Housing Matters: capacity building and housing & homelessness sector news.
Edition 9 - August 2015

   This edition includes...


From the CEO

Welcome to this August edition of Housing Matters

And it’s a jam packed edition with lots of the latest news and valuable information.
One exciting item is Q Shelter’s new membership arrangements.  These are explained in detail later in the newsletter.  Get in quickly and enjoy the new range of benefits.
On the local front, Bric Housing, Mission Australia (Roma House) and Q Shelter held another precinct event this month – the Winter Festival.  This was one of a recurring series of events that provide an opportunity for tenants, staff and local supporters from our neighbourhood to meet over lunch to get to know each other better – see the coverage later in the newsletter.
No news yet on a new Director for Q Shelter but hopefully there will be an announcement soon.  We can introduce Paul Mackay who has begun working with us to strengthen the connection with our branches – a very important way for Q Shelter to be informed about issues in housing and homelessness across the State.  We also introduce Jenny Franz who has joined us to assist with capacity building on the finance side.
Keep your eye on our web site – we are upgrading it shortly and we will also be launching Q Shelter’s consultants panel within the month.
As usual, this newsletter brings you up to date with features on NRSCH as well as announcing dates for upcoming capacity building workshops.  Check them out, there are some great offerings.
Last but not least, the date of the Q Shelter AGM has been set.  Read about this and the exciting event planned to coincide with it this year.  Make sure you put the date in your diary.
And remember, call us on 07 38315900 if you think we may be able to assist you with information or services. 

New benefits for Q Shelter members

Q Shelter is introducing a new membership structure with improved benefits for members from 1 October 2015.
The new structure will enable us to continue to provide a united voice, and a diverse range of quality, relevant, and timely services for Queensland’s community housing and homelessness sector.
There will be an increase in fees, however we are confident the range of benefits we can provide our members will more than offset the fee increase.
The new annual fees from 1 October 2015 are:
Category Annual fee
For profit, statutory, and government bodies $550
Providers $250
Individual $30
Concession $10
The new provider category will replace the current small and large organisational categories.
All Q Shelter members will continue to have a direct say in the governance of the organisation through our electoral system.
We remain committed to supporting our members in regional Queensland, particularly through our branch network, local and regional events and web services.

Organisational members

The new provider membership category will mean an increase in annual fees to $250.  
Q Shelter acknowledges this is a significant price increase for many of our valued members, however we are confident of returning your investment in benefits for your organisation. 
The new provider category offers benefits valued at more than $275 a year, including:
  • 30 per cent conference discount (valued at $180 per person) with no limit on member numbers attending the conference
  • 30 per cent discount on member networking events (valued at $15 per person, per event)
  • one free webinar per year (valued at up to $80 a year)
  • priority tickets for special member events
  • 10 per cent discount on Q Shelter-delivered full fee for service products including:
    • bespoke consulting  such as tender preparation, strategic and business planning
    • program evaluation and review.
  •  Access to the discounted rates from the Q Shelter consultants’ panel.

Individual and concession members

There will be a small price increase for individual memberships from $25 a year to $30.  There is slight increase in the concessional membership fee from $7.50 a year to $10 a year.  If payment is difficult please contact Q Shelter to discuss.  Invoices for current members will be issued in September.

New members

Q Shelter welcomes new members and invites providers who take out membership before 1 October 2015 to enjoy complimentary membership for August and September 2015.  Application forms are available on the Q Shelter website  or by contacting Ann Earle on 3831 5900.

Lady Bowen Precinct event

The Lady Bowen Precinct took on a winter festival atmosphere complete with frosty decorations and traditional festive fare to acknowledge Homelessness Prevention Week on Tuesday 4 August.
Q Shelter was pleased to join with BRIC Housing and Roma House to host the Lady Bowen Precinct Event that was celebrated with local residents and guests including Brisbane City Council Central Ward Councillor Vicki Howard, State Member for Brisbane Grace Grace and staff from the Department of Housing and Public Works and many other support services including the Clemente Program, RTA and Murri Watch. 
Roma House cooked a wonderful winter festival feast and the Highway Ministries provided live music.  The Ashgrove Family Practice donated knitted blankets, scarves and beanies for our residents.
Roma House resident Skye embraced the opportunity to share his indigenous background in performing a Welcome to Country. 
Q Shelter chair Rachel Watson highlighted the importance of the precinct events in building a sense of inclusion for all members of our community, celebrating our diversity and building connections.  Ms Watson reinforced that collaboration and effective relationships are the foundations of a system that assists in ending homelessness.
Mission Australia's new Queensland state director Darren Young told the audience that holding the event during Homelessness Prevention Week helped to raise awareness of the difficulties Queensland’s homeless and vulnerable face in the colder months.  Mr Young, who has just moved to Queensland from South Australia, he is keen to learn more about activities and work in the Lady Bowen Precinct.
We are looking forward to the next Precinct event in October. For more information, please contact Esther Dabinett at or phone 38315900.


