Who We Are

The Victorian Public Tenants Association (VPTA) is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation, recognised as the peak body representing public housing tenants in Victoria.

The organisation’s original aim of advocacy and representation of public housing tenants across Victoria remains the priority concern of the VPTA today.

We are engaged in regular consultation forums with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to discuss issues that affect tenants, including service provision and delivery.

We continue to advocate on behalf of public housing tenants to improve and expand public housing in Victoria.

Our Purpose

To provide benevolent relief and social welfare support services including the provision of counselling, advice, referral, representation and advocacy for people, including those who are homeless, or otherwise in significant distress regarding matters related to public housing; and to responsibly advocate for the provision of a viable public housing system for those who need it, including the broad community.

Our Values

Integrity- We treat all people with dignity and respect
Quality – We always strive to do our best and improve the way we do things
Collaborative relationships – We work together to achieve optimal results
Responsibility – We commit to the actions we take to achieve the best possible outcomes for the public tenant community
Client focus – We work towards improving the living environment for the public tenant community

Our People

Our Board comprises a maximum of seven persons, at least two of whom must be current or former public housing residents.

Board appointments are made on merit, based on consideration of skills and experience, for the purpose of providing ongoing advice and expertise to the Association. The Board selects the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer of the Association from among its members.

Board appointments are for a two year term and are made by the presiding Board near the completion of its term of office. Completed Expressions of Interest for Board Appointment forms may be lodged at any time.

Our staff are motivated, qualified and passionate about working with public housing tenants. We are determined to help tenants resolve issues, connect with their communities and be heard on issues relating to their housing.

Board Members

Anne Donegan
Chairperson

Natalie Rabey
board Member

Dragan Todorovic
Treasurer

Hamdi Ali
Board Member

Jessica Mekhael
Secretary

Deepa JainGupta
Board Member

Staff Members

Katelyn Butterss

Katelyn Butterss
Chief Executive Officer

elsie mansell-watts
aboriginal and torres strait islander tenant advocate

Marku Shelton
Tenant advocate

matilda hooper
community engagement lead

Elly Charles

Eloise charles
aboriginal and torres strait islander tenant advocate

jack templeton-knight
junior tenant advocate

Michael Aboujundi
Senior Tenant Advocate

Nina xie
Finance and administrative officer

Our History

Early incarnations of a public housing tenants’ association, such as the Public Tenants Union, were established in Victoria to represent the interests of Tenant Groups and public housing tenants generally, by advocating to Government and the Office of Housing on issues of concern. These organisations were all de-funded during the 1990s.

The Victorian Public Tenants Association (VPTA) was founded in 2000 to represent Public Housing Tenant Groups. Funding was provided by the Office of Housing, enabling the VPTA to employ staff. Interim funding was later replaced by three-year Service Agreements and a permanent office in Northcote. These achievements were thanks to the efforts of interested tenants, all volunteers, who had lobbied State Government during 1999-2000 to fund an organisation that could represent Tenant Groups effectively and establish new Tenant Groups where public housing tenants remained unrepresented.

Originally, VPTA membership and Committee participation was open only to Tenant Groups, but this was found to not fully represent public housing tenants across Victoria, many of whom did not have an active Tenant Group in their area. In 2008 a comprehensive review of the VPTA’s Constitution was undertaken, which resulted in the decision to change membership and Committee election to individual tenants, rather than Group membership.

A further review during 2015 resulted in the removal of membership provisions in the Constitution, enabling all public housing tenants to participate in, and be represented by, the VPTA. Member elections for Committee of Management positions were replaced by Board appointments that included, but were not limited to, public housing tenants, enabling the VPTA to seek external expertise on its governing body to support the Association’s mission.

The Department of Health and Human Services, under its Tenant Participation program, funds the VPTA as the state-wide peak organisation for public housing tenants. We provide services for public housing tenants and Tenant Groups around the State.

The organisation’s original aim of advocacy and representation of public housing tenants across Victoria remains the priority concern of the VPTA today. We are engaged in regular consultation forums with the Department to discuss issues that affect tenants, including service provision and delivery.

We continue to advocate on behalf of public housing tenants to improve and expand public housing in Victoria and strive to ensure that it is available for all who need it.

Pictorial History of the VPTA

To view the Pictorial History of the VPTA, please access our website on a desktop, laptop or tablet.


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