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2018 Homelessness Conference

Sharing Solutions to End Homelessness

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8 August | Adelaide Convention Centre

Now in its fifth year, the 2018 Homelessness Conference program will profile emerging local, national and global trends on housing and homelessness. This year’s theme, Sharing Solutions to End Homelessness, explores innovative ways the public, community and private sectors can work together to address homelessness and the current vulnerabilities that people face. Special rates apply for students.

This conference also provides an opportunity to hear updates on the Adelaide Zero Project, which has moved into the Implementation Phase and aims to achieve Functional Zero street homelessness in the inner city by the end of 2020. Against a backdrop of rising homelessness in Australia, Adelaide now has a unique opportunity to lead the country in finding solutions to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness.

Conference presenters and panel members include nationally and internationally acclaimed service providers and practitioners, policy and decision makers, innovators and academics. Interactive sessions will provide opportunities for discussion, learning and exchange of ideas.

Book here

Did you know you can pay it forward with a donated ticket?

You can purchase a ticket for someone who wouldn't ordinarily be able to attend the conference due to their financial circumstances. Simply select the Pay it Forward ticket option when you are booking your tickets.

If you'd like to attend the conference but can't due to your financial circumstances, please send your details to Recipients of Pay it Forward tickets will be selected at random.

2018 Homelessness Conference Sponsor Logos

View the 2018 Conference Program

Mini Discussions and Presentations

The conference also features more than 30 mini-discussions and presentations. See below for a selection of presenters and their topics:

  • Independent or Institutionalised: the tension in Youth Housing. Ryan Bullivant, Service Manager, St Johns Youth Services.
    They say that in complex systems, finding ‘solutions’ is not possible, instead you have to understand and work with the underlying tensions. The key role for Youth Housing projects is to empower young people to succeed in independence. At the same time, Young people are often frustrated by the environments that are created in youth homelessness provision - particularly the obligations that they enter into: house rules, mutual obligation, chores, compulsory activities, etc.  Placing limits on personal autonomy like this is something that has been associated with some of the most problematic institutions.

  • Improving the housing outcomes of low income older people: The Ageing on the Edge Project. Debbie Faulkner, Research Fellow, CHURP.
    Introducing the Ageing on the Edge Older Persons Homelessness Prevention Project, a five year project working progressively across the States to address the increasing housing problems facing many low income older people in Australia who do not have appropriate and affordable housing in their later years.

  • Homelessness: Not Just a Housing Issue.Priority Health Care for Aboriginal and Guardianship Young People. Annie Catanzariti, Nurse Practitioner, Metropolitan Youth Health Services.
    The aim of our Homeless Outreach Clinics (HOT) was to optimize access to health services by providing culturally appropriate and sensitive, flexible outreach in order to access and engage with this highly vulnerable group. Our results show an increased access to health services and delivery of services to clients not formally accessible.

  • Find out how housing co-operatives (co-ops) can reduce the causes of homelessness. Scott Sharrad, Chair, PERCH Housing Co-op, Member organisation of Common Equity. Housing co-ops reduce social isolation which can be directly linked to improving health and wellbeing outcomes - mental health is a significant contributor to homelessness. So, by tackling one of the main causes upfront it will reduce the numbers falling into homelessness.

  • Lakehouse - A pop up housing model for older homeless women. Jan Berriman, Director, National Housing, YWCA Australia.
    The ‘pop up’ concept is being implemented to utilise vacant properties, engaging in partnership with corporates and NFPs to deliver innovative solutions to homelessness.

  • Healing together – parenting after Domestic and Family Violence. Megan Hughes, Executive Manager, Strategic Projects, Women’s Safety Services of South Australia (WSSSA).
    Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) does not end when the women and children leave the family home. In fact, life becomes more unpredictable and often more frightening for women and children. Understanding the dynamic of DFV, and using a trauma informed approach when working with women and children after they have left a violent relationship makes all the difference for their recovery from this experience.

  • Pets and Poverty. Jennifer Howard, Founder/CEO, Safe Pets Safe Families.
    Safe Pets Safe families look' s at a One Welfare approach improving animal and human well being, the lack of pet-friendly rentals and pet-friendly shelters and the client-centred case management safe pets does with successful results.

  • The 500Lives 500Homes evolution to the Brisbane Alliance to End Homelessness: Experiences and Learnings. Andrew Hamilton, Director, Social Scaffolding.
    What makes for a successful campaign, what makes for a successful collaboration/collective impact project, and what are the key success factors for housing vulnerable people as soon as possible?

  • Addressing Veteran homelessness in SA. Andrew Russell, Chief Executive Officer, RSL Care.
    A particular focus of our programs is to address issues of homelessness for elderly veterans (those aged over 65 years) in a residential care-like environment, whilst also meeting the needs of contemporary veterans through our Andrew Russell Veteran Living (ARVL) program. Through ARVL, RSL Care has provided over 7,000 nights of emergency accommodation, and has provided many veterans with the accommodation support they need to get back on their feet.

  • The intersection between gambling harm and homelessness. Assuna Schultz, Therapeutic Counsellor - Gambling Help Services East/West, Relationships SA.
    Over the last four years, Assuna has been developing partnerships with several homeless agencies to connect with vulnerable clients who identify as having gambling difficulties. She works therapeutically with individuals struggling with problematic gambling behaviours as well as those affected by another’s gambling. Assuna’s role also includes supporting and training workers of other services in engaging with the issue and those affected by it more confidently and skillfully. 

