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Australian Homelessness Conference 2024

We are delighted to release the program for the Australian Homelessness Conference 2024, being held at the Adelaide Convention Centre 13 to 14 August 2024.

The draft program is now available following a tremendous response to a call for abstracts, and developed in consultation with sector leaders. 

This year’s Gathering Momentum program is packed with case studies and practical examples of leading service responses, as well as discussions focused on system level reform and innovation. The program features a strong focus on addressing homelessness experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and on the integration of lived experience perspectives in program and policy design.

We are grateful to the members of the Program Advisory Committee, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Working Group and Lived Experience Working Group for their  advice and assistance in developing the program for this year’s conference. 

The 2024 program is shaped to include diverse content withing the following streams:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - content dedicated to addressing homelessness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Best practices – examples in service delivery, advocacy, program and funding models, and policymaking
  • Innovation – new tools, models and approaches for addressing homelessness
  • Lived Experience practices – practical applications of models and approaches for integrating the voices of lived experience; and advice for practitioners
  • Whole of System reform opportunities – the big picture issues, policies and reforms required for the greatest impact on ending homelessness in Australia.

Tuesday 13 August 2024

  • 9.00am Welcome to Conference

    Opening by Dr Michael Fotheringham, AHURI

    Welcome to Country

  • 9.45am Plenary 1: Keynote

    Speaker to be confirmed

  • 10.30am Morning tea

    Exhibition Precinct

  • 11.00am Major Concurrent Sessions

    MC1: Domestic and family violence
    Domestic and family violence is a key driver of homelessness for women and their children, and numbers are increasing. This session will focus on effective and innovative responses to addressing homelessness for victim survivors of domestic and family violence.

    MC2: Providing meaningful responses when there is no housing 
    In the face of a persistent and dire housing crisis, how do services meaningfully support people experiencing homelessness when access to accommodation is severely limited. This session will explore learnings that can be replicated, and failings to avoid.


    • Tony Davies, Social Ventures
    • Tameka Thompson, Hutt St Centre 

    MC3: Evaluation for impact
    The importance of robust assessments of homelessness support programs is key. This session will hear how program evaluations have helped organisations to understand what works and for whom and illustrates where further action is needed. 



  • 12.30pm Lunch

    Exhibition Precinct

  • 1.30pm Plenary 2: Closing the gap – priorities and reforms for housing and homelessness

    Plenary 2: Closing the gap – priorities and reforms for housing and homelessness
    With surging numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing homelessness, this session explores specific homelessness service options that give voice to their experience of homeslessness and reveals a self-determined approach towards ending homelessness in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.


    • Daniel Morrison Bird, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation 
    • Del Little, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation

    Facilitator: Paula Coghill

  • 3.00pm Afternoon Tea

    Exhibition Precinct

  • 3.30pm Concurrent Sessions

    C1: Place based collaborations and solutions
    The aftermaths of the pandemic, cost of living pressures, climate change and natural disasters have seen homelessness rates climb in our cities and in outer urban, regional and rural communities. This session looks at how organisations and government can work together for best impact.


    • Kath Buden, Teremok in association with Shelter NSW
    • Jenna Nadiotis, Hume Community Housing Association 
    • Orla Matthews, Adelaide North West Homelessness Alliance (UnitingSA)

    C2: Shaping services and research with Lived Experience involvement and peer work
    This session will share the lessons learned of involving people who have experienced homelessness in shaping policy and service delivery. It will also discuss the important role of peer workers in shaping policy.


    • Michelle Debert, Communify Qld
    • Helen Matthews, Council to Homeless Persons PESP and RMIT 
    • Robyn Martin, RMIT University 
    • Matthew Scott, St Vincents Hospital Melbourne

    C3: Aboriginal led practice
    This session highlights the importance of Aboriginal-led homelessness responses. Aboriginal led responses recognise the transformative power of community building and are grounded in cultural learnings to deliver compassionate and culturally safe practices that ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s unique needs are met in a respectful space and manner.


    • Pauline Boscato, St Patrick's Community Support
    • Brett Goring, St Patrick's Community Support
    • Amielia (Millie) Wall, Kirrip

    Facilitator: Monique Wiseman, Birribee Housing

    C4: How private rental is being accessed and sustained
    Programs to transition people from emergency accommodation and refuges often rely on the private rental market. This session considers private rental subsidy and support schemes for people facing insecure housing outcomes but who do have some capacity to support themselves in private rental housing.


    C5: Better homelessness responses for under-served groups 
    Every day, Australia’s homelessness services face the harsh reality of trying to support people for whom few supports exist that are appropriate to their situations . This session explores solutions that support unaccompanied children and young people escaping family-violence; assist women to move from incarceration to community living; and help people without residency status in Australia.

    •    Ceri Harbisher, Catherine House
    •    Erin Longbottom, St Vincent's Health Network
    •    Bam Bunyalak, St Vincent's Health Network 
    •    Shorna Moore, Melbourne City Mission
    •    Conor Pall, Melbourne City Mission
    •    Cristy Pamment, Catherine House

    C6: Think Local
    An increasing number of local governments have been finding their place in homelessness response efforts and advocacy to other levels of government. This panel discussion will consider what exactly can and should local government contribute towards our country’s efforts to end homelessness?

