Name: Meghan Hibbert
Occupation: Director of Administrative Review, Queensland Department of Treasury
Certification Level: Level 3
Years in Housing: 18
Why did you seek accreditation?
“I’m really passionate about housing, and homelessness in particular, and I’ve been lucky to work across government and the community housing sector in different places across 18 years. I thought that accreditation was a way to formally acknowledge my skills and the kind of experience that I’ve had; to be more connected and be a valued member of the professional housing community.”
“As I’ve moved away from housing service delivery, I’ve wanted to stay in touch with what’s happening, and stay connected to the innovation happening in the sector. I’ve always valued being a part of the AHI, so I thought that accreditation would mean I can stay learning and growing in that sense.”
What does a day in your life look like? Do you have a routine?
“Sort of. I always try and look at my calendar in the morning before breakfast to see what’s on and get my mind in the right headspace. Then I have this routine of ‘car karaoke’, which helps to clear my mind and that sort of thing. It helps me gear up for the day.”
“When I arrive at the office, I try to… Have you heard that expression ‘eat a frog’?
It means to do the thing you least want to do – the items that you’ve put in your ‘too hard basket’? Well, I try to ‘eat a frog’ first thing in the morning so, by the end of the day, I’ve at least started it.”
“I connect with the people around me and then I just prepare for anything to happen. The thrill of fitting it all in is what I like about my day, I suppose. I try and structure the fun at the end of my day but then leave the middle as a race. Whatever happens happens.”
How do you think you can personally contribute to the housing industry as a CHP?
“I’ve worked in regional and metro, and in Queensland and New South Wales. I’ve worked in the community housing sector, as well as the government sector, and for the tenancy regulator, so I feel like I’ve got a bit of an all-angles view of the issues. I’d like to think I contribute through a people-first attitude and showing that you can make a difference.”
What is your secret housing ‘weapon’?
“I feel like my secret weapon is to be able to show there’s only about two or three degrees of separation between any sort of housing issue and anything you’re talking about.”
“When I was at the Residential Tenancies Authority, I negotiated some partnerships that led to a couple of key government agencies prosecuting landlords and agents, and increasing proactive compliance in the private rental sector. Through that, I was able to show my team how they were able to prevent unnecessary homelessness, and build stronger tenancies and communities. In the operational sense, I think my ability to drill down and go back to basics has always served me well.”
How do you think the housing industry compares to other industries in terms of recognising its professionals?
“I think the AHI’s CHP accreditation program is a great step in recognising professionals and supporting our ongoing development. I don’t think we tend to acknowledge each other too much, in a formal sense, in the housing industry. But I’m really pleased to be a judge for the next round of the AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards, and I’m really looking forward to recognising those innovations, and those people and groups that have made a substantial contribution.”
What do you hope this accreditation will mean to you and others in the future?
“Even though I’m no longer directly in the housing sector, I want to be able to contribute to the housing industry, and I hope that this AHI accreditation will help me and others to develop and innovate alongside other housing professionals.”
If you were to make a desert island your home, what five things would you take with you and why?
I’m assuming my husband and dog are coming too, so I’m not going to count them. I’d definitely take music – country music, to be exact, anything from Johnny Cash to Kacey Musgraves, a bit of everything. I would take my eReader, so I have plenty to read. I suppose I’d probably need to make a fire, do something practical, but I would want to take my bed as well. I’d also want a lifetime’s supply of chocolate because I just could not live without that. I can do without practical things, like sunscreen, if it’s at the expense of reading and other stuff. I’d just sleep and read and eat chocolate. I’m happy with that.”
For more information about becoming a Certified Housing Professional, visit www.housinginstitute.org/CHP