Program

Discover ---- Share ---- Grow

The 2019 program includes the latest innovations in homelessness practice and prevention, new research, and ongoing challenges in policy and practice.

Our Canadian keynote speakers Melanie Redman and Stephen Gaetz will discuss system reforms and practice developments in Canada, including the impact of the Canadian Housing Strategy, homelessness prevention initiatives, and the innovative Housing First for Youth model being trialed in multiple sites across Canada.

You’ll hear about the challenges and progress being made with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the mental health system, add to your advocacy skills toolkit, and connect with the latest developments in the homelessness policy framework in Victoria and the Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework.

And, we’ll have a specific youth homelessness stream to learn about policy and practice innovations for young people including in medium-term accommodation options, responding to trauma, and to young LGBTIQ+ people.

Subscribe to updates

DAY 1 – Monday 14 October

9 am

Welcome to country 

Ministerial address

The Hon Richard Wynne

Clarendon Auditorium

 

9:50 am

Keynote Plenary Address: 

Lessons from Canada – Progress, challenges, next steps

 

Dr Stephen Gaetz, President and CEO, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Facilitator: Bevan Warner, CEO, Launch Housing

Discussant: Professor Guy Johnson, RMIT University

Canada shares many similarities with Australia, including its colonial history, systems of government, the persistence of discrimination experienced by First People, and geographic size. Canada is also experiencing a similar increase in homelessness because of decreased affordability in the rental market, and underinvestment in social housing.

Stephen Gaetz will share how Canada has responded to this increased challenge of homelessness. What has been the impact of the 2017 national housing strategy: A place to call home, the 2019 national homelessness strategy?

What advocacy has been successful? What system reforms have succeeded, and which faltered?             

 

Clarendon Auditorium

Click here to see the presentation slides

 

Click here to see a recording of the presentation

11 am

Morning Tea

Clarendon Auditorium Foyer

 

11:30 am

Plenary panel:

Closing the Gap: An Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework

 

Facilitator: Jenny Samms, Lead consultant for the Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework.

Panellists:

  • Darren Smith – CEO, Aboriginal Housing Victoria
  • Meriki Onus – Advocacy Adviser, Djirra, 
  • Aunty Shirley Firebrace – tenant, Aboriginal Housing Victoria
  • Julie Bamblett – Homeless Outreach Support and Local Justice Worker Program Team Leader, VACSAL,
  • Leigh Saunders, – Aboriginal Youth Programs Manager, VACSAL

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians access homeless services at 12 times the rate of non-Aboriginal Victorians. Aboriginal Housing Victoria is leading a process to develop an Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework that aims to improve housing outcomes for Aboriginal community members across the housing continuum.

This plenary panel will explore:

  • the characteristics of Aboriginal homelessness in Victoria
  •  the critical success factors for addressing Aboriginal homelessness
  • examples of successful models, and,
  • future directions arising from the Framework process.

Clarendon Auditorium

Click here to see the presentation slides (Vision)

Click here to see the presentation slides (Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework)

 

Click here to see a recording of the presentation

12:40 pm

Lunch

Clarendon Auditorium Foyer

1:30 pm 

Concurrent Sessions

2:40 pm

Afternoon Tea

Clarendon Auditorium Foyer

 

3:10 pm

Plenary Panel: 

Breaking the nexus between mental health and homelessness: What the Commission should conclude…

 

 

 

Session Sponsor: Sacred Heart Mission

Facilitator: Jenny Smith, CEO, Council to Homeless Persons

Discussant: Prof Patrick McGorry, Executive Director, Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health

Panellists

  • Cathy Humphrey, CEO, Sacred Heart Mission – What we need from the Royal Commission in housing and support; a homelessness service perspective
  • Elizabeth Crowther, CEO, Wellways - What we need from the Royal Commission in housing and support; a mental health perspective
  • Nigel Pernu and Elvis Martin, Peer Education and Support Program (PESP) members -  How housing and lack of housing and support impacted on pathways in and out of mental illness

Clarendon Auditorium

Click here to see the presentation slides

 

 

4:20 pm

The Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards

 

 

 

MC – Comedian and political commentator Sammy J

Networking event and drinks

CHP is proud to present the Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards, an opportunity to celebrate the many exceptional workers, consumers and organisations within the specialist homelessness service system and the vital work that they do.

