Housing Matters: capacity building and housing & homelessness sector news.
Edition 3 - February 2015

From the CEO

Hello and welcome to the Q Shelter Housing Matters newsletter for February 2015

Hello and welcome to the Q Shelter Housing Matters newsletter for February 2015.

The old saying of “may you live in interesting times” is resonating at present. With the result of the Queensland election still not resolved as at time of writing it would be fair to say that we are certainly living in interesting times, and yet whilst the statement is often intended to be seen in the negative its more appropriate to view our current world through the lens of opportunity.

The context for service providers is subject to many possible changes and challenges. That is why as a sector we need to have the capability and capacity to drive our future regardless of any changes that may occur environmentally.

A potential change in government presents opportunities to take stock and look at where our world might be heading. In an environment of change community service organisations need to look to investing in their future through organisational development, training, and planning. The better we understand our environment the better we can adapt when it changes and not only survive but flourish.

An organisation that is able to demonstrate that they can deliver on core purpose will always do well regardless.

Q Shelter as always is here to assist the community housing and homelessness sector to do this. Some new initiatives this month include the call for expressions of interest for specialist consultants to join our new consultants’ panel as part of our consulting service. The idea is that we are creating a panel of trusted experts that will be able to accessed through Q Shelter at preferential pricing rates.
We also have a number of new products under development including a risk management suite, tenancy law workshops, advisory groups and an asset managers network.

More details will be available during our annual conference program next week. Thank you to all attendees for supporting this important activity. The program has shaped up to be something special and I look forward to seeing many of our service providers there.

For more information on any of these activities, or for any other support you may need in terms of capacity building for the community housing and homelessness sector please contact our team on 07 3831 5900.

Kind regards

   This edition includes...

Leadership Circle
Professional Development Program - Article by Ken Gilbert

Leadership and Learning…are indispensable to each other”
John F Kennedy
Q Shelter has created an opportunity for 14 persons from diverse personal and organizational backgrounds to learn about leadership from each other, in the 2015 Leadership Circle which commenced last month in Brisbane.
The Leadership Circle will be meeting monthly during 2015 for four hours over breakfast. Each meeting includes time to share personal experience, to hear from experienced leaders from many contexts, to explore research and practice and to provide help to each other in a confidential, supportive and challenging environment and to continuously reflect!
Sixty such Leadership Circles have been held successfully since 1999 with and amongst more 30 than Australian for-profit and not-for profit enterprises. These Circles have been facilitated by the creator of Circles, Ken Gilbert an experienced educator in public service and private enterprise, and his colleagues.
It is said that leaders need followers; that followers also need to exercise leadership. Successful leaders have a strong sense of self and an effective understanding of self and others. This Circle experience provides opportunity for sustainable learning for folk of all ages.
A typical testimonial from a recent Circle:
"After my initial (unfounded) reaction to ‘not another corporate training session’ I was pleasantly surprised at the informal, organic approach and general flow of the following monthly sessions.Meeting facilitation was excellent and informative.
 Guest speakers were wide and varied and from each one I gained some wise words and vicariously participated in their successes and failures (aka experience).
 Outcomes from the year was a new approach to working, work/life balance, leadership and invaluable friendship building within the group which invariably flows into enhanced personal networks, better communication, understanding and productivity in the workplace."
Enquiries about future Leadership Circles in Q Shelter should be directed to John Lysaught and information about Ken Gilbert and Circles generally can be obtained on

Working Together Conference

Q Shelter's Working Together Conference is one week away

We're very excited to be meeting with over 280 delegates throughout the state next week for our Working Together Conference. 

Working Together Conference Townsville
Tuesday February 17, 2015 
Chifley Plaza Townsville
Registrations open 8am

Working Together Conference Townsville
Fringe Program
Wednesday February 18, 2015 

Chifley Plaza Townsville

Working Together Conference Brisbane
Thursday February 19, 2015 
Queensland Executive Building Conference Centre
Registrations open 8am
Consulting Service

Get by with a little help from your friends

Whether it’s reviewing a program you deliver, improving financial viability, or developing your team, it’s not always easy to have specialist skills on tap in a busy community service organisation.
As part of our commitment to a robust community housing and homelessness sector, Q Shelter is expanding our consultancy services to complement the assistance we already provide.
To support the expertise we already have in house Q Shelter is assembling a panel of trusted experts from a wide array of fields.
Some of the areas of expertise offered include:

- Assets
- Finance
- Governance
- Organisational Development
- Strategic Management
- Community Engagement
- Operational Management
- Tenant and Housing Services

To talk about how our consulting service could support your organisation’s projects please contact John Lysaught on 07-38315900

1 day workshop on tenancy law, One Social Housing System requirements, and tenancy sustainment
QShelter, in partnership with the RTA and the Department of Housing, is offering community housing tenancy management staff a one day workshop on tenancy management requirements and best practice. These workshops are planned for Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Mt Isa during 2015.
The workshops will consist of sessions on tenancy law, the requirements of the OneSocial Housing System, and an interactive workshop on tenancy sustainment.
More details of dates, venues and presenters will be posted on our website shortly. Please contact Jane West – or phone 3831 5900 – if you wish to be kept updated on workshop dates and locations. 

