Stephen Simpson, Executive Officer
Over 15 years of Stephen’s professional career has been in the public sector and includes 10 years in senior leadership and management roles. Stephen joined the Council to Homeless Persons QLD in August 2020 after working as the Manager – Service Development and Integration at Queensland Youth and Families Support Service (QYFSS). During his time with QYFSS, Stephen engaged with the Council as a member and also served as a volunteer Vice-President on the Council’s Management Committee.
Stephen began his journey in the public sector working with children under a guardianship order and then moved into the Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) sector developing programs and facilitating men’s behaviour change programs, strong advocate for social change, a White Ribbon Ambassador and later went on to become the Vice Chair of the Coalition of Men Supporting Non- Violence Alliance.
Across Stephen’s career he also had the privilege of being the Executive Director and co-founder of Kornar Winmil Yunti (men working together) Aboriginal Corporation. During this time he was an advisor to the Department of Community and Social Inclusions Homeless Strategy, a mentor with the Flinders University Centre for Development Studies Gender Consortium, State Advisor to National Perpetrator Intervention Outcome standards for Australia, and Chair of the Aboriginal Interagency Family and Domestic Violence Reference Group.
Some of Stephen’s other roles have included; the Service Manager for Headspace Rockhampton, and DFV Program Manager for Relationships Australia QLD.
Stephen is passionate in supporting the work in the housing and homeless sector and is excited to be part of the Council to Homeless Persons QLD team. Working in collaboration with the Specialist Homeless Services, the people who use these services and our partners is something he is looking forward to.
Alison Cole, President
Alison has been working in the Queensland Homelessness Sector for over 20 years with a specific focus on Youth Homelessness. She has been the President of the Council to Homeless Persons Qld for a period of almost three years and before this a general member of the organisation. Alison has worked as a Support Practitioner within Homeless Services prior to becoming the Manager of the Youth Housing Project Association Inc. in Brisbane North. She has been in this role for over 16 years and has worked hard to see her organisation grow from a 13 property Homelessness Service to now offering over 31 properties through various programs funded mostly through the Department of Housing and Public Works.
Alison has also been involved in various organisations over the years and has been an Executive Management Committee member for many years on both the Qld Youth Housing Coalition and Young Parents Program, at times holding the position of Chairperson/President. Alison is passionate about the issues affecting homeless people and those issues impacting the services and organisations working hard to assist these people. Working in the not for profit sector she works hard to ensure that the sector remains solid in a time of change. She is a very active member amongst the youth and general homelessness sector and participates in many working groups and networks working hard to see the sector strengthened and resourced enabling it to provide high level services to this group of people.
As President she is primarily responsible for ensuring the Council to Homeless Persons Qld maintains a high standard of service accountability and administrative integrity and that obligations to homeless people, staff, the Management Committee, government and other relevant service providers are met. Alison is looking forward to the continued growth of the CHPQ and is excited about the future collaborations with both the sector and government and what we can achieve side by side.
Catherine Cates, Vice-President
Since 1991, Catherine has worked in the homelessness sector both as a case manager and coordinator within a Specialist Homelessness Program based in Brisbane North. Following on North East Community Support Group long standing tradition and for the last 10 years, Catherine has actively engaged with the Council to Homeless Persons Qld previously known as the South Queensland Council to Homeless Persons. During this time, Catherine held the volunteer positions of Secretary and Vice-President.
Embedded in a strong social justice value, Catherine is passionate about empowering all people to live with dignity, to have access to secure housing and to sustain tenancy. Catherine is proud to be involved with the Council and its important work for the sector and the clients it serves.
Rachel Metcalf, Secretariat
Rachel graduated from James Cook University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Social Science. After moving to Brisbane from Far North Queensland in 2019, Rachel joined the Council in early 2020 as the Secretariat. The Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Council including corresponding with members, arranging meetings, managing the Council’s social media, and assisting the Executive Officer, Management Committee, and Policy and Research Team.
Rachel is passionate about the important work of the specialist homelessness sector in Queensland and is proud to work with Council to Homeless Persons Queensland.
Policy & Research Team
With over 35 years’ experience in the Australian Public Service, Susan has worked in many different roles. This has included senior leadership positions in strategy and policy development, service delivery, and case management. She also has experience in project and program management, business analysis, and business process improvement.
Susan has a Master of Business Administration (major in Human Resource Development) and a Certificate IV in Workplace Training. She is currently studying at UQ for a Bachelor of Arts (psychology and gender studies) and is particularly interested in social psychology.
Given her strong social justice and inclusion principles, Susan is keen to bring her experience in working in government along with her current research practice to work productively with the CHPQ to achieve its aims.
Laura holds undergraduate degrees in social science and nursing. She is current studying master’s degrees in public health and infectious diseases epidemiology (UNSW), and a PhD (Griffith University). She has experience in clinical and public health research. Her current research focuses on vaccination (including COVID-19 vaccination) policies and programs, nationally and internationally, in people who are homeless. Laura is passionate about improving the health and related outcomes of people who are homeless, especially as they transition into secure housing. Laura is proud to be involved with CHPQ and its important work.
Alex graduated from the University of Queensland in 2019 with a Bachelor of Social Science and Arts and is continuing his studies by pursuing a Master of Governance and Public Policy. Alex is passionate about working in the social services sector and is proud of the work the Council to Homeless Persons Queensland do to advance the cause of the homeless sector.