Clarendon Auditorium

Click here to see a recording of the awards

5 - 6-30 pm

Networking/Drinks

Clarendon Auditorium Foyer

DAY 2 - Tuesday 15 October

 

9:00 am

Plenary:

It’s time to end youth homelessness

 

 

Melanie Redman, Co-Founder, President & CEO, A Way Home Canada

Facilitator: Vicki Sutton, CEO, Melbourne City Mission

Discussant: Associate Professor David Mackenzie, Swinburne University

Canada, like Australia, is experiencing an increase in youth homelessness and has similar challenges with vulnerable young people falling through the net of the services that are available.

Melanie Redman will talk about how the Canadian youth homelessness sector has responded to these challenges using advocacy, research, practice innovation and partnerships. What is unique about the response to young people? What is being achieved in Canada? What is working less well? And what can we learn in Australia about how to turn the dial on the growing crisis of homelessness among young Australians?

Clarendon Auditorium

Click here to see the presentation slides

 

Click here to see a recording of the presentation

10:10

Launch of Canadian Parity

 Presenters:

 

  • Melanie Redman, Co-Founder, President & CEO, A Way Home Canada
  • Stephen Gaetz, President & CEO, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
  • Jenny Smith, CEO, Council to Homeless Persons

 

Clarendon Auditorium

10:30 am

Morning Tea

Clarendon Auditorium Foyer

 

11:00 am

Plenary Panel:

The NDIS – Is it getting any better? Could it be worse?

 

 

 

Facilitator: Quinn Pawson, CEO, VincentCare

Panellists:

  • Gerry Naughtin, Strategic Adviser Mental Health, National Disability Insurance Agency
  • Carol Vale, Head of Strategy, McAuley Community Services for Women
  • Helen Matthews, Peer Education and Support Program (PESP) member. 
  • Dr Andrew Hollows, General Manager, Research and Service Sector Reform, Launch Housing

Many people with disability who are homeless or at risk, continue to experience significant difficulty in getting the support they need via the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This presents significant challenges for these vulnerable people, and for homelessness and housing services working to gain and sustain housing outcomes.

This panel will explore what has improved in the NDIS to respond to people with complex needs, and what still needs to change.

Clarendon Auditorium

12:10 pm

Lunch

Clarendon Auditorium Foyer

 

1:00 pm

The Victorian Homelessness Media Awards

Recognising the journalists doing outstanding work in reporting on homelessness

 

 

 

MC – Jacinta Parsons, ABC Radio Melbourne 

The media wields significant power to shape and influence understandings of homelessness and to drive positive community conversations about the causes of homelessness. Productive conversations focus on the systemic issues that underlie homelessness.

With the support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, CHP has established the Victorian Homelessness Media Awards program.

The Awards recognise and encourage outstanding, responsive, and respectful reporting of homelessness with four Awards categories; Breaking News, Long-form, Opinion and Student / Early Career journalism. 

Clarendon Auditorium

 

Click here to see a recording of the awards

 

1:30 pm

Plenary:

How to win friends and influence homelessness policy

 

Mark Chenery, Co-director Common Cause 

Our sector has long battled with the best way to persuade the public and decision-makers to adopt big-picture solutions to complex social problems.

This session looks at the way we can evolve our messages to appeal to people’s values. Through this session, we will learn how to craft communication that ‘activate' the perspective that works best for us and stays well clear of the others. 

Clarendon Auditorium

Click here to see the presentation slides

2:10 pm

Concurrent Sessions

3:20 pm

Afternoon Tea

Clarendon Auditorium Foyer

 

3:45pm

Plenary Debate:

How small is too small: a debate about tiny homes

 

The great Victorian homelessness debate returns with the fundamental question of size.

