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Social and community connection, sustainability and passionate leadership have been spotlighted as the hallmarks of best practice at the 2023 Community Housing Industry Association of SA (CHIA SA) Excellence Awards.

Category award winners Unity Housing, UnitingSA, Junction Australia and Westside Housing (full list below) were among the 11 South Australian Community Housing Providers (CHPs) recognised at the event held last night in Adelaide.

It’s the first time the South Australian industry body, CHIA SA, has held the awards to recognise the achievements of the state’s more than 20 CHPs, since the start of COVID-19.

CHIA SA Chief Executive Officer Luke Westenberg said the award winners and the finalists were to be congratulated for demonstrating excellence, innovation and inspiration in service, project development and leadership.

“The nominations are a testament to the hard work being done across the South Australian community housing sector to better support tenants in a time of great need for many in our communities,” said Mr Westenberg.

CHIA SA is the peak industry body representing CHPs in South Australia.

CHPs are not-for-profit organisations providing affordable housing to South Australians living on low to moderate incomes, including those facing disadvantage and/or with specific needs.

The 2023 CHIA SA Excellence Award recipients are:

Excellence in Community Housing

Winner: Unity Housing, Westside Housing and UnitingSA for the Pennington Project for demonstrating “best practices in encouraging, enabling, and supporting tenant and community engagement”.

The project was a collaborative effort that showcased the positive outcomes that can be achieved through partnerships and active involvement.

Runners-up: UnitingSA for energy efficiency project and Access2Place for disability housing.

Inspirational Team Member

Winner: Tiana Hume, from Junction Australia for “her empathy, passion, and enthusiasm for creating significant positive cultural impact”.

Runners-up: Lee-Ann Chaplin, from Believe Housing Australia and Michael DeBoo, from Housing Choices SA.

Leading Community Engagement Practice

Winner: Westside Housing for its Sustainable Tenancies Green Thumb program.

Runners-up: Housing Choices SA for its Inclusive Communities Team and Believe Housing for its Green Thumb program.

Executive Excellence

Winner: James Clough, from Junction Australia for his “values-driven leadership, focused on bringing the best out of his team”.

Runner-up: Stacey Northover, from Believe Housing Australia

Media contact: Rebecca DiGirolamo on 0429 181 422 or

WHO IS CHIA SA? CHIA SA is the peak industry body representing community housing providers (CHPs) in SA. CHPs are  not-for-profit organisations, which provide affordable, safe and secure housing to people on low incomes, facing  disadvantage and/or with specific needs. CHIA SA receives funding from the SA Government and advocates on behalf  of the sector and informs key stakeholders and the community.