Can you help guide Q Shelter's future direction?

Q Shelter is looking for individuals in the community housing and homelessness sectors to join the Advisory Group, and the newly formed Product Reference Group. These groups will help to guide and shape Q Shelter’s capacity building offerings in 2015 and beyond.

The Advisory Group, continuing on from 2014, consists of a range of providers, partners and stakeholders, along with other peak bodies. Their role is to explore and provide feedback on the overall development of our service offerings, identify gaps and possible areas of innovation, with a view to Q Shelter’s future as a sustainable business. The group will meet twice during the year, at Q Shelter’s offices. The first meeting will be held in May.

The newly formed Product Reference Group will consist mainly of providers in both the community housing and homelessness sectors, and their role will be to help us to effectively scope and design our capacity building services by giving us feedback on particular products and services in development – for example asset management, housing indicator and workforce benchmarking, risk management and many others. We are looking for a group of core members, but can also invite others with particular areas of expertise for discussions on those topics. Meetings will be quarterly, with the option of participating via web conferencing. The first meeting will be held in March.

We are keen for these groups to represent the diversity of the sector, so we are seeking members from providers of different sizes, regional locations, service types, with input from homelessness services and indigenous providers.

If you are interested in participating in either of these groups, please contact Jane West or Clare Robins - or phone 3831 5900. 

Asset Managers Network

Q Shelter is considering setting up an Asset Manager’s Network for Queensland housing providers, to provide a forum for exchange of best practice and up-to-date information. Depending on the interest of those involved, the network’s scope could include strategic, technical and operational issues. 
Topics could include:
  • Strategic asset management plans
  • Asset management software and systems
  • Delivery of effective routine and planned maintenance programs
  • Technical issues such as pest control, asbestos, thermal performance
  • Regulations and requirements, e.g. licencing requirements for trades, changes to building codes
  • Information from the Department of Housing on funding contract requirements; NRSCH requirements for ‘Performance Outcome 2: Housing Assets’
  • Procurement and managing contractors
  • Insurance
  • Body corporate issues
  • Future changes and opportunities eg NDIS
  • Environmental sustainability
Depending on the number and location of participants, a combination of virtual meetings and/or face to face meetings could be arranged. This could be supplemented with webinar presentations on priority topics identified and/or online forums, for example hosted by CHPs4Qld.

Q Shelter will organise and support the Asset Managers Network. However, in order to achieve maximum benefit for participants and to build organisations’ capacity in this area, the agenda needs to be driven by participants, and participants should be prepared to share good practice, challenges and experience. A successful Asset Managers Network has been running in NSW for a number of years, but it’s success has been dependent on the support and commitment of those participating. Q Shelter will therefore gauge the level of interest in such a network as a first step.

If you, or the person in your organisation who is responsible for asset management/maintenance, are interested in participating in an Asset Managers Network, please let us know:
  • your preference for virtual or face to face meetings, or a combination of both
  • frequency of meetings – eg every 2 months, quarterly, with perhaps a face to face meeting once a year
  • any priority topics you would like addressed
Please contact Jane West – to indicate your interest, and your views on the above questions. 
What you want!

Thanks to those Community Housing Providers who have taken time to give us their views on their service experience of Q Shelter and what they would like offered going forward to build the capacity of the sector during 2015.

Winners of the prize draw are:
Elvene Whitbread, Charters Towers Neighbourhood Centre and;
Sharon Elliott, St Vincent De Paul

Congratulations and we look forward to seeing you at the Q Shelter Conference.

There will be further opportunity for Homelessness Providers and those Community Housing Providers who are yet to give us their views, to be involved at the Q Shelter Conferences. Please spare some time to complete a survey and hand to a Q Shelter representative to be in with a chance of winning Q Shelter training, support or events credit.

The survey can also be completed via the following link:

We welcome your views which will directly influence our sector capacity building plans for 2015 and ask that you assist us. 
Keep up-to-date with the latest happenings in the housing & homelessness sector.

Please feel free to email us at or call on 3831 5900 to ensure the latest news from your organisation is included!

A new Horizon Housing development in Roma has redefined the benchmark for homes in the sub- $400,000 bracket in the Maranoa region, offering home buyers spacious properties at an affordable price.

The South Street Housing Project Lander No. 4 is supported by Horizon Housing and Maranoa Regional Council and funded via a $1.87 million contribution from Australia Pacific LNG.

