Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Minister announces homelessness whitepaper steering group members

Tanya Plibersek MP, today announced two key appointments to the group that will oversee the development of the Governments’ plan to reduce homelessness in Australia.

On 31 January 2008, the Prime Minister and Minister Plibersek announced that the Government would develop a White Paper on Homelessness to set the agenda on homelessness for the next decade. A discussion paper or Green Paper will be released in May 2008 with a White Paper released in August / September.

Ms Heather Nancarrow, a Queensland expert on family and domestic violence and Ms Anna Buduls, a corporate adviser and investment banker from NSW will join the Steering Group that will oversee the White Paper process.

Mr Tony Nicholson, Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, has already been appointed to lead the group.

Ms Nancarrow is currently the Director of Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research. She is an experienced academic and public servant and provided advice to the Commonwealth and State Governments on the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program.

Ms Buduls is head of investor relations at Westpac. She has worked as a journalist with the Australian Financial Review and a corporate adviser to Macquarie Bank. Ms Buduls has been actively involved in homeless services as a philanthropist.

“The Government is committed to taking action on homelessness. After twelve years of economic prosperity it is unacceptable that 100,000 people are homeless on any night,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The Government has asked the Steering Group to ensure that the White Paper sets a clear plan of action to improve the social and economic participation of people who are homeless.”

The Minister also announced that Homelessness Australia had agreed to organise a meeting of homelessness service providers to kick off the process.

“The Government is committed to involving the entire community in this process,” Ms Plibersek said.

“There are examples of excellent homelessness services across the country. I want to discuss with the sector how we can create better responses to homelessness right across Australia.”

Heather Nancarrow

Ms Nancarrow has worked in the field of domestic and family violence for more than 23 years. She has worked in both direct service provision in women’s shelters as well as in Government and academia. In this time she has shown leadership and made significant contributions to violence prevention. Heather has successfully contributed to the establishment of services for women and children including the Chisholm Women’s Shelter. She has also advised Commonwealth and State Governments on the effective administration of the Supported Accommodation and Assistance Program. Over the last decade Ms Nancarrow has led developments in legislative reform to protect women, including indigenous women and children from family violence. Ms Nancarrow is currently the director of the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.

Anna Buduls

Ms Buduls has a broad range of commercial experience having worked as a financial journalist with the Australian Financial Review, a corporate adviser in the investment banking division at Macquarie Bank and head of investor relations at Westpac. She currently holds a number of non-executive directorships on corporate Boards including Macquarie Generation, SAI Global and Hamilton James. Ms Buduls is also the Chair of a not for profit organisation, Beyond Empathy. In addition she has a strong interest and direct involvement in homeless services as a philanthropist – currently collaborating with Mission Australia on outreach program for homeless men.