“Our vision is to create a sustainable housing system  that provides secure homes for all.”

Shelter NSW is an independent, non-profit, member-driven organisation that has been advocating for better housing outcomes since 1975. We represent the broad interests of a diverse network of members, partners and aligned industry stakeholders who share our vision of a secure home for all NSW residents. We are especially concerned with housing insecurity, increasingly experienced by people on low and very low incomes. We pursue our vision of an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable housing system through critical engagement with policy and collaborative leadership initiatives with government, community and the private sector.

Staff Members

John Engeler

John joined Shelter NSW as CEO in early 2020, having been involved in the formation, development and operation of Social, Affordable & Specialist housing for most of his professional life. He has a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and has undertaken post-graduate legal studies. Having spent a number of years in the private, public and community sectors, he especially enjoys the opportunity to contribute to innovative housing responses, delivering solutions to those for whom the market falls short.

Cathy Callaghan

Senior Policy Officer
Cathryn joined Shelter NSW in April 2020 with most recent experience as a Chief of Staff to a NSW MP & Shadow Minister located in the multicultural heart of south western Sydney. Over a career spanning thirty years, Cathryn has held senior private sector executive HR and change management roles.  Cathryn holds a Bachelor of Economics degree as well as a Master of Commerce (Organisational Behaviour) with personal interests in community and political engagement, local government and sound public policy.  

Stacey Miers

Principal Policy Officer
Stacey has worked at the interface between town planning, social, environmental, and cultural impacts over many decades. Her work has often revolved around broad-based interdisciplinary projects that explore complex societal issues through planning frameworks. Stacey has undertaken research and written numerous publications on the NSW Planning system, housing supply policies, social impact assessment, and NSW Aboriginal Land Councils. Combined with her research and policy work, Stacey has devised various short films including one called ‘Habitat to Home’, which aims to take the viewer on a visual journey exploring the concept of home and homelessness.

Kayla Clanchy

Policy Officer
Completing her Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning through University of New England, Kayla has previously worked in two regional cities in NSW as both a statutory and strategic land use planner for local government. Kayla pivoted to the Not-For-Profit sector in a research capacity in 2019 and continues to live in and advocate for regional and rural communities.

James Sherriff

Project Officer
James Sherriff joined Shelter NSW at the beginning of 2020 with a keen interest in community organising and social justice after completing the Sydney Alliance internship program, and graduating with a Bachelor of International and Global Studies from the University of Sydney. James is currently responsible for engaging with Shelter NSW's members and supporters, coordinating our student placement program, and supporting grassroots campaigns for housing justice.  

Matilda Sutherland

Program Coordinator

Matilda joined Shelter NSW in March 2024 with a passion for social justice and equity. Matilda has a Bachelor of Information Technology, a Masters of Information Management and experience in the corporate sector. She is excited for this change of focus and to make a positive difference with Shelter NSW.

Board Members

Simone Parsons

Simone has an extensive career in housing and homelessness - from local government, state government, and as a consultant and in the NFP sector. She was Chair of the Social Housing Tenancy Advisory Committee (SHTAC) for Housing NSW and is now COO of Women’s Community Shelters where she is focused on shifting the organisation to a longer-term capability, beyond crisis alone, seeking to innovate in areas such as meanwhile use.

Dr Sophia Maalsen

Sophia is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow and a lecturer at the University of Sydney, School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Her research focuses on the digital disruption of housing and the diversity of housing models emerging as a result of rising housing affordability with particular emphasis on communicating the implications of this for people now and as they age. She believes that Australia needs to re-emphasise the role of housing for the provision of a home rather than a site of investment.

Bill Steenson

Treasurer and Public Officer
Bill joined the Shelter Board in November 2020 and is now the Chair of the Finance Committee. He is passionate about fairness, access, and addressing disadvantage and sees the work of Shelter NSW as playing a key part in that. Bill currently works for the Fair Work Commission as a Principal Lawyer, specialising in compliance and whistleblower disclosures. He has had considerable involvement with member-based organisations, their governance and financial management (both as a regulator and as a committee/board member). Bill holds a Masters in Law and a Master of Public Administration and is an accredited mediator. He also serves on the board of WEA Sydney.

