Name: Kathryn Moorey
Occupation: Manager, Business Development, Policy and Programs; Access Housing
Certification Level: Level 3
Years in Housing: 25
Why did you seek accreditation?
“I worked in the UK for about 25 years. When I did my degree, I also did the Institute of Housing, which is the UK equivalent qualification. I’ve always had that accreditation while working in the UK.”
“[CHP] is something that I recognise I should have done when it first came about and I’ve only just got around to it. This year, a few things fell into place with my role. I was asked to do a presentation at a seminar here in WA, and I was also asked to do some judging for the AHI Awards for Professional Excellence. I thought, ‘This is a good time to actually sit down, just do the process that was required to get the accreditation and actually start valuing myself rather than just focusing on my day-to-day work.”
What does a day in your life look like? Do you have a routine?
“I normally start the day with emails. And I end the day with emails. That’s the only bit that’s routine. My day could be a complete mixture of internal meetings, external meetings with not-for-profits, with government … [there could be some] crisis management or operations work. I’m having lots of conversations with people a lot of the time.”
How do you think you can personally contribute to, or improve, the housing industry as a CHP?
“Raise awareness of [the accreditation] and raise awareness of there being the profession of housing, [a] profession of social housing and, specifically, to raise that awareness in WA. We’re a much smaller group of social housing providers over here.”
“I’ve been very fortunate to work in WA because the industry is new and, coming from the UK with the roles I’ve been in, I’ve managed to bring a lot of my knowledge to help the journey of growth and what social housing should look like. I think having the accreditation helps do that on a broader scale.”
What is your secret housing ‘weapon’?
“I’d say curiosity would be my secret weapon. It’s a case of finding out what is happening, why it’s happening, make some connections in order to get improved outcomes – whether that’s for the business or for the individual, or a group of individuals or the community.”
How do you think the housing industry compares to other industries in terms of recognising its professionals?
“I think housing as a profession undervalues itself, especially social housing. In the UK, I worked in social housing and local government alongside people who worked in environmental health. You had to be accredited to be an environmental health worker. In housing, you don’t have any of that. You don’t have to belong to a ‘club’; the club is always an added extra. I think there is a lack of professionalism around the industry.”
What do you hope this accreditation will mean to you and others in the future?
“What I hope to get out of it is to value myself and the work that I do. It’s quite easy to just focus on your day-to-day role without looking at what other people are doing, and also contributing to what other people are doing.”
“I hope this [accreditation] raises the awareness of there being an industry – our housing industry other than the private real estate industry – and that it needs to be recognised because it’s a profession and a career path, as opposed to just being a job.”
If you were to make a desert island your home, what five things would you take with you and why?
“My beautiful black Labrador, Max. He would definitely come with me. I asked my husband this and he said, “You’re going to say Max and four other clones of Max.” But I thought I couldn’t say that to you. So, I’d take my dog.”
“And my television – I love watching trash TV. I’m not a very discerning watcher. Apart from that, I do like the British kind of detective, like Lewis and all that sort of drama, but I’m not discerning at all.”
“I’d also take my recipe books. I’m not a great cook but I do like eating and I love looking through recipe books. It’s a very impractical thing to have on a desert island but that’s what I’ve decided. Everybody said to me, ‘You can’t take a TV – there won’t be any electricity. My response is, ‘It’s my desert island. There is electricity and TV reception.’ There you go.”
“I like reading so I’d have to take my Kindle, and I suppose I would reluctantly take a pair of running shoes – not because I like running but for my health. I’m not a natural athlete, by any means, but I think health is important and everyone should value their health.”
Click here for more information about becoming a Certified Housing Professional.