Head Start Homes welcomes new Chair Karen Walsh and Airlie Fox.

The Head Start Home’s Board has proudly appointed Karen Walsh as Head Start Home’s new Chair alongside new director Airlie Fox.

Karen spent the first 16 years of her life in public housing in Hartcliffe, Bristol, UK. She has almost 3 decades working in human and community services in Government and non-government agencies in both the UK and Australia. Her Australian career includes 12 years in the NSW State Government in senior and executive roles in Aboriginal housing, public and community housing leading strategic policy reform, service improvement, community regeneration and partnerships and planning. Karen joined St George Community Housing in 2010 as General Manager, Housing Services and Renewal to lead the business growth and improvement during a time of major change, growth and opportunity in the sector. In 2015 Karen was appointed as GM of the newly established Group Business Initiatives Division, a position she held until early 2017. She has been a consultant to government and non-government agencies and in 2017 was appointed as CEO of Shelter NSW, the state’s housing policy and advocacy peak. Karen holds 2 masters degrees in public policy and public administration, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has held numerous not for profit  Directorships over the last 15 years,

Karen said: “I am excited to be in this leadership role that will contribute to achieving Head Start Homes vision. The Board and supporters are all committed to a unified purpose of helping individuals and families to achieve their dream of home ownership or secure and affordable housing.  Head Start Homes has already achieved stakeholder support and respect, and built a strong foundation for a successful organisation that will strive towards this important vision. It’s great to be part of this”

Head Start Home’s Founder and Managing Director Stephen Woodlands said: “I’m delighted to welcome Karen as our new Chair. Karen has a wealth of expertise in housing, in organisational development, leadership and governance and importantly has the heart and the passion to help to accelerate us in achieving our vision of an Australia where there is “a safe and stable home for everyone with fair and practical pathways into home ownership”.

“I’m also extremely thankful to Graham Brown our outgoing Chair who has been a bedrock of knowledge and support which has been so very pivotal to all of the wonderful momentum we have experienced over the last year”.

Head Start Homes also welcomes Airlie Fox who been appointed by the Board as a Director. Arlie is a highly regarded lawyer, having worked on some of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects in recent years and is renowned for being an integral and trusted adviser.

Karen said: We are very fortunate to have Airlie’s attributes and expertise on the Board. We have a highly skilled, committed and expert Board of 7, which will ensure that Head Start Homes is governed with diligence, vision and focus.

Stephen said: I’m also delighted to welcome Airlie Fox to our Board. Both Karen’s and Airlie’s appointment comes at an important phase of the Head Start Homes journey as we get set to launch the pilot phase of our world leading innovative guarantee product in 2019.  

Left: Karen Walsh, Chair Right: Airlie Fox, Director

Left: Karen Walsh, Chair Right: Airlie Fox, Director

About Head Start Homes

The Head Start Guarantee is a world leading innovative solution whereby Head Start Homes provides a pathway into home ownership by acting as guarantor for community housing tenants who can afford a home loan but are locked out due to the need for a large deposit and mortgage insurance. Head Start Homes effectively acts as ‘bank of mum and dad’ for those who can’t rely on their parent’s wealth. By providing this new pathway Head Start Homes has a multiplier effect on ending poverty as it always helps the following 2 households at once:

(1)      the community housing tenant who needs to overcome structural disadvantage to purchase a home; and

(2)      the family or individual on an approved waiting list who is likely to be homeless and moves into the newly vacated community housing home.

If you would like to know more about Head Start Homes Board please visit: https://www.headstarthomes.org.au/people/

Stephen WoodlandsComment