Governance influences how Hume’s objectives are set and achieved, how risk is monitored and assessed, and how performance is optimised. Our Directors and management are committed to ensuring sound governance principles are maintained and applied in governing Hume.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) describes corporate governance as ‘the framework of rules, relationships, systems and processes within and by which authority is exercised and controlled in corporations.’ It encompasses the mechanisms by which Hume, and those in control, are held to account.

As a not-for-profit organisation, Hume is not a listed entity, therefore ASX’s Corporate Governance Council recommendations may not the relevant or appropriate to Hume’s circumstance. However, our Board believes that Hume must provide the same robust governance framework and operate in accordance with the eight key principles of the ASX’s Corporate Governance Council Corporate Governance Principles:

1. Lay solid foundations for management and oversight
2. Structure the Board to add value
3. Promote ethical and responsible decision making
4. Safeguard integrity in financial reporting
5. Make timely and balanced disclosure
6. Respect the rights of customers
7. Recognise and manage risk
8. Remunerate fairly and responsibly.

Hume has a corporate governance framework that provides effective, sustainable, accountable operations and continuous improvement by:
• ensuring that Hume services and infrastructure are provided reliably, efficiently and effectively with the appropriate quality levels of service to customers and stakeholders
• ensuring that Hume remains solvent and is complying with all its legislative, financial, ethical and contractual obligations
• building corporate awareness as a shared responsibility of Directors, management and employees to uphold the values and objectives of Hume
• identifying the resources and operational capabilities required to ensure effective corporate governance processes that align with demonstrated best practice.

Our Board

The Hume Community Housing Board of Directors is structured around principles of good governance. We are governed by an independent skills-based board that has up to nine directors. Our Directors have experience and skill sets that support the scale and scope of our business as well as our planned growth.

The Board is committed to strong governance, community spirit and advocacy for those who require assistance. Hume’s Directors provide skills and expertise in property development, financial management, human resources, community services, urban planning, law and housing, and asset management.

Hume’s Patron, Pat Martin OAM, and a team of specialists that provide advice and sector expertise, support and guide the Board.

Information about each of our Directors is here.

Our Board attendance is detailed here.

Our Board undertakes annual reviews of its performance to ensure that it is performing to its maximum effectiveness and the appropriate governance arrangements are in place. In addition to a skills matrix and annual skills gap analysis, all Directors are encouraged to attend training and professional development courses, as required, at Hume’s expense.

We recognise that while our Board of Directors are ultimately responsible for corporate governance, good corporate governance is a shared responsibility. Members, the Board, CEO, our employees and our Tenant’s Voice Committee (in line with the Terms of Reference) have a responsibility to ensure that Hume is well governed.

All Directors must comply with Hume’s Code of Conduct.

At 30 June 2019, Hume’s Directors were:
• Robert Vine, Chairman
• True Swain
• Sue Holliday
• Robyn Parker
• Larraine Eddy
• Phillip Hepburn
• Jayson B ricknell
• Nathan Rees.

Patricia Martin

OAM, Dip.E, Dip. ME, JP, MAHI, MOAA has been involved with Hume’s operations for the last 20 years including serving a 16-year term as President of the Hume Board before her appointment as Board Patron in 2007. Pat has also served terms as President of the Fairfield Community Resource Centre as well as the NSW Federation of Housing Association. Pat owned and operated a successful travel study company, Cindela Consultants, which coordinated study visits to and from Japan for government officials in the areas of retirement, stock exchange and police and fire brigade. Pat is also a former secondary teacher with 15 years teaching experience. In 1982, Pat was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to youth welfare. Pat is a current member of the Australasian Housing Institute and member of the Order of Australia Association.

Patricia Martin

Our Executive Leadership Team

Our Executive Team is passionate about Hume, the role it plays in the betterment of people’s lives, and the creation of communities in which we all want to live. The team has a depth of experience to guide Hume into the next stage of its growth, sustainability and delivery.

Since our last annual report, we appointed:
• Sharn Chisholm to the position of Executive Manager, People, Culture and Communications, after it was vacated by Lisa Bonavia.
• Andrea Ritchie to the position of Executive Manager, Social Housing Management Transfer Project, to manage our expansion into the Hunter region.

Our executive leadership team is introduced below.

