Chairperson’s Bulletin No 7 – 2015

Chairperson’s Bulletin No. 7 – 2015

Meeting with Minister for Housing:
The Minister, Martin Foley, met with VPTA representatives in his office at Parliament House. The Minister spoke freely about his views on the challenges of increasing public housing stock and outlined his conviction that public housing was an asset that needed to be retained by Government. He undertook to engage in consultation with tenants about redevelopments and indicated his willingness to forge a working relationship with the VPTA. Overall, a positive meeting!

Meeting with Director of Housing:
Representatives of the VPTA met with the Director of Housing and senior Departmental staff earlier this month. A formal document, known as ‘Protocol for Information Sharing’ (between the Department and the VPTA), has been finalised and is now ready for signing. This sets out the parameters and expectations for the sharing of information when the VPTA is involved in advocacy work on behalf of individual tenants who have asked us for assistance.

VPTA Visitation Service – Collingwood Pilot
Through September and October the VPTA is conducting a trial of its Visitation Service at the Collingwood Estate. The VPTA will be on site at fortnightly intervals over a six-week period. Tenants from the local area have been invited to drop in for a chat. At the end of the trial the VPTA will evaluate what worked and what could have been done better and apply this learning to the State-wide program we are developing.
If you would like to know when the VPTA will be visiting your location then register your interest by emailing or by phoning us on 1800 015 510.

Presentation to Local Area Housing Managers’ Meeting – VPTA staff members, Mark Feenane and Raoul Wainwright, attended the October meeting of all Housing Managers held at 50 Lonsdale Street. They gave a presentation on the proposed Visitation Service which the VPTA has been funded to deliver to tenants around Victoria. This was well received and it is likely that some of these visits will be hosted by local DHHS offices in order to provide a venue that is both familiar and accessible to tenants.

Annual General Meeting Report:
The VPTA’s 2014/15 AGM was held at the VPTA offices on 29th September. Much of the focus for discussion was the Annual Activities report, prepared by the Chairperson and the Executive Officer, which looked back at the work of the VPTA over the past year and also detailed what lies ahead. Attendees were able to ask questions from the floor during the meeting and further informal discussion continued over lunch at the meeting’s end. A copy of the Annual Report will be available on the VPTA website in the near future.

VPTA Board Membership: The VPTA’s new Board was announced at the conclusion of our 2015 Annual General Meeting. Board members have been appointed for a two-year term, as per the VPTA Constitution. The inaugural Board meeting was held on the same day; the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer were appointed and the agenda set for the work ahead.
Board members are: Margaret Guthrie (Chairperson)
Mark Feenane (Secretary)
Chris Artufel (Treasurer)
Michael Aboujundi
Megan Buntine
Damien Ferrie
Jing Xie
All Board Members bring a range of skills, experience and networks to the VPTA and all either live in public housing, grew up in public housing or have a prior or existing relationship with the VPTA.