the design direction at MGS and winning numerous industry awards for the practice including the 2013: Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing for the McIntyre Drive Social Housing Project, Altona. She brings to her work tenacity and passion for the craft of design with a special interest in delivery housing within the social and affordable sector of the industry and developing architectural typologies into project specific responses. Eli has contributed to the architecture profession as RAIA national Councillor and Chapter President and as chair of the Victorian Chapter Awards Task Force, the honours committee and the 2007 National Conference organising committee. In 2008 she was made a Lifetime Fellow of the AIA. Eli has promoted architectural design, theory and research through her writing, exhibitions and conference presentations and as eminent architect of design competitions juries.

Nerilie Gilson, TAS

Manager Community Services | Housing, Disability and Community Services | Department of Communities 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 20 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.

Greg Groufsky, NZ

Deputy Chief Executive, Housing New Zealand
Greg grew up in public housing and became a public housing tenant himself before beginning a 30 year career in the New Zealand public housing sector. He has held a variety of front line and corporate roles and has had significant experience as a Ministerial Adviser to successive governments. Greg was an AHI Board member in the early 2000’s. Greg is currently the Deputy Chief Executive of "Housing New Zealand", the New Zealand government owned public housing provider.

Meghan Hibbert, QLD

Director, Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Residential Tenancies Authority
Meghan has over 17 years’ experience in the housing and community services sector and as an Executive in two states. With operational and management experience in metropolitan, regional and rural contexts, she commenced as a trainee with Housing NSW in 2001, progressing to senior management roles by 2006, with a brief transition to the community sector as General Manager of a Tier 1 Community Housing Provider in NSW. Relocating to Queensland in 2014, Meghan introduced a ‘Fairness Charter’ and ‘Fairness principles’ for use in social housing policy in her role at the Department of Housing and Public Works. More recently as Director Policy and Stakeholder Engagement for the Residential Tenancies Authority, she led significant proactive compliance reforms with the aim of preventing homelessness through compliance and education. She is passionate about developing people, building capacity in the sector and partnering for impact, and volunteers regularly in the homelessness sector.


Sean Kelly, WA

Manager of Housing, Bethanie Housing
Sean has worked in housing for over 15 years. Starting as a clerical officer in Northern Ireland, through front line housing management in London, and the development and implementation of strategic government housing policy here in Australia. He is currently the Manager of Housing at Bethanie Housing Limited in Perth. He brings experience in housing management, policy and project delivery to the judging panel. His passion for housing, and the people who deliver housing services can be clearly seen, and he is keen to be part of the evolution of housing services in Australasia.









Alison Kimber, SA

Principal, ak advisory
Through her consultancy business ak advisory, Alison Kimber provides strategy, evaluation and governance advice for affordable housing providers and other clients. Alison Kimber is a qualified actuary with nearly 20 years’ experience as a public servant and 10 years in the private sector, including experience in international capital markets. 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. She is a non-executive director on the boards of UnitingCare Wesley Bowden (Chair), Horizon Housing and the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre Authority. Alison is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an elected member of its SA/NT Council and a member of the Southern Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee.


Carmen Lynskey, NZ

Community Housing Manager, Comcare Trust
Carmen has been worked in the social housing sector for over 13 years. Over this time she has worked in central government, local government and the NGO sector. Her roles have been varied from tenancy management to unit manager overseeing a portfolio of several thousand social housing units. Other responsibilities in her roles have been Community Renewal, asset management and project planning of new housing developments Carmen also has extensive experience in the mental health sector delivering community services across New Zealand. Carmen has recently taken up a new role at the Christchurch City Council as Manager Social Housing.

Margaret Maljkovic, NSW

Chief Operating Officer, Link Housing
With a career in social housing spanning over 20 years, Margaret is currently the Chief Operating Officer with Link Housing, one of the largest metropolitan community housing providers in Sydney. Prior to joining Link Housing, Margaret held a series of executive management roles in Housing NSW and then Family and Community Services, including Housing Director in various Sydney regions, General Manager for Greater Western Sydney and Director, Service Improvement Central Sydney. Margaret has led major initiatives in community and estate regeneration in some of Sydney’s most disadvantaged and difficult housing estates. Margaret’s earlier work experiences in the fields of homelessness, domestic violence and drug and alcohol support services have led her to understand the profound importance of stable and affordable housing. This, she believes is both a fundamental human right and a foundation on which people can rebuild their lives and reach out to opportunities.