Nicola Lemon
Julie Bojarski
Michael Kourakis
Sharn Chisholm
Andrea Ritchie
Sean Parker

Our governance committees

To assist effective governance, the Board has nominated the following committees to discharge its responsibilities:
• Audit and risk subcommittee
• Recruitment and remuneration subcommittee
• Development subcommittee.

Each committee has a charter and is chaired by a non-executive director. Each committee is entitled to obtain professional advice at Hume’s expense.

The table below shows our governance committees, their membership and functions, and the number of times they met during the year.

Hume’s governance committees

Hume’s governance committees

Compliance with disclosure requirements

Hume has compliance procedures in place to ensure timely and balanced disclosure of information, in line with the Registrar, Legislation, ACNC, ASIC funding body requirements.

Our Company Secretary is responsible for ensuring that necessary steps have been taken within Hume and that they are brought before the Board for discussion, and subject to amendment, approval.

Risk management

Hume has a risk management framework in place for the identification and effective management of risk, as well as a risk matrix to assess these risks. The CEO is responsible for completing the risk matrix to assess risks and potential risks effecting Hume. Internal controls are in place to mitigate against any material business risks. Risks of strategic, financial and operational natures are reviewed on a regular basis by the Audit and Risk Committee, which makes recommendations to the Board. Potential operational risks involved in running Hume are managed by our Executive Leadership Team and will be reported to the Board.

Compliance framework

Hume has a process for managing our obligations in respect to:
• legal and regulatory compliance
• organisational compliance for policies and procedures
• compliance with contractual obligations including leases and management transfers
• compliance with risk treatments used to derive lower residual risks.


Our Strategic Plan 2018–21 was developed using a robust and inclusive process. Our CEO and Board provide the skills and experience to inform the process through its stages. While they are together responsible for its endorsement and implementation, stakeholder consultation is very important to the strategic planning process.

In 2018–19, Hume employees participated in two days dedicated entirely to strategic planning within teams and for the wider organisation. Our CEO and executive leadership team presented on the external operating environment, changes in the internal environment, priorities for the business, and research undertaken to shape our strategy. Teamwork was emphasised as each division worked together to start their strategic departmental business plan for the year ahead.

With a wide range of perspectives and approaches across the organisation, every individual’s personal strengths and skills are valued and are utilised in the strategic planning process. These two important days in our calendar ensure that every employee feels included and takes active ownership in developing their team’s business plan.

The diagram below shows Hume’s strategic planning process.

Hume employees at our 2019 Away Days in Sydney.

Hume’s strategic planning process

Strategic Plan - Scoping & Environment
Strategic Plan - Planning & Stakeholders
Strategic Plan - Endorsement & Implementation


Our greatest asset is our people. As Hume continues to grow, we are focused on maintaining a community in which our employees prosper. Our positive workplace culture is the cornerstone of our employee engagement, delivery of quality services and high levels of customer satisfaction, which in turn contributes to the achievement of our business objectives.

Highlights from 2018–19

Our highlights included:
• continued near-perfect and sector leading engagement score in annual Employee Opinion Survey (EOS).
• being recognised as a Regional Employer of Choice by the 2019 Macarthur Business Awards
• having our CEO, Nicola Lemon, recognised as an Outstanding Business Leader by the 2019 Macarthur Business Awards
• commencing recruitment of more than 40 Hunter region-based employees who will deliver services to local communities as part of the Social Housing Management Transfer project
• launching our leadership development program with all members of the leadership team gaining insight and reflecting on their leadership behaviour and style through Human Synergistics’s Lifestyle Inventory (LSI)
• participating in a measurement of our culture using Organisation Culture Index with the aim of embedding our culture across all regions to achieve one integrated organisation.

Our approach to people and culture

Encouraging diversity and inclusion
We celebrate and encourage diversity within our workforce. We hire on merit, regardless of any other factor. We adjust roles to enable success for people with disability, mental health needs, seniors, and carer responsibilities.

Diversity and inclusion are a valued part of our vibrant and connected working community. Hume employees speak 19 different languages. We welcome applications from women, older people, people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTIA+ communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We offer paid parental leave for female and male employees if they are the primary care giver—which is in keeping with our view on gender equality. At all our offices, we provide a dedicated quiet room that can be used for feeding, prayer or other needs. Accessible bathrooms with shower facilities are included in our Fairfield office, along with accessible ramps or lifts to access all Sydney offices.



