Tribute to Nazha Saad

In August 2017, the Australasian housing industry lost one of its shining lights, Nazha Saad, who will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

The following is a moving statement from Dennis Cafe, Chairman of SGCH; the organisation where Nazha’s impact was most significantly felt as their CEO for a number of years:

We are deeply saddened to announce that Nazha Saad, our CEO from 2007 to 2015, has passed away after a two-and-ahalf year battle with cancer.

Since Nazha’s diagnosis in April 2015, she has faced her journey with hope, positivity, strength and courage – spending precious time with family and friends, and making some wonderful memories.

The world is immeasurably better because of her. She was authentic, vulnerable, strong and wise – full of energy and conviction.

Nazha lived her life in service to others, always growing and striving to make a difference to the lives of those around her. She was intelligent and passionate, and had vision and compassion in spades.

She was our CEO for almost eight years, and was highly respected both inside and outside of SGCH. Under her leadership, we saw our organisation grow three-fold – expanding our property portfolio from around 1,300 properties in 2006 to over 4,300 properties, and increasing the balance sheet from $4.5 million to $306 million.

In many ways, she was a pioneer and key influencer within the sector, representing and advocating for community housing, affordable housing and homelessness support services across various forums. Without question – she was incredibly focused, and unparalleled in her ability to achieve social outcomes through effective business and commercial practices.

For all her brilliance, her heart for others was what truly characterised her. Nazha achieved SGCH’s growth by maintaining her commitment to put people at the heart of everything we do. She never lost sight of the plight of those that are less fortunate, and always used her personal strengths, business nous and intrepid determination to achieve outcomes for our society’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Those that knew Nazha can testify to her warm character. She made people feel valued, loved and heard – always taking time to stop and talk with tenants, partners and staff to listen to their stories. As captured in every annual report or photograph from any SGCH event she attended, Nazha’s caring heart and beautiful smile brought joy and hope to many! Nazha was an extraordinary woman and high achiever, as recognised in 2014 with her nomination as one of the Westpac and Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence. She was truly inspirational and deeply loved.

We are forever indebted to her for the profound impact that she has had on the lives of our tenants, partners and staff. She built, nurtured and led an incredibly strong culture and invested in SGCH’s future. As a result, today we grieve a great loss but we continue to press on, knowing that we are the stewards of a great organisation that she was instrumental in shaping.

The board, leadership and staff of SGCH are committed to continuing to build on the legacy of Nazha’s work at SGCH for the betterment of the people and communities we serve. Our heartfelt condolences go to Nazha’s partner Ross, her family, her many friends and all who were touched by Nazha in her life of service.