Australasian Housing Institute

Tenant Participation and Engagement Professional Practice Seminar

Building social inclusion and empowering tenants

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The topic of tenant participation and engagement always raises considerable interest with our members. This seminar provides social housing practitioners, researchers and leaders opportunity to impart and explore strategy, methodology and good-practice to actively encourage tenant participation in community activities, engage and consult with tenants and involve them in the decision making and delivery of their housing.

Sessions include presentations from practitioners and researchers and consultants showcasing tenant participation and engagement approaches, recent research and good-practice models together with robust discussion about involving tenants in the running of their homes.


Past Events

6 July 2017, Hamilton, New Zealand

On 6 July 2017 in Hamilton, the Australasian Housing Institute hosted a Tenant Participation Seminar, an inspiring session highlighting the power of relationships and strong communities. Participants heard from a range of passionate and experienced practitioners and also made the most of the opportunity to network and learn from others.

Themes of trust, authenticity and transparency were woven through the day, as well as the need for clear boundaries and holding the ‘difficult conversations’ well. The importance of communities taking ownership and the benefits of doing so came through many of the sessions, as well as an array of successful housing models operating in Australia and NZ.

The tenants that attended provided valuable insights through the generous sharing of the challenges they faced as social housing tenants and ‘hot tips’ for improving tenant services. A quote shared by one of the presenters summed up the sense of optimism at the end of the day: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. 


22 September 2016, Wellington, New Zealand


Speakers in Wellington included:

  • TIUMALU PETER FA’AFIU | Partner | Navigator
  • ROSIE GALLEN | Community Action & Engagement Manager, City Housing | Wellington City Council
  • BOB HARDIE | Senior Advisor | Otautahi Community Housing Trust
  • RENÉE MARTIN | Stakeholder Relationship Manager – Central | Housing New Zealand Corporation
  • HAL PAWSON | Professor of Housing Research and Policy & Associate Director of the City Futures Research Centre | UNSW (Australia)

The event featured Tenant Discussion Panel "Learning from Tenants".  Led by Rosie Gallen, this conversational panel draws out tenant perspective on how to encourage them and fellow tenants to participate in community activities and how they like to be engaged and consulted in the delivery of their housing.

23 June 2016, Brisbane, Australia

With delegates from across New Zealand and Australia and a diverse set of speakers it made for robust and thought-provoking discussion about strategy, methodology and good-practice to actively encourage tenant participation in community activities and how to engage and consult with tenants and involve them in the decision making and delivery of their housing.
Frances Paterson-Fleider, the Institute's Queensland Director opened proceeding, followed by an entertaining and frank presentation from Jon Eastgate (99 Consulting).  Drawing on Drawing on projects, consultations and literature, Jon looked at what tenants tell us about good housing policy.
Wendy Herman from Tenants Queensland overviewed the progress of the Leading the Way project including the good TPE practice achieved and path forward , while Rodney Holmes outlined the frameworks and initiatives upon which Churches of Christ Housing Services has built its successful Tenant Participation Program.
Common Ground Queensland tenants aided Sonya Keeps presentation, enabling insight into the tenant experience throughout their common spaces project.
Rachel Cornock from bric housing company extended the tenant participation and engagement discussion, exploring  in terms of how truly effective it is in providing tenants with an experience of social inclusion.

Speakers for the Brisbane event on 23rd June included: 


25 August 2015, Sydney, Australia

The third in its series Tenant Participation and Engagement Professional Practice seminar was held in Sydney on Monday, 25 August 2015. The topic of this event was Achieving quality improvement within social housing service through tenant participation and engagement.

The AHI would like to extend gratitude to contributing seminar speakers:

The seminar also included a participatory round table discussion "Beyond Participation".


4 March 2014, Melbourne, Australia

On the 4th March a group of diverse housing professionals gathered in Melbourne to draw insight from presentations and join discussion about approaches for tenant participation, engagement and empowerment.
The one-day professional practice seminar bought together a respected group of speakers including industry specialists, leaders and researchers in the tenant participation field who each presented view for involving tenants as customers and stakeholders so to enhance tenant morale and communities.

Feedback from attendees included:

  • It was great to hear a perspective from tenant union
  • Good range of topics discussed looking at all spectrums of community engagement 
  • Very well presented - I liked the breadth of academic and practical topics/speakers 
  • Interesting to get perspective on other states  

The AHI would like to extend gratitude to contributing seminar speakers:

  • Hal Pawson | Professor of Housing Research and Policy | City Futures Research Centre  | UNSW
  • Randall Pearce | THINK: Insight & Advice
  • Pablo Alfredo Gimenez | Community Economic Participation Manager | Yarra Community Housing
  • Liban Yusuf | Port Phillip Housing Association Ltd
  • Mark O’Brien | Chief Executive Officer | Tenant’s Union of Victoria
  • Dr Dallas Rogers | Research Fellow | School of Social Sciences and Psychology | University of Western Sydney
  • Jill McCabe | Director | Community and Economic Participation | Department of Human Services

Download Melbourne seminar program 

17 September 2013, Sydney, Australia

The seminar provided senior housing professionals with opportunity to explore strategy, initiatives and good practice to engage with tenants and promote tenant participation in property and tenancy management, and in their communities. Seminar participants had an opportunity not only to hear from industry practitioners, researches and tenants, but also enjoyed a chance to share experience with other attendees as the event gathered together professionals from from NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, ACT and Queensland.

The range of speakers and topics allowed to explore the issue of the tenant engagement from different perspectives. The Seminar program included successful case studies from such leading NSW housing providers as St George Community Housing, Shelter NSW, Wentworth Community Housing and the Tenant Discussion Panel led by Dare Kavanagh.  

Feedback from attendees included:

  • "Well balanced suite of topics and presentations with excellent centrepiece of the Tenant Discussion Panel"
  • "Very practical and ranging from ground roots to large country wide issues"
  • "Diverse and engaging - a nice balance of applied experience and conceptual evaluation"

The AHI would like to sincerely thank all speakers, attendees and sponsors for their contributions to the event success. 

  • Jon Eastgate, 99 Consulting  
  • Dr Tony Gilmour, AHI President;  CEO, Housing Action Network
  • Dare Kavanagh NSW Land and Housing Corporation
  • Jodie McCarthy-Mills, Wentworth Community Housing
  • Rowa Omari, St George Community Housing
  • Randall Pearce, THINK: Insight & Advice 
  • Donald Proctor, Director of the NSW AHI Branch; Practitioner in Residence with the Henry Halloran Trust at University of Sydney
  • Paula Rix, Shelter NSW
  • Dallas Rogers, University of Western Sydney  
  • Kathryn Williams, Wentworth Community Housing

Download Sydney Seminar Program