New Housing Strategy for Queensland

The Department of Housing has been tasked with developing and implementing the Queensland Housing Strategy to shape the strategic direction of housing assistance and homelessness services in Queensland over the next decade. It is envisaged that consultation on the new Housing Strategy will take place in the coming months, Q Shelter looks forward to working with the Department to assist with the consultation.  For more information, please contact Jane West at or phone 3831 5900.

The RTA proposes to put services online

The RTA recently consulted on proposals to shift toward online access to some of its services, including the management of bonds. Q Shelter assisted with the consultation, and a number of organisations contributed to our response. Concerns that emerged from the consultation included the low levels of internet usage by disadvantaged people, internet availability/connectivity, particularly in remote areas, and the impact of any new or increased charges on tenants on low incomes. For more information, please contact Paul MacKay at or phone 3831 5900.

Revised reporting requirements and new program specifications

The Department of Housing recently consulted on the draft performance measures and reporting requirements for funded community housing and crisis accommodation services.  Providers were contacted directly by the Department for their feedback.
Q Shelter also carried out some limited consultation with a range of providers to test the proposals, and submitted a detailed response. We think it is important that organisations understand these proposed changes, which are aimed at reducing the reporting burden for providers. For more information on Q Shelter’s submission, please contact Jane West at or phone 3831 5900.

Reform of the Federation: responsibility for housing and homelessness

Following consultation earlier in the year, the Commonwealth Government has published a final discussion paper on the division of responsibilities for housing and homelessness between federal and state governments.  The discussion paper is at

National Shelter’s response to the discussion paper includes an analysis of housing issues facing Australia and an assessment of the options put forward in the Reform of the Federation discussion paper.  The response is at

Better Boards conference

Q Shelter chair Rachel Watson attended the annual Better Boards Conference  Charting New Horizons last month in Brisbane.
The conference is aimed at board members, CEOs and directors of NFP organisations. There was also a pre-conference day (Sprout Summit) that focused on emerging leaders.  Information for the Sprout Summit is at
The keynote speaker was American entrepreneur Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative ( and founder of Taproot ( Aaron identified purpose as the single most important aspect to the success of the NFP sector or “the for purpose sector”.
The Imperative website has some useful tools for board members, particularly in the area of how the board works together and creates a common purpose. Taproot also has many resources to assist in finding and keeping pro bono skills within NGOs.
Despite us all working in a sector where we help people to improve their lives, Aaron suggested that we are often not clear on our purpose and this could affect staff morale and outputs.
The assumption that we are “helping” is not enough to create high functioning, purposeful teams. He suggested using three questions in supervision and annual reviews to enable staff to feel a stronger sense of purpose:
On a scale of 1 to 10
1.       How are your relationships at work?
2.       How much does work matter to you?
3.       What are the levels of support and opportunity that you have in your role?
The Imperative website also has a board survey to assist in defining purpose. Aaron identified that goals for the board need to be those that make the organisation want to achieve, slightly hard to get and audacious.
Brian Herd, Partner CRH Law facilitated a workshop  The great, the average and the sooooo bad board – tales from the legal trenches   whereby he also reinforced the need for boards to be nimble and creative. He suggested that boards should contract to have a scan every year of the local ABS data and the trends and changes in the environment that the board is working in.
Banning talking about what is in the sandwiches was also critical.  He said board members should be so busy focused on what needs to be done and planning strategic direction that sandwiches should not come into the dialogue. He also said that bringing board members on because they were known or buddies was not conducive to assembling a dynamic board. Seeking out different personalities and different skills was crucial to keep a board alive and focused on the job they have. For more information visit the Better Boards website at

State planning legislation under review

The Queensland Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is consulting the community about proposed new planning legislation.  Many housing and homelessness service providers will remember previous engagement with government about how planning legislation can support affordable housing outcomes.  This spanned the level of city plans, local development control plans and neighbourhood plans through to the statewide legal framework and ways in which this can be supportive of housing affordability generally and the generation of actual affordable housing supply as well.
There is an opportunity to have input to a Key Directions Paper with more specific consultation planned including on a draft Planning Bill later in 2015. Comments on the Key Directions Paper are open throughout August and September.  There is no specific closing date so if you are interested in this area of policy, it is probably better to make a submission sooner rather than later.  For more information about the planned reforms visit

New House Keys partners and next steps announced

The NSW Federation of Housing Associations has announced 38 launch partners for the industry’s new benchmarking system.  The set up stages for House Keys involved slightly different methodologies and timelines for House Key: Operations and House Key: Workforce.  For more information visit
or contact Clare Phythian at or phone (07) 3831 5900


