Jenny Leong is the State Member for the Electorate of Newtown in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. The Electorate includes the suburbs of Redfern, Surry Hills, Camperdown, Enmore, Petersham, Darlington, Stanmore, Chippendale, Waterloo, Erskineville and Newtown. Jenny was elected to parliament at the NSW state election on 28 March 2015. She is the first person to represent the seat of Newtown in its current form, as the electorate was recreated for the 2015 election, to accommodate inner Sydney’s rapidly growing population. Her state-wide portfolio responsibilities for the NSW Greens include Human Rights, Sexuality and Gender Identity, Housing, Arts and Creative Industries, WestConnex and Night Time Culture and Economy. Prior to entering Parliament, Jenny worked for a number of years with Amnesty International as a crisis coordinator and campaign manager, in Australia and overseas. She has also worked at the Australia Council for the Arts as Manager of Community Arts and Cultural Development.
Katherine joined Homelessness NSW as the Chief Executive in February 2015 and has been a member of the Homelessness Australia Board since 2016. During this time she has overseen a number of research and policy projects including the Inner City Sydney Registry Week, A Plan for Change: Older Women and Homelessness, Debt, Set, Unfair and the NSW Homelessness Industry and Workforce Development Strategy. Katherine has previous experience in working to end homelessness in NSW through having worked on the NSW Homelessness Action Plan and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness NSW Implementation Plan as well as overseeing service delivery models such as Staying Home Leaving Violence and Way2Home (and earlier models of this). She also has experience in working more broadly with the NGO sector and has experience in social policy areas such as mental health, preventing violence against women and disability.
Debbie joined the Women’s Housing Company in April 2017 and is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the organisation to develop, deliver, expand and continuously improve services. The Company provides social and affordable housing, as well as crisis and transitional housing for women in Sydney. Debbie brings over two decades of public policy and program experience from government and non-government organisations, including senior roles in the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and Mission Australia. Whilst at FACS, she held roles responsible for strategic policy, reform of access and allocations system, community regeneration and social housing estates.
Debbie is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds an Executive Master of Public Administration, a Master of Arts (Social Policy) and a Bachelor of Arts (English). She is also a Churchill Fellow (2015), having completed a fellowship on international approaches to managing social housing demand in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom (London and Manchester) and the Unites States (New York and Washington).
Host: Monique Schafter
Monique Schafter is a Walkley Award winning journalist and documentary filmmaker who reports for the ABC’s flagship current affairs program, 7.30. She has interviewed icons such as Academy Award winner Jodie Foster, Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot and rock legend Iggy Pop, and has sought out the voices of young asylum seekers, LGBTQI warriors, domestic violence survivors and indigenous trailblazers. Previously, Monique co-hosted the ABC’s ground-breaking current affairs comedy program Hungry Beast, produced by Andrew Denton.