Please Help Us Plan for the Future – We Need Your Feedback

A consultation was held on Strategic Planning as part of the AGM on 28 November 2015.  All Co-operatives received a ‘Planning our Future’ Information Kit from CENSW about our 2016 strategic planning agenda ahead of the AGM. This information is also available in the Member Only section, under AGM 2015.
A feedback link has been added to our website in the Member Only Section to enable Co-operative and individual tenant members to give feedback right through to the Board strategic planning day in late February 2016. Once the Board has drafted a strategic plan, the draft will be circulated to Co-operatives for further feedback.
We look forward to your feedback and ideas!

Annual Report 2015

The new look Annual Report for 2015 is now out. This year’s issue features Emoh Ruo and Ningana Co-operatives as well as highlights of CENSW achievements and future goals for advancing our understanding of tenant and community needs. To read the Annual Report please click here

Newsletter – October 2015

The October issue of the newsletter is now available. This issue looks at how Co-operatives work within their local communities. We have also profiled Common Equity’s newest member Co-operative, Sedgwick Housing Co-operative. To read the Newsletter please click here

BCCM Broadcast: Get Mutual is now live!

Today, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) is proud to launch Get Mutual, a new online resource on setting up and running co-operatives. “At last, groups and individuals have a one-stop shop for free information on forming a co-operative,” said Melina Morrison, CEO of the BCCM. “Demonstrating co-operation amongst co-operatives, this resource has been made possible with the support of BCCM members NRMA, HCF and Australian Unity.”

Get Mutual provides toolkits, links to reports and helpful organisations as well as a service to connect groups with advisors and experienced professionals to help commmunities with their
co-operative developments.

The website also hosts the Pathfinder Public Service Mutuals case studies, developed with funding from the Department of Social Services. The case studies provide information about successful Australian co-operatives that deliver services in the areas of housing, disability employment, GP clinics and aged care.

Visit the Get Mutual website (

Tenant Survey

It’s tenant survey time and Co-operatives and tenants will soon receive a survey form if you have not already received one.
The feedback we receive from you is important and helps us to continue to provide an excellent housing service and refine and improve the services we offer our co-operatives.
Thank you for taking the time to consider our survey.

Robyn Cahoun,

Newsletter – July 2015

Our quarterly newsletter covers topics such as Sector support, detailing the work Common Equity NSW is doing for the Co-operative Housing Sector, as well an update on the results of the “Meeting the Needs of Tenants & Communities’ survey.

In this edition of the newsletter we profile Kapit Bahayan Housing Co-operative which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. We also feature a section on People Power at Common Equity, with a report on the NSW Community Housing Conference, which was attended by a number of co-operative representatives and CENSW staff. Please click here to read the newsletter.

To see past newsletters: please go to News menu item and select CENSW Newsletter from the drop-down menu.

Architects of Change for Social Housing

Wednesday, 8 July 2015  – Media Release by Brad Hazzard, Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing

An inaugural advisory committee to help tackle one of the biggest challenges in NSW – reform of the social housing system – has been established by the Minister for Social Housing, Brad Hazzard.

Mr Hazzard announced the six one-year appointees to the Ministerial Advisory Committee today:

• Bruce Morgan (Chair) Chairman of Sydney Water Corporation

• Jim Betts CEO, Infrastructure NSW

• Michael Coutts-Trotter Secretary, Department of Family and CommunityServices

• Sam Haddad Principal, SG Haddad Advisory

• Carrie Hamilton Associate, Housing Action Network

• Scott Perkins Director, Woolworths

“I am confident that these appointments will help the NSW Government build the strongest possible ideas for delivering more social housing at a time of substantial need,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The NSW Government is very committed to trying to find innovative ways of delivering more social and affordable housing to give residents a fairer go when it comes to finding housing.”

The social housing advisory committee has been carefully selected to offer strong independent, expert advice from representatives in the fields of: housing economics, superannuation, finance, infrastructure and planning.

The members will also liaise more broadly with the social housing and private sector as they consider the options for reform.

The new Ministerial Advisory Committee will be accountable to the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Social Housing, with the appointment terms lasting until May 2016.

New Appointments:

Bruce Morgan (Chair) – Chairman of Sydney Water Corporation. Mr Morgan has a long and distinguished career in professional services, including as a partner with PWC for over 25 years.

Jim Betts – CEO, Infrastructure NSW. Mr Betts’ 25 years experience spans strategic transport planning, infrastructure delivery, and transformational structural reform.

Michael Coutts-Trotter (Deputy/Co-Chair) – Secretary, Department of Family and Community Services. Mr Coutts-Trotter was appointed Director-General (now Secretary) of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services on 29 July 2013. Mr Coutts-Trotter held similar positions with the NSW Government as well as Chief of Staff to the NSW Treasurer for seven years.

Sam Haddad – Principal, SG Haddad Advisory. Mr Haddad has worked in the private sector in project management and infrastructure development, and has held senior and executive positions with the NSW Department of Planning and its predecessors – being appointed its Director General in 2005 (until 2009).

Carrie Hamilton – Associate, Housing Action Network. Ms Hamilton is an affordable housing finance expert and city planner, with 20 years experience in the United States and Australia.

Scott Perkins – Director, Woolworths. A leading corporate adviser, advising local and international companies across a broad range of markets on strategy, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets matters.

Newsletter – April 2015

Our quarterly newsletter covers topics such as Sector support; detailing the work Common Equity NSW is doing for the Co-operative Housing Sector.

In this edition of the newsletter we profile Care-n-Co Co-operative. We also feature a section on People Power at Common Equity, with the recipients of the John Mant Scholarship, also welcoming three new Member Directors to the Common Equity Board.  Click here to view the newsletter

John Mant Scholarship Programme

Common Equity ‘People Power’ has been a strong theme for the start of 2015. The Board has initiated a new programme, called the John Mant Scholarship Programme.  Named after the long time Board member, lawyer, town planner and author of the Mant Report- Commission of Inquiry into the Housing Department.

The aim of the scholarship is to assist our co-operative members and tenants to engage in further education through the provision of incentives. CENSW offered 5 scholarships to both new and continuing students in their educational pursuits.

Congratulations to :

1. Paul Bowman, from Care-n-Co in Minto.

2. Rabo Rabo, from Merrylands, a directly managed site. Rabo is a member of the Karen Community.

3. Melisa Kanisek, a single parent from Janneli, a directly managed site.

4. Sean Tierney, from Ningana, a housing collective in the inner city.

5. Yel Win, a newly arrived refugee, living at Merrylands, a directly managed site.

For them the goal is to gain paid employment and thereby to increase opportunities and wellbeing in their lives. The recipients come from diverse cultural backgrounds, and are studying a variety of different subjects but they all have one thing in common. It is their belief that expanded options in life, for example through education and being engaged in a paid career are paramount to increase quality of everyday experiences. It fosters social and economic participation in civil society.