21–29 YEARS


30–39 YEARS


40–54 YEARS



Working flexibly

Hume has flexible work arrangements including hours to suit an individual’s personal circumstances. We have embraced an agile environment that allows remote working so that people with disability, older workers and primary care givers can work in whatever location is suitable to their needs, and hot-desking between offices for our employees’ convenience.






Improving our productivity

We have continued to invest in technology and our work environments to support our employees to achieve great outcomes. Hume has an agile workforce where our employees are equipped with modern technology such as smart phones, laptops, and software, to enable them to work effectively regardless of where they are.

In February 2019, we began using the Workplace by Facebook platform as our internal communications tool. Workplace enables Hume employees to easily exchange knowledge, updates, ideas, and connect socially on common causes. Hume encourages connectivity, and the Workplace platform enables employees to benefit from collective knowledge through open, honest, and fun conversations in a familiar interface.

With both a desktop website and a mobile application, Workplace supports and nurtures Hume’s agile workforce. The app allows employees working in the field to share real time updates and chat with colleagues instantly. This has assisted in reducing duplication of effort and has enabled quicker resolutions to time-sensitive business challenges.

Using the Polls feature on Workplace enables a transparent and open workforce where individuals feel empowered. Employees can easily create polls, share their opinion through voting on polls, and contribute ideas and support for business problems or decisions through comments. Workplace aides in ensuring a highly engaged workforce.

Work health and safety

Work health and safety at Hume is everyone’s responsibility. As such, we take an inclusive approach to enable employees, managers and contractors to contribute to health and safety in the workplace.

All our teams discuss and resolve local WHS matters collaboratively within team meetings. In addition, our WHS Committee comprises of employee representatives from all departments and levels of management. The WHS Committee meets on a quarterly basis to facilitate further consultation on a broad range of work health and safety issues, including the development of work health and safety policies and procedures.

Our team members are provided with the necessary equipment and training to keep them safe and our team leaders and managers engage in good safety behaviour. In addition to compliance and role specific safety training, we offer and provide Mental Health First Aid training to our team members as well as an employee assistance program for employees and their immediate families. We also implemented Driver Safety training to help keep our team safe while on the road, whether in Sydney or the Hunter region.

We had zero reportable or serious incidents in 2018–19.

Employee wellbeing

Hume offers an employee wellbeing program that includes fitness challenges, general health checks, annual flu shots and fresh fruit deliveries across all offices. We undertake supervised debriefs for our frontline employees to support individual emotional wellbeing. All employees can access our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which is a confidential counselling service for employees and immediate members of their family. We also use our EAP for debriefing a team if they need clinical supervision in managing customer situations or crisis events.

All employees are offered Mental Health First Aid training as part of our commitment to wellbeing in the workplace. In addition, we provide one day ‘special leave’ per year which enables our people to take an additional day off to use at their discretion.

Learning and development

In the last year, 100% of our employees have attended at least one internal or external training course. All new employees participate in a full day induction with executive managers across the business providing a comprehensive picture of who we are and what we deliver.

Hume offers a bespoke customer service training program called ‘Being Human’. It focuses on the development of exemplary communication, collaboration, composure and cognition skills in the delivery of high-quality, empathetic service to our customers and stakeholders. This training is mandatory for every Hume employee. Other development opportunities include industry learning through courses, mentoring programs and workshops by peak bodies.

Each Hume employee is allocated a portion of the human resources budget for professional development, and can apply to attend courses, workshops, and conferences through our online employee portal.

In 2018–19:
• 82% of employees agreed that Hume is committed to ongoing learning and development of our workforce
• 77% of those who have completed a learning and development session agreed that it has improved their job performance and therefore the overall performance of the organisation.

Strong investment in employee training and career development has directly led to improved customer service and increased efficiency and effectiveness of communication and collaboration within the organisation. These improved outcomes have led to higher levels of customer satisfaction across all external-facing service areas, as well as internal business units.

100% of employees adopted the workplace platform at the time of deployment

Performance management

Hume uses an online portal to support our employee performance review and development process which is based on the concept of continuous conversations and uses accountabilities from role descriptions and performance objectives agreed between employees and their mangers. Our online portal is also used for:
• probationary reviews
• competency assessment using the Hume Competency Framework
• individual career and development planning
• learning resources
• one-to-one meeting records
• feedback and evidence storage
• annual performance wraps up, and overall performance results.