  • 5.00pm Welcome Reception

    Exhibition Precinct, Adelaide Convention Centre

Wednesday 14 August

  • 6.30am Beyond Bank Networking Breakfast

    Adelaide Convention Centre

    Beyond Bank

  • 9.00am Welcome to Day 2

    Welcome to day 2

  • 9.30am Plenary 3: Working together to end homelessness - away and at home

    Plenary 3: Working together to end homelessness – away and at home
    The phrase ‘Ending homelessness’ is increasingly used in Australia, and has been widely adopted internationally. However, we need clear definitions and a real understanding on how to deliver it. Featuring international perspectives, this session explores how we can create systemic change to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.


    • Tim Richter, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness [Keynote] 
    • David Pearson, Australian Alliance to End Homelessness  
    • Carmel Haugh, Micah Projects
  • 11.00am Morning tea

    Exhibition precinct

  • 11.30am Major Concurrent sessions

    MC4: Commissioning and funding services to deliver the best outcomes
    This session explores commissioning strategies that build on the strengths and resources of service providers, specialists, lived experts, communities, governments, and the many collaborative partners who contribute to the health and wellbeing of people facing homelessness.



    • Shaya Nettle, Toward Home Alliance (Adelaide SE Alliance)
    • Rhubee Neale, Toward Home Alliance (Adelaide SE Alliance)
    • Clare Rowley, SA Housing Authority

    MC5: Cultural right to mobility
    This session explores the concept of mobility and approaches to support mobility in a contemporary context. It will offer firsthand insights and tangible solutions, derived from on-the-ground experiences, to cultivate a community-driven approach to homelessness that respects cultural values and effectively addresses housing challenges.


    • Aaron Ken, SA Housing Authority
    • Zac Matysek, NATSIHA 
    • Skye Thompson, Aboriginal Housing NT (AHNT)

    Facilitator: Cheryl Axleby, SA Housing Authority

    MC6: Embedding Lived Experience in policy – challenges and opportunities 
    The session explores what has been learnt from including people with lived experience in policy and program design. The session will discuss how organisations can embrace people with lived experience to work with them and to drive improved outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.


    • Ian Campbell, Sunshine Coast Council
    • Skye Constantine, University of Queensland
    • PJ Humphreys, Sunshine Coast Council
    • Christine Thirkell, Council to Homeless Persons PESP


  • 1.00pm Lunch

    Exhibition precinct

  • 2.00pm Concurrent Sessions

    C7 Overcoming barriers to accessing health services
    People experiencing homelessness have higher rates of emergency department presentation and hospital admission. This session explores evidence that improving access to healthcare through outreach programs, delivering vaccines in trusted community places, and protecting this vulnerable population from weather-related illness reduces ED presentations and improves health outcomes.


    • Noah Bray, Brisbane South PHN 
    • Dr Anne Jenkins, ACT Health Directorate 
    • Leanne Papas, Brisbane South PHN
    • Jon Swain, Sydney City Council

    C8 Building the best models of supportive housing
    This session explores how to build the best models of housing for people escaping domestic and family violence. Rather than the traditional shared house environment, this session will discuss use of the core and cluster model and a new innovative model providing flexibility to services and users.


    • Marcus Baumgart - BCBA Studio
    • Janet Saunders, Hobart Women's Shelter

    C9 Reducing homelessness following institutional exits
    People leaving institutions and institutional care have disproportionately high rates of homelessness. This session focusses on learnings from programs aimed at preventing people from cycling back into homelessness, including the importance of cross agency and collaborative governance.


    • Nathan Klinge, RSL Care
    • Lucy Phelan, Community Restorative Centre  

    C10 Practical examples of Lived Experience at work
    People with lived experience of homelessness working as peer-support can bring strengths-based, recovery oriented care for clients of homelessness services. This session shares ways of ensuring people with lived experience have a contributing voice in the sector. 


    • Lisa Kosandiak, Sonder 
    • Michelle Moss, Queenslanders with Disability Network
    • Lorna Robinson, The Constellation Project
    • Brooke Oliver, The Constellation Project 
    • Dr Gregory Smith, Southern Cross University 
    • Jasmen Youldale, Queenslanders with Disability Network

    C11 Rowing in the same direction – optimising partnerships
    Support programs working in partnership with governments are important to alleviating homelessness, particularly when they are targeted in specific locations. This session shares the lessons learned from four initiatives to suggest what worked and did not work, and how these lessons can inform the development of similar models in other regions.


    • Rebecca Duell, Brisbane Youth Service 
    • Jennifer Joynt, Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities
    • Fiona Oates, QShelter
    • Leah Watkins, Housing Choices WA

    C12 Using system thinking to end homelessness
    Providing support at the right time can prevent and reduce homelessness by lowering barriers to maintaining housing, increasing the speed of obtaining accommodation, and alleviating pressure on the homelessness service system. This session looks at system level strategies to reduce the number of people falling into homelessness.


    • Kate Ihanimo, CentraCare Inc
  • 3.30pm Afternoon tea

    Exhibition Precinct

  • 4.00pm Plenary 4: Where to from here for the Australian homelessness system

    Plenary 4: Where to from here for the Australian homelessness system
    A panel of leaders in homelessness across Australia will reflect on ‘what’s next’ for the Australian homelessness system, and discuss key priorities moving forward. 

  • 5.00pm Conference close

    Wrapping up the conference

Conference Program

Conference program now available.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact the AHURI Events Team