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Federal government appoints AHURI directors

by Adrian Suljanovic11 minute read

The Albanese government has announced the appointment of two independent directors to AHURI.

The federal government has appointed Dr Anthony Richards and Jennifer Samms as part-time independent directors to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), each to serve a four-year tenure.

Dr Richards enters the role with a background in economic research and experience from his time with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

With the RBA, he held the positions of head of economic research, head of economic analysis, and head of payments policy.


Currently, Dr Richards is the chair of the central bank digital currency steering committee at the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre that looks to pioneer research and commercialisation for the budding digital finance sector.

Ms Samms begins her new role with an understanding and grounding in public policy and specialist expertise in social housing, First Nations housing, and homelessness.

Previously, Ms Samms was the chief executive of Aboriginal Housing Victoria and has held positions at the Victorian Department of Education, Labour, Aboriginal Affairs, Premier and Cabinet, and Planning and Community Development.

Minister for Housing Julie Collins said these appointments will “continue the high level of skills and experience available to the AHURI”.

A national non-profit independent organisation, AHURI focuses on high-quality research on housing, homelessness, cities, and urban policy.

These appoints came as the Albanese government announced key appointments to the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.

The federal government revealed members of the Council after the passage of legislation earlier this year to establish it as a statutory body as of 27 December 2023.

Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz will take the helm as chair of the statutory Council and will be joined by deputy chair Dr Marcus Spiller, who carries a background in urban economics.

The duo will be joined by the following Council members:

• Michael Lennon, current chair of regional housing and planning at the University of South Australia.
• Gail McGowan PSM, current chancellor of Murdoch University and director of Foundation Housing Western Australia.
• Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ, a housing economist and incoming 2024 vice-chair and member of the steering committee for the Asia-Pacific Network for Housing Research.
• Carolyn Viney, chief executive of Super Housing Partnerships that focuses on build-to-rent housing with a mix of affordable, social housing, market rate, and specialist disability accommodation.
• Helen Waters Silvia, CEO of the Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre, a specialist homelessness service for women and families in crisis including escaping domestic violence.
• Neil Willmett, CEO of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland.

[RELATED: New Housing Supply Council members unveiled]

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Adrian Suljanovic


Adrian Suljanovic is a journalist on Momentum Media's mortgages titles: The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

Adrian has written for a range of titles under the Momentum Media umbrella such as IFA, Investor Daily and Lawyer’s Weekly before joining the mortgages team in 2022.

He graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2021 gaining a Bachelor of Communication & Media with a major in Digital & Social Media.

E-mail Adrian at: [email protected]


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