Extension of transitional period

The Queensland Office of the Registrar has recently notified providers who are still in the process of registering that the ‘NRSCH transition period’ has been extended to 30 June 2017 for non-government providers and local governments, and to 30 June 2019 for Indigenous local governments and specified Indigenous Community Housing Organisations (ICHOs). This transition period is intended to allow more time for providers to complete the registration process, or to exit the process.
There will be more information coming to providers who are affected in the near future. If you have any queries about your NRSCH application in the meantime, please contact your Office of the Registrar analyst or email  

Compliance trial evaluation results published

The evaluation report on a trial round of compliance assessments conducted with Tier 1 and 2 provides in New South Wales and South Australia has been published on the NRSCH website at
Q Shelter will present a webinar on NRSCH compliance featuring the Queensland Registrar, Mark Francis, with highlights from the evaluation report, and the next steps for Queensland, in late September.  For more information please contact Clare Phythian at or phone (07) 3831 5900.

Q Shelter AGM date claimer

Q Shelter will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 22 October at 3pm.  Invitations for the event and committee nomination forms will be sent out at the end of August.
After the AGM, Q Shelter and Brisbane Housing Company will co-host a seminar and networking event with special guest speaker Saul Eslake.  Saul is one of Australia’s most respected and forthright commentators on public policy and economic issues in Australia and his address will focus on housing affordability.  We are very excited to welcome our members and other guests to join us to hear Saul’s reflections on this issue.  More information about these events will be provided on our website and in the September newsletter.

National Housing Conference 2015

28 - 30 October
Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
The biennial National Housing Conference is the largest cross-sectoral housing meeting in Australasia.
Convened by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and the Western Australia Department of Housing, the National Housing Conference 2015 offers a vital opportunity to share, debate, celebrate and promote ideas in affordable housing research, policy and practice.
Over two and a half days the conference will showcase the whole of the affordable housing continuum in a not to be missed event for the housing community:
  • be exposed to more than 700 key decision-makers from all levels of government, not-for-profit, peak industry bodies, and the private sector
  • experience a full program that includes 150 speakers, 40 sessions and 4 site tours
  • help guide national dialogue on priority housing and homelessness issues
  • critique and workshop new ideas, drive discussion, network with housing professionals, and engage in debate
  • explore the challenges facing the affordable housing sector and consider our future approach to the delivery of affordable housing for all Australians.
Join hundreds of housing industry professionals and key decision-makers in Perth this October and ensure you are part of the national conversation.  For more information, including the full program and speaker line up, visit:

Industry Development and Engagement Project (IDEP) update

Seven workshops, covering two separate topics, will be held across Queensland in August and September as part of the Department of Housing’s Industry Development and Engagement Project.  

Business Structures and Arrangements Guide workshops

Corrs Chambers Westgarth lawyers have been contracted by DHPW to provide an overview of business structures that support growth and diversification.  The series of workshops will be delivered to help providers gain an understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, risks and issues associated with different business structures. 

Workshop dates

Cairns Monday 24 August 2015 11 am – 1 pm Mecure Cairns, Harbourside
Logan Wednesday 26 August 2015 9 am – 11 am Beenleigh Events Centre
Brisbane Monday 31 August 2015 9 am – 11 am 111 George Street, Brisbane
Rockhampton Thursday 3 September 2015 11 am – 1 pm Quality Hotel Regent, Rockhampton

Identifying Business Development Needs of the Housing Assistance Industry consultation workshops

The Department of Housing has contracted KPMG to consult with industry stakeholders across three locations to gain a greater understanding of the housing assistance industry’s current strengths, areas for development and to explore opportunities for growth and improvements

Workshop dates

Brisbane:           8 September 2015
Bundaberg:        9 September 2015
Cairns:              10 September 2015
For more information on either of these initiatives please contact Rebecca Phillips, Senior Project Officer, Industry Development, at

Innovation clinic on housing supply

An Innovation Clinic was held in June 2015 where community housing providers, along with peak bodies, met to consider the question: “How to increase the supply of social and affordable housing as the foundation for long term sustainability for the community housing sector in Queensland?”  

This was the first event held under the IDEP, and the report will be available soon.  Actions arising from the clinic are being taken forward by the IDEP External Reference Group, and will also inform the development of the new Housing Strategy for Queensland. For more information, or to register your interest to be sent the final report, please contact, or phone (07) 3831 5900. 

Tenancy Law and Tenancy Sustainment workshops 

Mackay 16 September and Rockhampton 17 September

Q Shelter is offering an exciting opportunity to come together to learn about tenancy law and share best practice with experts and colleagues on sustaining tenancies in community housing.
The full day workshop is designed for staff who provide tenancy management to tenants in community housing. The Tenancy Law session will be presented by the Residential Tenancies Authority and the Tenancy Sustainment session will be presented by Fiona Caniglia, Q Shelter.