The project will provide 18 two and three bedroom townhouses over two stages. This vital development will help alleviate housing demand in the Maranoa region by providing additional high quality, affordable housing tailored to the needs of Roma residents.

Properties for sale in the initial release include three two bedroom dwellings from $330,000 and five three bedroom townhouses and duplex dwelling from $380,000.

Surpassing current offerings in this price range in the Maranoa region, the brand new development capitalises on Horizon Housing’s experience as one of Queensland’s largest affordable housing providers to deliver affordable homes through clever, innovative design solutions.

The new homes feature master bedrooms with ensuites and built in robes, a second bathroom, quality tiles and carpet throughout, contemporary kitchens with open plan living and stainless steel appliances including oven, range hood, gas cooktop and dishwasher.

Properties also have rainwater tanks, split system AC, gas hot water and generous private courtyards and terraces, as well as low cost body corporate and maintenance.
Horizon Housing CEO, Jason Cubit, says that Horizon used its local experience in the design and planning of the project.

“We know that while there are astute buyers in Roma looking for a lower-maintenance lifestyle, they also want to retain some of the space that characterises the Maranoa home.

“The Lander No. 4 development in Roma will give key workers, local residents, families and seniors the opportunity to buy quality homes at a reasonable price,” says Mr Cubit.

“First home buyers will be able to apply for the First Home Owner Grant which is currently $15,000. This means some people could be paying just $330,000 for a new two-bedroom townhouse.

“With the assistance of Australia Pacific LNG and Maranoa Regional Council, we are committed to providing more affordable housing solutions for people in Roma and the greater Maranoa region.”

Melbourne based not-for-profit, StreetSmart Australia, is branching out from its DineSmart and CafeSmart fundraising events to launch an online crowdfunding platform and boost support for community organisations.
Adam Robinson, the founder of StreetSmart Australia, says crowdfunding is an innovative way to support local, grassroots projects that help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
Since 2003, StreetSmart has raised over $3.1 million to fund 938 small-scale local projects by running its successful national events (DineSmart and CafeSmart). According to Robinson, this was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the need for funds for local community-based organisations.
“We are now taking StreetSmart’s fundraising out of dining venues and taking it online using our ‘Projects’ website and harnessing the power of the social web,”  Robinson said.
“The new ‘Projects’ platform enables us to directly connect donors with community organisations that need support right now.  As State and Federal funding is cut our smaller community based organisations need our support.
“We want to build a community of supporters who see the benefit of supporting the smaller, independent not-for-profits. These organisations are out there on the front line, delivering critical support, often operating on tiny budgets and too small to raise a crowd themselves,” said Robinson.  
Robinson said that crowdfunding gave the community a way to support this work and make a meaningful contribution, directly, while raising awareness for these smaller organisations.
StreetSmart is staying true to its roots and focussing the ‘Projects’ site to assist smaller charities, social enterprises and organisations that help people who are homeless or at risk.
“Homelessness is something we need to urgently address. While there are major structural changes that need to be made, such as building more affordable housing, we also need action to help people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk right now. 
“We are keen to work with and support smaller organisations who are interested in this type of fundraising.  We also want to hear from corporate partners who want to join us, and the public, to direct their community support to where it is needed most” said Robinson.
For more information contact StreetSmart CEO Adam Robinson 0488 336419 or

Follow Q Shelter on Facebook & Twitter for the most up-to-date news

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter to keep informed on community sector news and events. 
Our Leader in the Sector segment fosters the sharing of concepts and ideas among different organisations providing insight and discussion about important topics in the community sector.

If you would like to feature as a Leader in the Sector contributor please contact us at or 3831 5900.

We are looking for 100-200 words on any topic that is relevant to the housing & homelessness sector in Queensland.

Looking for committee or board members? 

Advertise in this newsletter if you are looking for new committee or board members. Our mailing list includes more than 500 organisations and individuals connected to the community housing and homelessness sectors in Queensland. 

Email with:
  • a description of your organisation - what you do, areas you operate in etc
  • the role(s) you are looking for eg. Treasurer, Secretary, general board/committee members
  • Particular skills/experience you are looking for
  • Location/frequency of board/committee meetings, and any other information about the commitment you are seeking from potential new members
There are other ways you can advertise for new committee or board members, including:
  • The Institute of Community Directors Australia - follow this link to post a free advert
  • Pro-Bono Australia - run a 'volunteer match' service containing a section for board/committee members. Follow this link for more information
Let's get to know each other. Our 'Have you met...' section features a professional from the housing & homelessness sector, including Q Shelter staff!

If you would like to introduce yourself to the sector or nominate someone for our Have you met... section, please email us at or call on 3831 5900.
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PO Box 214, Spring Hill, Qld, 4004.
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