Chief Development Officer

If it takes a whole village to raise a child, then in the world we currently live in, it takes more than a house to address the issues of those in housing crisis.

This year has been all about collaborating with others to deliver or commence housing projects that support the vulnerable and disadvantaged. This “village” community is made up of partnerships with our colleagues in the service system, individuals, and other organisations who understand what it takes to make a difference and are willing to contribute.

At Wattlewood, our master planned residential development in Carrum Downs, Stage Three Housing has commenced and Stage 4 will start in the New Year. Within the next year 34 new dwellings will become homes for the remaining 24 on-site residents, who will be relocated from their defunct aged care units. The remaining eight properties will allow others in the community to experience the benefits of affordable housing. It was a rewarding experience to hear feedback directly from tenants about their experience since moving into their new homes. A Community Nurse, who arrived during our visit, made special mention of how the new home environment had improved her client’s health and made it easier to deliver her health services.

Sidney Myer Haven, one of our most innovative social housing developments, made possible with the support of the State Government, the Myer family, and many other supporters, has been enriched by the recent completion of Stage Two. St John of God and local identities, Don Erskine and Robert Cooke have provided additional support that has enabled us to develop more dwellings. These additional units support Horizon House and become part of the SMH program. Stage Three, the Education Centre is due for completion early in the New Year.

Melliodora, a master planned disability project in North Bendigo is nearing completion. With the financial support of the State Government, the Victorian Property Fund, and our own resources we have been able to deliver state-of-the-art facilities for people with significant disabilities as well as some additional affordable housing. I know that Anglicare, the major support partner for Melliodora, are looking forward to delivering their services early in the New Year.

It has been a year of collaboration, connecting, and working with others that has allowed us to achieve so much for our community. For those of my vintage we should remember a great song by the late Bryan Ferry “Come on Come on, let’s work together”.


Sidney Myer Haven