Chairperson’s Bulletin No. 5 – 2015

VPTA Annual General Meeting: Tuesday 29th September

The 2015 Annual General Meeting will be held at the VPTA office (11 High St., Northcote), commencing at 11am on 29 September. Please register your attendance by contacting the VPTA office or via our website:

The Agenda will be available on our website prior to the meeting. Copies of the Agenda and the Annual Report will be available on the day.

This AGM marks the end of the term of office of the current Committee. A large amount of work and substantial change at the VPTA has been achieved during the term of this Committee. I would like to thank all Committee members for their contributions over the past two years.

The incoming VPTA Board membership will be announced at the conclusion of the AGM.

Nominations for appointment to VPTA Board

Any person wishing to apply for appointment to the VPTA Board of Management needs to complete the Expression of Interest form that can be found on the VPTA website: expression_of_interest_vpta_board.docx. Alternatively, the EOI form can be emailed to you upon request.

Completed forms need to be submitted to the VPTA office. To be considered for a position on the incoming Board (which takes office on 29 September) completed EOIs need to be submitted promptly. Applications will be considered on merit, based on consideration of skills and experience for the purpose of providing ongoing advice and expertise to the Association.

Board appointments are for a two-year term. At least three of a maximum of nine Board members must be public housing tenants. A VPTA Sub-Committee has been established to consider all applications for Board membership, which will be determined prior to the AGM.

New VPTA Service Agreement

Our new three-year Service Agreement and Work Plan has been completed. The Work Plan provides for the VPTA to develop a Visitation Service to public housing tenant communities. This is likely to involve a schedule of visits to local housing offices across the State, enabling tenants to make contact with the VPTA in their local area. A pilot visitation program to one of Housing’s inner metropolitan area offices is currently under development.

The main tasks of the VPTA over the next three years, as identified in the DHHS Work Plan are:

  • obtain and represent the views of public housing tenants to the Department
  • provide information and active referrals to public housing tenants as required
  • promote a positive view of public housing
  • maintain the VPTA as an effective and sustainable organisation
  • further develop the role of the VPTA.

Director’s meetings

The VPTA meets regularly with the Director of Housing, Arthur Rogers, and senior Housing staff to discuss a variety of policy issues and improvements to service delivery. During the July meeting the Director invited the VPTA to increase the frequency of these meetings from three times per year to four. Our next meeting will be in late September.

The Department is investigating the viability of including a VPTA insert with its twice-yearly rent statements that are sent to all public housing tenants. This forms part of the Department’s support for the VPTA’s Work Plan, enabling the VPTA to reach and become known to all public housing tenants.

Also under development is a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and the VPTA, which will clarify our role in advocacy work when we approach local Housing offices on behalf of tenants and address ‘Information Sharing Protocols’ (Privacy & Freedom of Information concerns).

It has also been agreed that the VPTA will attend an Area Directors’ meeting and a meeting of Area Housing Managers in the near future to discuss our role in tenant advocacy and further develop our visitation service to local Area Offices.

New VPTA Staff Member

Raoul Wainwright has been appointed to the position of Communication and Media Officer at the VPTA. Raoul, a former public housing tenant, will be involved in developing the tenant visitation service. He is also posting news to both our Facebook and Twitter accounts on a regular basis – you can go to the VPTA website and click on the icons to see the latest stories and comments.