Name: Dallas Prescott
Occupation: Managing Director, Seafront Consulting
Certification Level: Level 2
Years in Housing? 17
Why did you seek accreditation?
“I realised how closeted I’d become, and focused on the asset stuff rather than the rest of the environment around housing – particularly the tenant aspects. I think the more I know about the AHI, and my involvement with housing providers, I realise my knowledge is very one-dimensional.”
“[Getting the CHP accreditation] was an attempt to expand that knowledge base and understand the broader implications of social housing. I’m a person who likes to educate themselves. If there’s a bigger field of knowledge out there, I want to access it.”
What does a day in your life look like?
“My day is fairly spread out. In a previous life, I was extraordinarily busy and I’d generally start my day at 4am. I’d get up, hit the gym and then get stuck into work. Since I’ve moved into my current role, it’s a little more relaxed. I’m not so desperate to get cracking that early.”
“These days, I might jump up and work for an hour or so before breakfast, like look at early tenders that have come in overnight. Tendering takes a lot of my time, generally. I deal with emails I haven’t cleaned up from the previous day, and I try to attend to any loose ends that might have arisen overnight.”
“I do often take a couple of hours for myself during the day – go for a surf around Port Stephens [NSW] or hit the bike, just to clear my head during the day. I try not to do long stints but break it up so I remain fresh.”
“I’m a prolific reader too. When I’ve downed tools for the day, there’s nothing I enjoy better than to sit down and read for an hour. I might have three or four books on the go at once. Some might be professional reading or even the latest advance in medicine or health or science. Then I’ll have some fiction on the go as well.”
How do you think you can personally contribute to the housing industry as a CHP?
“I feel underqualified compared to a lot of people who are Members of the Institute so I haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to what I can contribute. That will come with time, I’m sure.”
What is your secret housing ‘weapon’?
“I think I’d be lost if I wasn’t physically active. I’ve always found that I perform and think better when I’ve got life in balance – and that means physically, as well as mentally. If I can get everything working in sync, I’m functioning far better for everyone’s benefit.”
“I don’t just focus on the work thing around the clock. I try to break it up. I might start at 6am, and I might finish at ten at night, but it doesn’t mean that it’s all been a hard slog. From a work perspective – and a personal/family perspective – everything’s in harmony.”
How do you think the housing industry compares to other industries in terms of recognising its professionals?
“I’m probably a little immature in that space to be able to make a genuinely informed comment. That’s because of my background. I’m possibly a bit one-dimensional due to coming from the asset area and being with one organisation for so long. Having said that, I think it’s a tremendous thing that people have been encouraged to seek accreditation. It’s a good way to stimulate people to strive for further learning. Quite often, those things are neglected.”
What do you hope this accreditation will mean to you and others in the future?
“I would hope that it doesn’t limit people to a career only within the housing space. I’d like to see [the CHP accreditation] have a broader context and have some kind of alignment with other sectors where there are similar skillsets involved.”
If you were to make a desert island your home, what five things would you take with you and why?
“This is cheating, I suppose, because it’s a collective, but I’d take my family. I’m assuming this island has surf so my surfboard. I’m probably cheating again because I’d take my e-reader, and I’d have an unlimited supply of books because how many times can you read that same book, and I can’t imagine that you’re going to give me a container load of books? I’d take a pen and stationery, and I’m assuming that there’s water, so the fifth thing would be fresh fruit.”
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