Kathryn Moorey, WA

Manager, Business Development, Programs and Policy, Access Housing Australia Ltd
Kathryn is currently Business Development, Programs and Policy for Access Housing Australia Ltd and has been working in Community Housing in WA for the past 10 years working in Operations 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 not for profit housing providers. She spent 10 years working in the UK in the area of Housing Advice and Homelessness and has also worked in the fields of Housing Needs, Policy Development, Allocations, Voids, and for Supported Housing providers.

Mark O'Dwyer, NSW, Tenant Representative

Chair Tenant Involvement Panel, Compass Housing Services
Mark is a former Director of Compass Compass Housing Services ( 2012-14). He served as the inaugural Chair and member of the CHS NSW Operations Advisory Committee (2015-16). Mark has lived experience of being homeless and was a CHS tenant from 2008-2014. He is currently a member of the CHS Internal Review Committee and Chair of the Compass Tenant Involvement Panel, and is passionate about increasing the level of Tenant Involvement in service delivery. In 2014 he participated in a study with two other CHS Directors of social housing in the UK focusing on Governance structures, tenant engagement and tenant led initiatives. Prior to his retirement he was employed as an Executive Regional Manger in Advertising with Yellow Pages Australia, based in Sydney the ACT and PNG. Mark is a member of the Australian Institute of Community Directors.

Clare Phythian, QLD

Project Manager, Q Shelter
Over the past 16 years, Clare has worked in the community housing sector within Australia, New Zealand and the UK in organisations varying from small and large NFPs, a peak-body capacity-building organisation, and Government. Clare’s experience includes executive management, operational management and business improvement. She maintains up-to-date and relevant knowledge of the sector through her state-wide position and her memberships and level 3 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. Currently on maternity leave, her most recent role is Project Management at Q Shelter.

Paul Reardon, SA

Director, Northern Services, Housing SA
Paul has worked in a range of senior roles, in government and the private sector. Within government, Paul has held executive positions with a wide range of responsibilities including large capital programs such as the Nation Building Economic Stimulus program (Social Housing), house sales programs, maintenance strategy and operations and leading the development and implementation of solutions to concerns on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia's far north west. As a private consultant for many years, Paul provided advisory and procurement services to a range of organizations, including State and local governments. In his current role as Director, Northern Services for the South Australian Housing Authority, Paul has responsibility for tenancy management services for approximately 21,000 public housing tenants and has initiated and led a number of service reforms to improve outcomes for both the tenants and the organisation. Paul Reardon is also the appointed State Manager, Emergency Relief Functional Service (State Disasters).

Robin Zakharov, VIC

Senior Policy Advisor, Summer Foundation
Robin Zakharov has worked in the social and affordable housing sectors for most of her 30+ year career. She has worked in policy and program roles in state government in Victoria and Queensland, as well as working as an independent housing consultant. Robin is currently a senior policy advisor with the Summer Foundation, based in Melbourne, which is working to help young people with disalibty and complex needs to access high quality support and housing options. Robin is a past Queensland director of the AHI and a past editor of HousingWorks.

Donald Proctor, NSW

Executive Manager Strategic Assets, Compass Housing Services
Donald Proctor holds the position of Executive Manager Strategic Assets with Compass Housing Services, a Tier 1 Community Housing Provider managing over 4,500 properties in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand. He has a background in architecture, planning and public housing asset management.

  • 2017 Australasian Award Winners

    November 2017, Sydney

  • 2015 Australasian Award Winners

    November 2015, Perth

  • 2013 Australasian Award Winners

    October 2013, Adelaide

  • 2012 Australasian Award Ceremony

    November 2012, Brisbane

  • 2011 Australasian Award Winners

    October 2011, Melbourne

Past Awards

2017 Awards Cycle

29 November 2017, Sydney

The Australasian Winners for the 2017 Australasian Professional Excellence in Housing Awards were announced on 29 November 2017 at the Awards Gala Dinner during the National Housing Conference 2017 in Sydney. The reception at the International Convention Centre was a full house with 230 guests gathering together from across Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the success stories and achievements of housing professionals.

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.

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.

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.

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.