Employee engagement

The level of engagement of our workforce community is measured annually by our Employee Opinion Survey. A recurring theme in recent surveys has been a strong personal commitment by employees to Hume’s organisational purpose and values, and a sense of meaning and fulfilment that comes from a genuine interest in helping our customers.








Recognised as an employer of choice

The NSW Business Chamber awarded Hume the Outstanding Regional Employer of Choice award for 2019. Our CEO, Nicola Lemon also received the Outstanding Business Leader award. We were also a finalist in the Excellence in Business category.

We are extremely proud of our team and acknowledge the amazing job they do in supporting and delivering to our customers. An Employer of Choice is so much more than just a great place to work. An Employer of Choice continuously reviews and improves how it attracts and keeps the best employees who are committed to making a difference to the lives and wellbeing of the people it serves. We would like to thank our amazing team for all that they do.

Employee retention

Our employee retention remained steady particularly in a tight and demanding talent market. Our turnover increased from 19% to 20% in 2018–19 compared to the previous year. 33 new employees joined us, 18 employees resigned, and six left due to contract expiry.

Employee recognition

Every employee is included in Hume’s employee recognition and reward program which includes quarterly awards based on peer nomination for people who have gone above and beyond in demonstrating Hume values. In addition, performance bonuses are awarded to those who exceed expectations against performance KPIs and agreed objectives. There are also three types of annual awards given to Hume’s employees. They are:

Leadership award for the demonstration of leadership, proactively creating a positive and long-lasting effect across the organisation.
CEO award granted in recognition of an individual’s outstanding commitment to the achievement of Hume’s purpose.
Peoples’ Choice award decided by all Hume employees.

Employee onboarding

During 2018–19, we enhanced our employee onboarding program, called Launch Pad, in preparation for our expansion into the Hunter region in September 2019. Hume is committed to providing a positive work environment for all, to support the achievement of #ONEHUME and to enable our people to prosper. We know that a positive start to any employment journey requires structured and supportive experiences during the first few months.

Launching in July 2019, the Launch Pad program includes:

• a welcome call from manager prior to commencement with us
• social housing sector training
• a face-to-face induction workshop, providing an overview of Hume, our values and effective communication styles
• our Being Human workshop
• a dedicated workplace buddy to provide information and support
• a role-specific Learning Journal and training plan
• mini surveys in first 12 weeks of employment to monitor and gain feedback on the Launch Pad experience.


Our remuneration and employment policies and practices are aimed at retaining and attracting qualified and inspired employees. Executive salaries are set via regular remuneration reviews undertaken by an independent and expert remuneration firm. Salaries for comparable positions in other sectors are considered. Hume offers a remuneration and benefits package for award-based employees, which pays above the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award. All Hume employees are granted gratis leave on the days between Christmas and New Year in recognition of their contribution to Hume.

Our policies and procedures

Hume has a full suite of employee relations policies and procedures to guide our professional and personal conduct while performing our roles for Hume.

Outlook for 2019–20

In the coming year, we will:

• complete the organisational redesign consultation process. All employees will have clarification on their role and the changes within their teams.
• put two employees and one mentor forward to the GEM Programme panel. The GEM Programme accelerates development by creating challenging opportunities, giving participants exposure to people and situations that many who have worked in housing may not have experienced. Additionally, we will sponsor our pilot program and send three employees to the UK GEM campus in October 2019.
• continue to focus on welcoming new colleagues across all regions, to strengthen engagement and learning of new employees as they settle into Hume and become one integrated organisation.
• implement a new Human Resource Information System (HRIS) and Payroll system to meet the organisation’s growing demands and provide efficiencies in people management. This project will commence in the second quarter of 2020.

Employee Outlook - 100% of employees believe in the purpose and values of Hume

Contact Us

  • Fairfield
    7 Hamilton Road, Fairfield
    NSW 2165
  • Parramatta
    Level 4, 79 George Street, Parramatta
    NSW 2150
  • Claymore
    2 Glenroy Drive, Claymore
    NSW 2559
  • Maitland
    464 High Street, Maitland
    NSW 2320
  • Raymond Terrace
    46 William Street, Raymond Terrace
    NSW 2324

Note: Maitland open from 2 September 2019 and Raymond Terrace to open later in 2019.