For:

  • Bevan Warner, CEO, Launch Housing
  • Rob Pradolin, Housing All Australians
  • Pete Zwiers, National Program Manager, Kids Under Cover 

Against:

  • Samantha Sowerwine, Principal Lawyer, Homeless Law, Justice Connect
  • Jeanette Large, CEO, Women’s Property Initiative
  • Damien Patterson, Policy Officer, Council to Homeless Persons

 

Clarendon Auditorium

 

Click here to see a recording of the debate

4:45 pm

Conference close

Jenny Smith, CEO, Council to Homeless Persons 

Clarendon Auditorium

 

 

Concurrent Program

DAY 1 – Monday 14 October


A national approach to partnerships for local homelessness service systems

Clarendon Auditorium 

The Reaching Home: Canadian national homelessness strategy builds on the national Partnership Strategy that has been in place since 2001 with 61 plus designated communities working on homelessness.  Reaching Home aims to strengthen outcomes from homelessness services using best practice tools and service models. This concurrent session for homeless service leaders is a deep dive into what this looks like in practice. Melanie will focus on the dynamics of the change process. How are sector leaders engaged in strengthening service delivery locally? What is the local governance process? How are the projects playing out differently in different locations, with their unique sets of relationships, service systems and economic and cultural contexts? What are the key outcomes and learnings from the process? The changes would you make if you could start again?   

Facilitator: Jenny Smith, CEO, Council to Homeless Persons

Presenter: Melanie Redman, Co-Founder, President & CEO, A Way Home Canada

Click here to see the presentation slides

Click here to see a recording of the presentation

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Towards independence – Accommodation options for young people

Clarendon Room B

Young people who cannot remain living with family need accommodation options that meet their needs at this time of transition in their lives. What do we know about what works for young people exiting homelessness crisis? What are the options available in Victoria to provide medium and longer-term accommodation for young people, and how do these models work for different young people needing housing? What are the gaps we should be aiming to fill? You’ll hear from leading practitioners in Victoria who are working with young people exiting homelessness crisis.

Facilitator: Molly O'Shaughnessy, Senior Manager - Accommodation, Homelessness & Justice, Melbourne City Mission

Panellists:

  • Molly O'Shaughnessy, Senior Manager – Accommodation Homelessness & Justice, Melbourne City Mission – What do we know works in medium to long-term accommodation for young people?
  • Rob Ellis, State Manager Youth (VIC), Salvation Army – What are the challenges for young people with highly complex needs. What do we have now, and what should be available?
  • Claire Coxon, Group Manager, Youth Transitions - What is the place for education first youth foyers in a broader homelessness service system?
  • Aleisha Armstrong, consumer – to talk about what worked to be ready to move on.

Click here to see the presentation slides


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So you’ve done the training, now what?

Clarendon Room A 

The prevalence of trauma amongst young people experiencing homelessness is widely recognised. Taking the step from being trauma aware to trauma-informed can have its challenges. Join Hayley Wilson and Simone Bursey as they share their experiences implementing trauma-informed practices into youth services. The session will focus on both service and individual challenges and how to overcome them with practical tips.

Presenters:

  • Hayley Wilson, Council to Homeless Persons,
  • Simone Bursey, Therapeutic Services Manager, Melbourne City Mission

Click here to see the presentation slides


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Young, queer and homeless – delivering best practice homelessness services 

Clarendon Room D 

LGBTIQ young people are strongly overrepresented among homeless service users. The statistics and stories around their experiences highlight the importance of safe and inclusive homelessness responses. This session will explore the most recent practice developments in homeless services responding to LGBTIQ young people, and consider the question – should we develop LGBTIQ specialist services?

