A field of 55 nominees – the biggest number yet for an AHI Awards cycle – produced 10 very special individuals, teams and projects who were anointed as both winners and highly commended recipients at this year’s AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards Australasian ceremony.
Winner: Greg Budworth, Compass Housing
What the judges said:
“Greg is a stalwart of both the housing profession and the AHI, having been on the NSW Branch for a number of years. His professionalism is demonstrated in how Compass has grown into an industry leader in Australia, and being at the forefront for individual rights of housing through the UN, as well as how he is looked up to by his staff. The panel felt Greg exemplified this award.”
Jackie Pivac, Manager of Tenancy Services with Housing New Zealand, presented the first prize of the evening for Outstanding Achievement.
“I was looking at the descriptions of the four finalists in this category and was truly humbled by the commitment and the amount of time they’ve spent in the social housing area,” said Jackie before then saying the name ‘Greg Budworth’.
Greg is the Group Managing Director of Compass Housing. Since joining the organisation back in 2004, he’s made an impact on the organisation, its tenants and the communities in which they operate. With the organisation facing de-registration at the time of his hiring, Compass has gone from the brink of collapse to being one of the most successful community housing providers in Australia and New Zealand under Greg’s watch.
“I am very humbled and very proud to receive this award,” said Greg. “A lot of the things that people have said about me are a result of a team effort, and I want to thank my team, who really make me look good. It’s important to staff your weaknesses and I’ve done that very, very well. If I could afford it, I’d staff 20 of my other weaknesses,” he laughs. “But, thankfully, they multi-skill and they do it all well for me so I have to thank them very much.”
Having spent the day at the National Housing Conference, Greg admitted being inspired by the presentation from the Canadian delegation, and praised their current Prime Minister for his leadership on addressing homelessness.
“One thing that really impressed me today was the Canadian national conversation – the human rights of housing,” he said. “[It’s] something that governments almost have an allergic reaction to in Australia, when you talk about housing being a human right. Based on sustainable goals, based on their new urban agendas…”
Then he put forward a confession shared by many others in the room: “I have a lot man love for Justin Trudeau [Canadian Prime Minister].”