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National not for profit community housing provider, Community Housing Limited’s (CHL) staff member Sherrill Southon has been recognised for her outstanding long-term contribution to the management and provision of housing for the socially disadvantaged in the Australasian Housing Institute (AHI) 2019 Professional Excellence in Housing Awards.

One of two Senior Coordinators for CHL in Victoria, Sherrill Southon has won the AHI Victoria ‘Inspirational Team Member’ Award for the significant part she has played in CHL’s increased provision of housing for Aboriginal people, people escaping domestic violence, those with disabilities and aged-care accommodation needs.

“Inspiration comes from leading by example, and the commitment, drive, enthusiasm and leadership Sherrill displays to her team, her tenants and the broader CHL business is just that, inspiring,” CHL Managing Director Steve Bevington said.

“Sherrill’s dedication and passion for social housing knows no bounds. She’s a natural leader and a fantastic member of our team and everyone at CHL is delighted Sherrill has been recognised by this AHI Award.”

Growing up in regional Victoria among aboriginal communities, Sherrill started her career as a volunteer whilst herself a single mother and housing tenant, before gaining a Certificate IV in Community Services.

Sherrill began working in the sector 25 years ago with another housing provider and then 16 years ago joined CHL, initially as a Tenancy Worker, then Tenancy Coordinator and now Senior Tenancy Coordinator.

Her responsibilities include overseeing a team of staff who manage 330 tenancies, as well as acting as a mentor to other Tenancy Coordinators across the state.

“The respect and high regard in which Sherrill is held is evident each and every day as her experience, expertise and opinion is sought and considered by management, while tenants also turn to her for advice, support and guidance,” Steve Bevington said.

“Sherrill’s no-nonsense attitude means she is respected by not only by her peers but also by tenants and others within the community.”

Previously a recipient of a CHL Company Service Award, Sherrill’s passion for social housing has meant she has always made herself available for projects beyond the scope of her daily role.

Sherrill was seconded to Kununurra in WA to establish the CHL office and build new partnerships with the indigenous community, she led a partnership with Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Coop to develop 10 new properties on cooperative land with Commonwealth funding, had a tenure in SA to train staff in tenancy and property management and spent time in Tasmania to transfer 1200 properties as part of the Better Housing Futures project.

“There’s a myriad of similar examples … Sherrill is a ‘people person’ who makes an effort to learn the story behind the person and their situation. It’s what sets her apart and why she is so loved and appreciated.”

“CHL is a great organisation to work for and I love my job and the people I work with.  I am grateful for the opportunity to meet the various groups of people in my role and to be able to work with them every day,” adds Sherrill.

CHL took out two other AHI awards this year – Jamie Muchall, CHL QLD State Manager, was awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’  for his work at Horizon Housing and The St. Emilie’s convent refurbishment won the ‘Leading Housing Development Project Award’ for WA.

CHL Media Enquiries

Preeti Daga – Corporate Communications Manager
Telephone: 03 9856 0021
Email: preeti.daga@chl.org.au

Visit the AHI website to read more about the 2019 AHI Awards.

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