Date: 16 September 2015
Time: 8:45 am to 4:00 pm
Venue: South Leagues Club, 181 Milton Street, Mackay


Date: 17 September 2015
Time: 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Venue: Travelodge, 86 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton


Full day including lunch: $30
RTA session only: $10
Q Shelter session only: $10
Registrations close Friday 5 September, 2015.  For more information please contact Ann Earle at or visit our website at

Learning and development events

Motivational interviewing

This session will work with participants to learn the fundamental aspects of motivational interviewing applied to a housing and homelessness context.  The session will focus on how motivational interviewing can assist clients and tenants engage in the process of finding, getting and keeping housing. Motivational Interviewing is a respectful, non-confrontational way of working with clients that will facilitate engagement and promote behavioural change.
Date: 2 September 2015
Time: 10.45am for 11am-12pm
Cost: $33 inc GST
Who: Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) and Q Shelter
Format: Webinar

Community and stakeholder engagement: building a strategy geared for success

Housing providers and other social services have a range of relationships with stakeholders including at the community level where housing and support are delivered to people. Community and stakeholder engagement is an important area of work that builds community support for housing and support services, and hopefully helps organisations identify and develop strategic relationships across community, government and business. This webinar will introduce leading practice initiatives and provide ideas about how to build a strategy for your organisation.
Date: 2 September 2015
Time: 12.30pm-1.30pm
Cost: $44 inc. GST
Who: Pam Bourke Consulting with Q Shelter
Format: Webinar

Understanding domestic hoarding and squalor: a workshop

This workshop will cover definitions of hoarding and squalor case study examples and the complex mental health issues facing people living in these environments.
Activities that will help participants understand better and overcome barriers to making progress with clients. Be prepared to get involved and be uncomfortable!
Best Practice strategies when working in hoarding and squalor environments including personal protective equipment.  The latest work being covered by the Brisbane Hoarding and Squalor Working Group – under the Homelessness Community Action Plan.
Date: 8 September 2015
Time: 9.30am-4pm
Cost: $71.50 inc GST
Who: Centacare with Melissa Horton
Format: Training
Where: Q Shelter, 515 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill

Mastering self-care: A journey shared by Mission Australia’s Roma House

Roma House practitioners will lead a discussion into how they have used self care plans to remain resilient in their work practices.
In a sector where many workers are impacted by vicarious or secondary trauma, practical planning towards individual and team self care is essential.
Self care is important if workers are to maintain resilient and provide the most effective support and care to clients. The workshop will be interactive and provide examples of self care and team-care planning.
Date: 9 September 2015
Time: 9.30am-11am
Cost: Free
Who: Roma House, Mission Australia
Format: Interactive discussion over morning tea
Where: Q Shelter, 515 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill

Jennifer Frantz

Jennifer has recently come on board as Q Shelter’s Financial Consultant.
While Jennifer is relatively new to the industry she comes with a wealth of financial knowledge. Jennifer started her career as an external auditor with Deloitte in Brisbane where her focus was ensuring organisations’ financial controls and processes enabled accurate financial reporting. Her first step into commerce had Jennifer coming on as the Lead Treasury Accountant at QGC where she was responsible for the management of the Treasury function as well as performing key internal and external reports for stakeholders. Jennifer has been a Chartered Accountant since 2013.
Jennifer has recently made the move into the community housing sector.  She has joined Q Shelter to provide support to community housing providers with financial aspects of their operations, and her initial focus will be to assist providers to meet requirements under the National Regulatory System Community Housing (NRSCH) – both for registration and compliance. She is working two days a week for Q Shelter. She also works as a Project Manager for a large community housing provider, based in Brisbane.
Jennifer is available Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Q Shelter.

Paul MacKay

Paul MacKay is the newest member of the Q Shelter team, bought on board to support capacity building and branch development. 
Paul’s career has included 25 years within management in community services including homelessness, mental health and community housing.  He has also held similar roles to the Q Shelter position within other peak bodies. He understands the point of view of managers and workers having started within this sector as a support worker, then as a team leader and program manager.  For his Masters of Health Service Management degree Paul wrote a dissertation entitled: Beyond the Rhetoric which explored the hypothesis that services to people who are disadvantaged are more effective when service users and workers are involved in strategic planning and governance.
Paul is a passionate facilitator and trainer, and we hope these attributes will be put to good use in supporting providers within the context of the National Regulatory Scheme for Community Housing and in supporting individual providers and networks throughout the regions.  The Q Shelter board and the Branch Delegates have expressed a desire for Q Shelter to grow our membership and networks so that we are a strong, supportive and effective voice on housing matters.  Paul’s experience with community engagement and resourcing should contribute well to the fulfillment of these aspirations.

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