Paul Coe

Paul is a Wiradjuri man, born and raised in Sydney amid the black power movement and schooled by key Sydney Aboriginal leaders in the fight for Aboriginal land rights and progression to Aboriginal self-determination. He was a leading child protection expert on the needs of Aboriginal children, pursuing systemic change to improve the alarming over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care before pivoting and focusing on Aboriginal housing outcomes. Paul is now leading Birribee Housing as it supports Aboriginal families across Sydney and regional NSW. Growing Birribee Housing into a vessel that can deliver on the vision of the parent entity, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, and deliver self-determination for Aboriginal people through Aboriginal led control of housing outcomes.

Verity Froud

Verity has decades of experience in financial services, predominately in banking and securitisation funding roles for various businesses. This has often included considering alternate ways to fund houses and housing projects. Currently she is consulting in the securitisation industry.  Previous roles include working with AMAL Trustees holding various roles across the Trust Management and Trustee businesses, being a founding member of Xinja, leading to the successful launch of a neobank, as well as holding roles at Macquarie Bank and Bluestone Mortgages. Having begun at AMP in actuarial services, she has always had a keen interest in data, modelling and risk analysis.

Janet Chappell

Janet has worked in urban strategy and planning for a number of years in State government and private consulting.  This has included housing-related research, policy formulation, housing policy management at Landcom (current role), setting housing affordability and diversity targets and initiatives to better understand local housing need. Previous roles included city strategy at the Greater Sydney Commission, NSW Department of Planning preparing metropolitan and regional strategies, working at the Urban Design Advisory Service, Urbis, Six Degrees and Allen Jack + Cottier Architects.  She is a graduate of the Foundations of Directorship at the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Master of Urban Design and Bachelor of Architecture (Hons). 

Kirsten Steedman

With extensive experience in corporate social sustainability, public advocacy, communications and skilled workplace volunteering, Kirsten has a proven career history of creating and implementing innovative strategies that deliver impactful, measurable outcomes.   In April 2022, Kirsten joined the team at Stockland in the role of Social Sustainability Manager – Affordability and Inclusion to play a lead role in building Stockland’s positioning, strategy and capability around affordability and housing, accessibility, and economic inclusion. Previously she headed Lendlease’s shared-value initiative, FutureSteps, which was aimed at addressing homelessness and rising levels of housing stress in Australia.   In addition to her extensive experience within the property industry, Kirsten has delivered a number of social sustainability projects throughout Australia including the establishment of training, education and employment opportunities for individuals facing economic hardship.

Amelia Thorpe

Amelia is Associate Professor in Law at UNSW, where she teaches and researches in planning and urban governance. She has degrees in Architecture (UWA), City Policy (Murdoch) and Law (Oxford, Harvard, ANU) and professional experience in planning, housing, transport and public interest environmental law. Amelia’s research centres on frameworks for decision-making in contemporary cities – who gets to have a say, and how – and the ways in which those frameworks might contribute to social and environmental justice.

Poppy Dowsett

Poppy has worked in the housing sector for over 15 years and has served on the board of Shelter NSW since 2016. Poppy currently works in energy consumer policy in the Office of Energy and Climate Change, where she is advising on an equitable transition to renewable energy. In the past, Poppy has held housing policy positions at WSP, where she specialised in social and affordable housing and also worked on wider social sustainability projects; at Mission Australia Housing; CHIA NSW; and the NSW Land and Housing Corporation. She holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a Bachelor of Arts (Architecture).

Take Action!

The support of activists, communities, and organisations across NSW is crucial to our work at Shelter NSW. Sign up to be a member now and help us in our fight for a fairer housing system.