MTalks: 2021 Oswald Barnett Oration – Victoria’s Social Housing Boom Past Event

Presented by MPavilion

An expert panel discussion on the social housing future of Victoria, and how to make it happen.

2020 turned out to be unexpectedly tough, with few opportunities for the housing sector to come together. But it also saw the Victorian Government commit unprecedented levels of funding and support to increase social and affordable housing supply across Victoria and help stimulate the State’s economy.

A new departmental structure was created – Homes Victoria, the $5.3bn Big Housing Build was announced, a ten year Housing Strategy is currently out for public consultation and a raft of other programs and shovel-ready social housing projects are now in the pipeline. Could one of the positive impacts of COVID-19 be a turning point in the delivery of social and affordable housing supply across Victoria?

Ben Rimmer

Ben is Associate Secretary with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and the CEO of Homes Victoria, the arm of the Department of Housing formed in November 2020 to manage the $5.6bn Big Housing Build, and more than $26 billion in State government housing assets that currently provide homes for more than 116,000 Victorians. He is a former Chief Executive Officer of the City of Melbourne and has held a number of senior positions in Government including within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Michael Lennon

Michael Lennon is Managing Director of the Housing Choices Australia Group, one of Australia’s largest community housing providers with 8500 properties nationally. He has a 27-year international career in housing, planning and urban development. As Chief Executive of the Glasgow Housing Association, Michael oversaw the largest housing stock transfer in Europe at the time. He served as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Housing New Zealand Corporation; led the restructure of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and as national chair of the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) in 2019, delivered CHIA’s National Affordable Housing Plan.

Kris Daff

With over 20 years of experience, Kris Daff is a highly innovative leader in Australia’s property development and real estate market. As Managing Director of Assemble, Kris has transformed the business into an occupant-centric, affordable Build to Rent development and community management company and has led the acquisition of a portfolio of projects with a combined end value of over $3.0b comprising 5,000 apartments and over 100,000sqm of non-residential programming. Kris is committed to continued research and innovation in the property sector and shares his experience in alternative housing models as a way of improving affordability.

Emma Appleton

Emma is Director, City Strategy for the City of Melbourne. She was previously Director of the Victorian Design Review Panel for the Office of the Victorian Government Architect. A registered landscape architect and experienced urban designer, Emma has held senior roles in public agency in Melbourne and London and design consultancy in Glasgow. She has significant experience in urban renewal, design-led master planning and procurement of high quality design, as well as leading multi-disciplinary design and planning teams.

Michele Morrison

Michele is Chief Development Officer of Homes Victoria. She joined the Department of Housing and Human Services in 2020 after seven years with Capella Capital, a financial sponsor, developer and manager of major infrastructure projects and assets in Australia and New Zealand, a partnership with Lend Lease. Michele has managed and delivered major private and public sector projects including the Bendigo Hospital. Her experience spans multiple sectors including health, pharmaceutical, education, banking, office towers, manufacturing, warehousing, transport and telecommunications.

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Free, but booking is required


Wed 31 Mar 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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MPavilion Parkade
34 Little Collins St, 34 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia