The committee is made up of passionate and dedicated professionals who are committed to improving the lives of people in our community.
Jenn O'Sullivan - Chairperson
Executive Manager Path 2 Change
Having worked in the inner suburbs of Sydney in the NSW Police Force, Jenn became very aware of the complexities of the social needs of individuals who have been impacted by mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and domestic violence. Following the Police Force, many of her life experiences and employment opportunities working with disadvantaged people in the community, continued to prepare, strengthen, and shape her to be able to understand and relate to people who face inequalities and adversity.
Jenn currently works in the Specialist Homelessness Sector and recognises the need for homeless people and the community to connect and respond to what is happening with others who share the same spaces. Jenn is passionate about connecting people 365 days a year and believes that as a community, we cannot be passive in our response to homelessness, and hopes with access and opportunities, people will have a choice to change their direction and their lives.
Emma Granger - Vice Chairperson
Emma is an Executive Officer at the Samaritans Foundation, a role that sees her working closely with the CEO on governance, strategy and advocacy. Previously working for the Company Secretary and Board of Lifestyle Solutions, she has significant experienced in areas of corporate governance and compliance. She has been recognised as a skilled administrator, collaborator and emerging leader, involved in the management and successful delivery of many projects and initiatives.
Emma is particularly passionate about human and animal rights and is committed to contributing her time to those causes. Emma diligently pursues knowledge and learning in the areas of intersectional feminism and animal welfare. She believes wholly in the need for constant education and social revolution.
With various volunteer experiences behind her and evolving skills in strategy development and delivery, Emma is excited to bring her knowledge to the Committee of Hunter Homeless Connect Inc. to assist in furthering its important work.
Nikki Ridgway - Treasurer
Nikki is a Chartered Accountant and brings over 10 years of commercial experience to support Hunter Homeless Connect Inc. Nikki is interested in giving back to the community and hopes that by supporting Hunter Homeless Connect Inc., she is able to make a difference in the lives of local people experiencing homelessness.
Alyson Segrott - Secretary
Professional Officer - Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Alyson works with the Catholic Diocese in Pastoral Ministries which oversees outreach areas such as Chaplaincy (hospital, university, prison and port), Refugee Support Service, Social Justice Council and developing relationships with other faiths communities.
Alyson has a supported the Homeless Connect Day over the past two years, from attending these days has a greater understanding of the many people who are homeless or live in poor housing conditions. Alyson feels as a Christian there is a need to offer support to our brother and sisters, to help them in the struggles of everyday life and provide everyone with suitable housing.
Alyson looks forward to working with Hunter Homeless Connect and that her strong administration and event management skills will further enhance how Hunter Homeless Connect can reach out and improve the lives of those experiencing issue in housing.
Rudi is a Warrant Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and joined the Board of Hunter Homeless Connect in February 2017. Rudi’s military career brings a unique blend of skills to the Board including strong leadership and management across many operational domains. Rudi became interested in supporting Hunter Homeless Connect after witnessing the many homeless living on the streets in and around Newcastle. Rudi’s Air Force career has armed him with many skills and afforded him many wonderful experiences and opportunities. He hopes that in his role with Hunter Homeless Connect he may become a role model to those who have fallen on hard times; help those who are homeless to regain their self-esteem and sense of purpose, and also increasing awareness and education within the broader community. Rudi says that it is imperative that the community highlight that homelessness is a major social issue for Australia and we must do all we can to help those in need. Rudi is also a staunch supporter and Ambassador of the White Ribbon campaign.
Samantha is passionate that people matter. Regardless of their background or their circumstances, she truly believes that every life matters. With a background in running both businesses and not-for-profits during her career, Samantha joins us with strong leadership, compliance, governance and relationship skills that she hopes to use to help those experiencing difficulties in the Hunter and Newcastle Region. When not living life as a mum to four young children, her recent roles have seen her working closely nationally with charities that look after the needs of women experiencing homelessness dealing with their periods and the particular challenges women face when their future is uncertain. Samantha joined the Hunter Homeless Connect Inc. Committee in 2018 and hopes that she can help connect those facing challenges, to those willing and able to help and ensure that everybody gets a chance to live their lives with dignity and pride.