CHP has ten employees who come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a broad range of experience to the organisation.
Jenny Smith, CEO
Jenny’s professional life has been dedicated to the public sector. This includes 25 years in leadership and management roles in policy, management, government, in training and service delivery, and in health, mental health, community health and community sectors.
Jenny joined the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) in 2011, following her role as General Manager Medical Services at St Vincent’s in Fitzroy. There her responsibilities included emergency demand, addiction medicine, correctional health and mental health.
Jenny began her career as a social worker and family therapist. She has since completed a Master’s degree in social work and a Master’s qualification in public policy and management. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has considerable experience as a Board director of community sector agencies and she is currently Chair of Homelessness Australia.
Across her career, Jenny has partnered with colleagues to author a number of papers published in refereed journals. These include the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, Australian Social Work and The British Journal of Psychiatry.
Jenny is passionate about applying her skills and experience to ending homelessness and about working in partnership with those who have experienced homelessness, the specialist homelessness sector, public sector providers, government and the philanthropic and corporate communities.
Phone: 8415 6200
CHP Management Team
Kate Colvin, Manager Policy and Communications
Kate is responsible for CHP’s policy and strategic communications. With over 20 years’ experience in policy and advocacy roles, Kate has led sector campaigns on housing affordability and minimum rental standards, as well as climate change and transport issues. Kate played a key role in the Australians for Affordable Housing campaign, and led the national Vote Home campaign over the 2016 federal election.
Phone: 8415 6204
Ian Gough, Manager Consumer and Capacity Building Programs
Ian manages CHP’s capacity building activities and consumer programs – the Peer Education Support Program and the Homelessness Advocacy Service. During his 20 plus years in the community sector Ian has worked in the residential care, family, youth and homelessness sectors. Ian believes that consumer participation is integral to the improvement of the homelessness service system.
Phone: 8415 6212
Lynette Deakes, Office Manager
Lynette is responsible for CHP’s administrative systems and provides support to the CEO and Board. Lynette has over 16 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, providing Board, CEO and sector management support.
Phone: 8415 6206
CHP Staff and Volunteers
Noel Murray, Parity Editor
Noel is the editor and manager of our monthly publication, Parity Magazine and CHP’s annual reports. Prior to joining CHP in 1998, Noel worked with various trade unions in publications, projects, and research capacities. Noel has also lectured in politics, sociology and public health at universities including La Trobe and RMIT.
Phone: 8415 6201
Cassandra Bawden, Team Leader, Peer Education Support Program (PESP)
Cassandra has been the team leader of the Peer Education Support Program (PESP) since 2011, after joining CHP as a member of the inaugural PESP team in 2005. Cassandra’s focus is on increasing consumer participation across the sector and promoting consumer rights. Cassandra has also helped to develop consumer articles for Parity Magazine.
Phone: 8415 6210
Visit the PESP page for information.
Angela Kyriakopoulos, Advocate, Homelessness Advocacy Service (HAS)
Angela is responsible for the Homelessness Advocacy Service (HAS). With more than 25 years of experience behind her in the tenancy, housing and homelessness sector, Angela passionately supports consumers through advocacy, negotiation and conflict resolution work. Angela also provides advice to community services staff on how to advocate for their clients.
Phone: 8415 6213
Trish Hackney-Westmore, Capacity Building Coordinator
Trish supports the sector through research, advocacy and providing practice development opportunities. In 2015 Trish wrote and published the sector’s first ever set of good practice guides. Prior to working with CHP Trish has worked in policy and research at various housing organisations including Hanover and St George Community Housing.
Phone: 8415 6215
Damien Patterson, Policy & Advocacy Officer
Damien works to ensure that homelessness policy in Victoria is focused on the responses that will successfully end homelessness. With a focus on data, research, program evaluation and consumer experience, Damien works to inform government policy, and ensure that the voice of those experiencing homelessness and those who serve them is represented.
Ph: 8415 6209
Belinda Lack, Digital Communications Officer
Belinda produces digital content for CHP that raises the profile of strategies to end homelessness and engages the community and homelessness sector with news, campaigns and policy. Belinda devises digital strategies and creates multimedia to amplify our messages, as well as maintaining the CHP website and social media accounts.
Phone: 8415 6205
Lanie Harris, Media Awards Coordinator
Lanie is developing and administering the Victorian Homelessness Media Awards program which will be the first awards to recognise and reward outstanding reporting of homelessness and related issues of housing, family violence, mental health, the justice system and social policy. The Awards are part of long-term strategic efforts by the homelessness sector to improve community perceptions of homelessness and increase understanding of the solutions.
Isabelle Oderberg, Senior Media Advisor
Isabelle works with media to promote the work of CHP and our work to alleviate homelessness in Victoria and assists with strategic communications as required.
After several years working as a journalist in London at Dow Jones and Reuters, Isabelle joined Melbourne’s Herald Sun as deputy business editor and Australia’s first social media editor. She then became national social media editor for News Corp Australia, responsible for advising social media strategy, development, training, policy creation, implementation and branding across News Corp’s many local newsrooms. She then joined Australian Red Cross as head of social media, before entering the health space as communications manager. She has worked as a consultant in social media management, publicity, strategic communications, crisis management and high-level risk mitigation and management strategy. She is a founding and sitting committee member of Women In Media Victoria, former board member of the Melbourne Press Club and has given lectures in journalism at Melbourne University and Monash University.
Phone: 0435 966 251 or 8415 6214.
Andrew Edgar, Capacity Building Officer
Andrew is working in the Capacity Building Team to assist with the development of an industry transition plan. The plan will identify the impact of the current government reforms, and create strategies to meet the future needs identified.
Previously Andrew worked within the State-wide Regional Homelessness Networks, resourcing the local homelessness services.
Phone: 8415 6207
Christy Hackney-Westmore, Administration and Projects Support Officer
Christy provides administrative and project support to our Office Manager, the Capacity Building team and the PESP program. Christy has been with CHP for two years and prior to this worked in the corporate sector for 20 years across New Zealand and Australia.
Phone: 8415 6200
CHP Finance team
Nilgun Welense, Accountant
Anita Bhalsod, Bookkeeper
Our Peer Education Support Program (PESP) team is made up of volunteers.
Visit the PESP page for information.