Facilitator: Jordi Kerr (they/them), LGBTIQ Project Worker, Family Access Network

Panellists:

  • Dr Cal Andrews (they/them), LGBTIQ Homelessness and Housing Projects, University of Melbourne
  • Ashleigh Shanahan (she/her), LGBTIQ Homelessness and Family Violence Project Worker, Wombat Housing
  • Harley Bowra (he/him), LGBTQ youth advocate
  • Fiona Pole, (she/her) Young Adults Outreach Services Case Manager (LGBTI portfolio), VincentCare 

Session sponsored by VincentCare

Click here to see the presentation slides
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The rise in older person's homelessness – understanding the changing context and effective solutions

Clarendon Room E 

Older people have some unique challenges and vulnerabilities when they experience or are at risk of homelessness. They also intersect with other specialist aged care and health services that are only available to older people. As we respond to a growing number of older people experiencing homelessness we need to understand their situation, and effectively navigate services for older people to get the best outcomes for our clients. This session will explore what’s changing and what is needed to end homelessness for older people.

Facilitator: Jeff Fiedler, Housing Action for Aged Action Group

Panellists:

  • Jeff Fiedler, Housing Action for Aged Action Group
  • Bryan Lipmann AO, CEO, Wintringham
  • Jodie Henry, Manager Strategic Projects and Engagement, VMHC
  • Mary-Anne Wright, HAAG COM member and person with lived experience

Click here to see the presentation slides 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Using outcomes measurement to strengthen practice

Clarendon Room C 

Governments around the world are implementing outcomes frameworks in human services, presenting both risks and opportunities for service delivery. This session will explore how we can maximise the benefit of outcomes measurement to better understand where interventions are achieving positive outcomes for clients, and where adjustment to service delivery is needed to achieve better results. You’ll hear an update from Council to Homeless Persons Outcomes Measurement project, learn about how outcomes are used in Canada, and explore a local example of using outcomes measurement in homelessness service delivery

Facilitator: Kate Colvin, Manager Policy and Communications, Council to Homeless Persons

Panellists:

 

 

 

 

Day 2 - Tuesday 15 October


Housing First for Youth

Clarendon Auditorium 

The Housing First model has become recognised as a best practice approach to responding to homelessness among people with complex needs and experiencing entrenched homelessness, but has been less successful with young people. Homeless Hub and A Way Home in Canada have developed a unique model called Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) that addresses young people’s particular needs and is trialing this in 13 sites. Stephen will discuss how this model is different from generalist Housing First, and explore some of the variances in the trial sites, including a site specifically for First Nations young people.

Facilitator: Paul McDonald, CEO. Anglicare and Chair of the Home Stretch campaign

Presenter: Dr Stephen Gaetz, President and CEO, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Session sponsored by HomeStretch

Click here to see the presentation slides

Click here to see a recording of the presentation
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Make a difference – how to make your advocacy great

Clarendon Room B 

Join former Victorian Minister for Housing, Aged Care, Community Services, Health, Education and Workforce Participation, and Chair of Uniting VicTas and Uniting Care Australia Bronwyn Pike and messaging expert Mark Chenery from Common Cause in a panel discussion about how to really influence politicians and take your advocacy efforts from good to great.

Bronwyn will share insights from her 13-year parliamentary career. You’ll learn about the political cycle, tips and tricks for getting your MPs attention, how to make best use of a lobbying meeting, how to prepare and what messages work from the MPs perspective.

Mark Chenery will present research from Common Cause about how to construct influential arguments about social issues, including homelessness and affordable housing, using identity and values. You’ll learn how to how to give MPs the messages they need, but most importantly the motivation they need, to advocate for your cause in parliament and to their constituents.

Facilitator: Kate Colvin, Manager Policy and Communications, Council to Homeless Persons

Presenters:

  • Mark Chenery, Co-director Common Cause
  • The Hon. Bronwyn Pike, former Minister for Housing in Victoria


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The blurred line between perpetrator and victim - young people, homelessness and violence

Clarendon Room D

For young people experiencing homelessness, violence and its threat can become a daily issue of survival and protection. Young people living in crisis often have a blurred identity as both victim and perpetrator of violence. In this complex practioner environment, what is the best way to work young people who both experience and use violence? Becky Halliday from Jesuit Social Services and Matt Addison from No to Violence will talk about how best to engage young people around their issue of violence and support them to have healthy, safe relationships.

