“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

CEO
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.  

Ryan Harris

Senior Policy Officer
Ryan joined Shelter NSW in 2019 after developing a passion for systemic housing reform during his Bachelor of City Planning at UNSW. He is responsible for Shelter’s research and events agenda as well as providing policy and planning advice on Shelter’s advocacy positions. He is motivated by the idea that housing should be a universal service like public education, healthcare and transport that governments should invest in.  

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.

James Sherriff

Project Officer (Outreach and Engagement)
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.  

Annabel Vogel

Project Officer (Administration and Coordination)
Annabel joined Shelter NSW in 2020 as a Project Officer. With a background in both project and event management in the arts and entertainment industry, she saw her transition to the Not-for-Profit sector as an opportunity to apply these skills to meaningful and impactful work.    

Board Members

Liz Yeo

Chair
Liz is the CEO of Newtown Neighbourhood Centre; and was a past director and chair of Social Enterprises Sydney. She lives in an inner-city community which is significantly impacted by increasing gentrification and the decreasing supply of affordable housing. Liz leads an organisation which provides specialist homelessness services for people who are living in Boarding Houses and sleeping rough. Liz has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Sydney University and a Masters in Adult Education from UTS.  Liz began her career in youth homelessness and has worked in the community sector for the last 30 years.  Her roles have included volunteer and training management, senior HR management, and general management positions across a range of large and small Not-for-Profit organisations in health, education and community services. Liz is passionate about advocating for safe and affordable housing and identifying solutions to ensure everyone has the secure home they deserve.

Poppy Dowsett

Treasurer
Poppy has been a housing policy practitioner for over ten years. She is a Project Manager at Elton Consulting, where she specialises in social and affordable housing and also works on wider social sustainability projects. In the past Poppy has held housing policy positions at Mission Australia Housing, CHIA NSW, and the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. She holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a Bachelor of Arts (Architecture).

Dr Sophia Maalsen

Secretary
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.

Dr Michael Zanardo

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Michael is a registered architect and director of Studio Zanardo, an independent consultancy that specialises in urban design and the design of housing, particularly social and affordable housing. He actively combines his practice with teaching and research. His doctorate investigated the architecture of pre-World War II State workers’ housing in Sydney. Michael is the co-author of the Affordable Housing Sydney Architecture Guide Map published in 2019. Michael is an outspoken advocate for good amenity in denser forms of housing and champions design quality for the public domain. He is motivated by the opportunity to improve people's lives through the shaping of the built environment and believes it is a true privilege to serve people and communities through design.  

Associate Professor Amelia Thorpe

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Amelia is Associate Professor in Law at UNSW, where she teaches and researches in planning and urban governance. Amelia’s work is interdisciplinary, drawing on qualifications in Architecture and City Policy as well as Law, and professional experience in the planning, housing and transport departments in WA, and at the Environmental Defenders Office in NSW. Her 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.

Kirsten Steedman

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Kirsten is a highly skilled professional within the property sector with over a decade of experience. Currently she leads Lendlease’s shared-value initiative, FutureSteps, which is 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.

Bill Steenson

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Bill has worked extensively in government and member-based organisations and is currently Principal Lawyer, Compliance with the Registered Organisations Commission. He works with unions, employer associations and their members on issues of governance, financial management, conflicts of interest and whistleblower disclosures. Bill has previously worked as an employment case manager, seeing first-hand the significant challenges faced by many members of the community, such as housing and support networks. He serves on the Licensing Committee of the Law Society of NSW and is passionate about dispute resolution and access to justice. Bill holds a Masters in Law and a Master of Public Administration and is an accredited mediator.

Janet Chappell

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Janet brings combined government and industry perspective drawing on her current role as Housing Policy Manager at Landcom, the NSW Government developer.  Her background in public policy, understanding of the planning system and connections are also drawn from across a range of government roles including at the Greater Sydney Commission (2019-2020) and NSW Department of Planning working on regional and metropolitan strategies (2004-2015). Prior to that Janet held architecture, urban design and consultant positions at the Urban Design Advisory Service (2003-2004), Urbis (2001-2003) and prior to that at Six Degrees and Allen Jack + Cottier Architects. She is a graduate of the Foundations of Directorship from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a Master of Urban Design and Bachelor of Architecture (Hons).

Shelter NSW Member Organisations

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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.