Hunter Homeless Connect Inc. Management Committee
Jenn O’Sullivan – Chairperson
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 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.
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.
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.
Marg McKay – Secretary
Marg Mckay is a Youth Case Worker at Path 2 Change in the NFP Homelessness Sector. Marg brings current hands on experience through working daily with Youth in our local area. Marg is very passionate about supporting and guiding young people impacted by trauma associated with family breakdown and homelessness, to fulfil their goals and dreams.
Michelle has a long history of volunteering, fundraising and coordinating events for multiple charities, earning her the title of Newcastle Citizen of the Year in 2020 and a nomination for Australian of the Year in 2016. She has personally raised over $180,000.00 for multiple charities over the past decade here in the Hunter, outside of her day job. Her involvement with Hunter Homeless Connect began in 2017 when coordination of the annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day event became part of her responsibilities at Compass Housing. Having volunteered at the event in 2016 she was already on a path of passion to support such an important cause. Since then, she has seen the event move from its original roots at the PCYC, to the Newcastle Basketball Stadium and eventually landing at its current venue, the Newcastle Exhibition Centre where it remains today. The exponential growth of the event is a reflection of Compass’ contribution in allowing her to dedicate her time, event management skills and community relations experience to management the event and of course the unfortunate increase of many people in our community now needing support and connection with services.
Peta is currently a Councillor at City of Newcastle (Ward 3), a Child & Youth Worker with over 20 years experience and a Mother to four children. She is passionate about giving back to her Community. After witnessing the great achievements of Hunter Homeless Connect Day she felt honoured to join the committee and hopes to raise awareness of homelessness and to address the needs our community has resulting from disadvantage; to advocate to ensure that HHC Inc. is at the forefront of discussion in relation to policy development around housing & homelessness; to assist in furthering the valuable work of HHC Inc. within Newcastle and across across region and ensure the ongoing success of all projects undertaken by HHC Inc.
Dave is passionate about leading change to improve outcomes for people, organisations and our community. Dave’s education and experience lean heavily toward strategic People and Culture Management and Organisational Change Management. For over 15 years he has held key roles centred on improving practice and driving innovation across the Community Services, Health, Education and Welfare sectors. His current role People and Culture Partner (Learning and Change) at Samaritans Foundation sees him working to improving practice across Children, Youth, Families and Disabilities portfolios. Dave is a passionate advocate for access and inclusion in all facets of community life, and is heavily involved in the arts and cultural sector. Having produced safe and inclusive live music festivals and events for the likes of Vivid Sydney for many years, he is also the Executive Manager of The Octapod Association – the primary arts and cultural service organisation to the Lower Hunter. In his spare time he enjoys learning Auslan, surfing and raising chickens.