  • Alcohol, drugs and homelessness – less stigma, more innovation. Michael White, Executive Officer, The South Australia Network of Drug and Alcohol Services (SANDAS).
    Many people who experience homelessness also experience other life complexities including alcohol and other drug dependence. Homelessness and dependence are both heavily stigmatised. Stigma is a significant barrier to help seeking. How can we work to reduce stigma and engage homeless people with cooccurring dependence in treatment or more stable use enabling them to access better housing options?

  • How Can Stepped Care Contribute to Ending Homelessness. Kelly Stewart, Capacity Building Coordinators - Mental Health Programs, Adelaide Primary Health Network (APHN).
    The presenters will be facilitating a session to help the audience understand the Primary Mental Health Care System Stepped Care Reforms and how the needs of people who are homeless may be met via services across the stepped care continuum.

  • Intermediate  Care  - Hospital  Avoidance Outreach Team  (HAOT). Todd Anderson, Clinical Nurse, Intermediate Health Care - HAOT. 
    The Intermediate Care HAOT specialises in developing plans of care and approaches to complex and vulnerable clients in the community. The team's assertive outreach capacity allows for flexible engagement wherever the client might be located in the Central Adelaide Local Health Network geographical area, including clients in hospital, rough sleeping, sleeping at a crisis centre or housed.  
  • Homelessness data trends in South Australia 2013-2018. Suzanne Pang, Senior Project Officer, SA Housing Authority. 
    Overview of five year trends in the administrative data on homelessness collected through the Homeless2Home system, including demographic and service profiles of at-risk groups.

  • Hidden Voices (Manchester, UK) A digital resource for young people aimed to prevent homelessness. Paul Mayers, Founder, Standing Start PTY LTD (Formerly Curriculum Plus LTD, UK). 
    Preventing homelessness using digital media and creative methodologies: A collaboration between homeless participants, artists and young people that produced a digital resource for schools.

  • Realising Collective Impact through the Adelaide Zero Project: Challenges and opportunities. Froukje Jongsma, Collective Impact Leader, Together SA.Collective Impact (CI) is the commitment of a collaboration of cross-sector organisations and individuals including community to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem at scale. Worldwide, CI has helped to successfully tackle the complex issue of homelessness in various local communities.However, CI work isn’t easy and positive change doesn’t happen overnight. During this session we will discuss the challenges facing the Zero Project and explore what we can learn from other CI initiatives focusing on homelessness as well as the opportunities that are out there to help us successfully tackle these challenges.

Professor Marah Curtis

University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

Since 2012, Marah has been on faculty in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she is an Associate Professor.  Marah is also a faculty affiliate at the Institute for Research on Poverty.  She studies how differences in housing conditions and the structure of income-conditioned benefits affect wellbeing. Her research focus on housing is grounded in the recognition that this essential resource is imperative in securing the health and functioning of families. Current projects include serving as an academic partner on the Healthy Housing Initiative with the goal to improve the health and wellbeing of low-income residents and influence policies to create housing affordability, stability and quality.

Sally Hines

The Big Issue (AUS)

Sally Hines is the Chief Operating Officer of The Big Issue. Homes 4 Homes is a new social enterprise by The Big Issue that will help raise an ongoing supply of new funding through property transactions to generate more social and affordable housing. Homes 4 Homes is a community-wide solution bringing together banks, legal firms, property stakeholders, developers, community housing providers and the government to increase the supply of housing in Australia.

Other speakers

See the Program Overview for details of other speakers.

View the 2018 Conference Program

Conference Presentations

Watch the conference highlights video or jump to the conference playlist on You Tube

View our speakers' presentations

Welcome to Country

Rosemary Wanganeen | Cultural Advisor, University of Adelaide and CEO, Australian Institute for Loss and Grief

View Rosemary's presentation

Opening Addresses

The Right Honorable Martin Haese (video)

The Honorable Michelle Lensink MLC (video)

Adelaide Zero Project Update

David Pearson | Executive Director, Don Dunstan Foundation

View David's presentation (slides)

View David's presentation (video)

Keynote Address
Homes 4 Homes social enterprise initiative

Sally Hines | Chief Operating Officer, The Big Issue

View Sally's presentation (slides)

View Sally's presentation (video)

Watch the Homes for Homes video

Keynote Address
Welfare reform; the intersecting vulnerabilities of health and poverty on homelessness

Dr Marah Curtis | Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

View Marah's presentation (slides)

View Marah's presentation (video)

Panel Discussion
A View from the Frontline: Sharing current trends and innovative practices to help those experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in South Australia

MC: Louise Miller Frost, Chief Executive Officer, Catherine House

Panel members:
Matt Nairn, Chief Inspector, Southern District, SAPOL
Nicki Morey, Case Manager, Eastern Aboriginal and Specific Homelessness, Baptist Care
Trish Spark, Manager Homelessness and Aboriginal Services, AC Care 
Kirsten Sandstrom, Senior Manager, SYC Ltd / HYPA division

Watch the session (video)

Panel Discussion
Mental Health and Homelessness: What came first – The diagnosis or the Streets? How are the two linked and how can we do better?

MC: Geoff Harris, Executive Director, Mental Health Coalition of SA

Panel Members:
Kim Holmes, State Manager SA, Neami National 
Kyp Boucher, Regional Manager, Mental Health, Alcohol & other Drugs and Homelessness, Life Without Barriers
Chris Burns, Commissioner, SA Mental Health Commission

Housing Workshop: A longer term view - What housing solutions do we need to make achieving Zero street homelessness possible?

Featuring: Gary Storkey, Chair, SA Housing Authority
Facilitator: Emily Jenke, CEO, Democracy Co
Selina Tually, Researcher, Adelaide Zero Project

Don Dunstan Foundation

Level 8, 115 Grenfell St
SA 5005 Australia


Phone: +61 8 8313 3364
ABN: 14 614 345 149

Registered Charity

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