Attendees at this session will hear about new research from the University of Melbourne, which seeks to understand how and why young people become homeless, what they go through while they are homeless, and how we can support the transition out of homelessness.

Facilitator: Leonie Kenny, Rough SLeeping Project Manager, Council to Homeless Persons

Presenters: 

  • Dr Jess Heerde, Westpac Research Fellow, Department of Paediatrics (Melbourne Medical School, Royal Children’s Hospital), University of Melbourne
  • Becky Halliday, Coordinator, Connexions program, Jesuit Social Services. Connexions is a program that works with young people with high and complex needs, particularly those with concurrent mental health and substance misuse
  • Matt Addison, Policy and Research Officer, No To Violence

Click here to see the presentation slides


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

New research showcase

Clarendon Room A

Pregnancy and homelessness: new research

Dr Juliet Watson and Jacqui Theobald have been conducting research into homelessness and pregnancy, and the struggle for women who are pregnant to be prioritised for services in a landscape where resources are so scarce. Attendees at this session will get a preview of the research findings, which aren’t due for launch until November.

When a woman is dedicating all her energy to seeking accommodation, how does she prepare emotionally and physically for the arrival of a new baby?

The researcher is based on interviews with homelessness and health service providers, and women who have been pregnant while homeless and provides recommendations for services and policymakers.

 

 Presenters: 

  • Dr Juliet Watson, Unison Housing Research Lab, School of Global Urban and Social Studies, RMIT
  • Dr Jacqui Theobald, Social Work, Latrobe Rural Health School

Click here to see the presentation slides

 

Settling in and making a home

Access to affordable housing is critical to ending homelessness.  Yet research shows that one in three new social housing tenancies end within their first year. Government data suggests high levels of housing satisfaction among tenants, yet housing and homelessness services understand the challenges of settling in and making home are far more complex.  This research aims to contribute to our understanding of what supports and hinders the process of ‘settling in’ from the perspective of 30 new tenants at Unison Housing. Preliminary findings will be presented along with a new framework for thinking about housing-related issues that considers the role and meaning of housing in terms of living ‘a good life’.

Presenter:

  • Susan McCallum, Unison Housing Research Lab, School of Global Urban and Social Studies, RMIT

Click here to see the presentation slides


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Responding to and minimising staff trauma – a session for practitioners and managers

Clarendon Room C

Experiences of profound and repeated trauma are common among people experiencing homelessness. This trauma can affect interactions among clients, and homelessness workers creating further trauma for both people experiencing homelessness and workers who become exposed to the traumatic experiences of others. This presentation will delve deeper into the challenges of trauma in homelessness service delivery and explore:

  • what trauma and vicarious trauma are
  • what are common post-traumatic stress reactions
  • what are risk factors for experiencing these reactions and protective factors that can help to prevent them
  • how to recognise the early warning signs of being negatively affected by trauma and how to respond to these signs to improve mental health. 

Kathryn Taylor will refer to learnings from J2SI through three studies on post-traumatic stress, trauma, AOD, and homelessness.

Presenter:

  • Dr Kathryn Taylor, Swinburne University

Click here to see the presentation slides

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Improving the homelessness service system

Clarendon Room E

Victoria’s Minister for Housing has charged the Department of Health and Human Services and his Homelessness Advisory Committee with developing a new framework to shape continual improvement in homelessness service delivery. Sherri Bruinhout will explain the critical challenges for homelessness services in Victoria, and the new directions being explored by Government.  If you missed the consultations in August, then don’t miss this opportunity to catch up on the development of this plan.

Presenter:

  • Sherri Bruinhout – Director Housing Pathways and Outcomes, Department of Health and Human Services

Click here to see the presentation slides


News

Subscribe to receive conference updates

Subscribe to our mailing list