SA_HS_Winter 2023 WEB

Winter 2023

In this issue:

A quick guide to garden responsibilities P3 Tristan & Scooter (pictured on cover) P6 Wauwi Inparrila – a new place for community to prosper P8

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Foreword Lana Johnson

Welcome to the latest edition of Home Stories . Housing Choices South Australia is committed to an equitable and safe society for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and in this edition of Home Stories , you’ll notice that we have – for the first time - included an Acknowledgment of Country. While this is in line with Housing Choices’ vision for reconciliation – it also reflects how seriously we take resident feedback. It was a resident who noticed that Home Stories was lacking this important acknowledgment and we are always thankful for feedback that helps us become a more supportive and inclusive organisation. It has been anything but quiet this Winter, with our residents celebrating everything from Reconciliation Week through to Men’s Health Week. With support from Office for Ageing Well, we are delighted to announce that Wauwi Inparrila – our new community space on Mellor St – has opened.

Wauwi Inparrila is the Kaurna word for ‘Light Square Meeting Place’ and following a successful launch last month, it is being utilised as a meeting place for residents and the local Adelaide CBD community. I’d encourage you to keep up to date with the exciting range of events on offer at Wauwi Inparrila, in addition to our usual Stay Connected, Stay Active Calendar. In this edition of Home Stories , you’ll meet two residents who are using their lived experience to make change. Sandra is part of a diverse group helping tackle the issues facing women and housing, as part of the South Australian government’s Housing Security for Older Women Taskforce. Fellow Adelaide CBD resident Tristan, who lives in one of our Specialist Disability Accommodation units chats to us about his life, and how is he passionate about advocating for changes in the disability support space.

Finally, with cost-of-living pressure affecting us all, it’s a great time to consider some of our DIY gardening ideas and one of the many competitions we have running. If you fancy yourself a bit of a green thumb, you may want to enter the Spring Gardening Competition. There are some wonderful prizes up for grabs for all types of gardens – balconies included. If wordsmithing is more your style, then you may be interested in sharing a short piece of writing as part of our Resident Writer Comp – more details within. Don’t forget about the Community Housing Art Award either – submissions close very soon. Until next time, stay warm and safe.

Lana Johnson Acting General Manager, South Australia

Cover: Tristan and his dog Scooter in Light Square.

Acknowledgement of Country Housing Choices South Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where this publication is produced, the Kaurna people, and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are part of the Housing Choices community.


A quick guide to garden responsibilities

Did you know gardening can reduce stress levels and improve physical fitness? Gardening can also help you connect with nature and get immense satisfaction from watching things grow. Many of our residents have gardens on their properties, and maintaining these garden areas is the responsibility of the tenant. Our Property Team have provided a quick checklist to help make it clear what we can assist with, and what is the responsibility of our residents.

Things Housing Choices SA are responsible for in your garden: • Pruning of heavy large plants/trees • Tree removal if required • Gutter cleaning

Things you’re responsible for in your garden: • Watering the plants and grass • Weed removal • Lawn mowing • Maintaining small plants and shrubbery • Removal of rubbish that may have blown in from elsewhere

What about shared fences?

It is our residents’ responsibility to maintain the garden on their side of the fence – for example, trimming protruding growth such as climbers. This comes directly from the Fencing Act, which states that ‘fences between two properties are jointly owned by the owners of both properties, so it would be necessary that both sides are to maintain the garden on each side of the fence.’

If you have read this and have a garden question you are still unsure about, please call our Maintenance line on 1300 153 850 and we can provide more specific advice.


Tristan + Scooter Tristan’s life has taken as many twists and turns as the ambulances he drove when working as a Paramedic. The latest turn has seen Tristan land back in his hometown of Adelaide, as Housing Choices South Australia’s first Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) resident. “I was in regional Victoria and there was absolutely no specialist disability accommodation available – I needed to move to Melbourne or Adelaide to get the type of accommodation I needed.”

Housing Choices have done for me and having specialist disability housing has literally changed my world.” Finding Tristan a suitable apartment, close to services and with the support mechanisms he required, was something Housing Choices staff were able to use their specialist skills to do. Tristan is now living completely independently, with the help of support workers and his service dog Scooter and making new plans for the future – including exploring career opportunities in drone technology. There’s even talk

of working in drone search and rescue, which would align with his previous paramedic work. As a younger man, Tristan found his calling as a Paramedic after spending six months in hospital following a severe motorcycle accident. He spent 10 years helping people who found themselves in distressing situations – just like he had been in after his accident – and loved every minute of it. However, a physical exam for an Air Life Support (helicopter) Paramedic role uncovered a concern

Having grown up in SA, Tristan had family and

friends nearby, which made Adelaide the logical choice. Additionally, the CBD location of Adelaide’s special disability accommodation meant Tristan could access all the services he needed to manage his form of muscular dystrophy. “I had actually been evicted and if Housing Choices hadn’t been able to approve me, I would have been homeless. What


with his leg movement – unveiling a condition that has progressively become more life affecting. “Instead of getting a promotion, I effectively

ended my career.” Tristan has mobility

and fatigue challenges which require a range of physiotherapy and neurology appointments weekly, but thanks to his apartment’s location and design, he can get where he needs to go. “I don’t have to take a taxi to any of my appointments – my electric wheelchair goes 10km an hour so I can get to medical appointments easily. The tram, the train and my physio clinic – they are all so close by.” Tristan is even able to make the journey most weekends to ‘The Bend’ Motorsport Park, to fulfil his love of car racing. While life has changed a bit now – and the only ambulance sirens are the ones he can hear from his balcony – Tristan is still compelled to help people and give his future plans 110%. He’s now advocating for changes in the disability support space after being frustrated with the system and is in the process of setting up a Men’s Disabled Support Group as well as a not-for-profit called Neuropower. “I want to actually make change, not just sit back.”

Housing Choices SA currently owns 10 SDA properties in both Adelaide CBD and Bowden, both with exciting vacancy opportunities. If you or a family member or friend are a NDIS participant, and would like to know more about HCSA’s SDA housing available, please look at our website Alternatively, for further information contact Adrian McHugh, SDA Participant Engagement Specialist at or on 0448 597 465 .

Above: Tristan having a chat with his neighbour Carmel.


Men’s Health Week

Men’s Health Week is always an important week in the Housing Choices calendar, with statistics showing that 1 in 4 men don’t have a close mate they can share or confide in, and that loneliness affects 43% of Australian men.

To celebrate this year’s Men’s Health Week, and provide an opportunity to build mateship connections, Housing Choices held a Bacon and Egg breakfast in the new Wauwi Inparrila community space on Mellor St. Guest speakers at the breakfast event included Dr Harry Perkins from The University of Adelaide’s School of Dentistry, who also heads up the Common Ground

Dental Program. Lisa and Shannon from Hepatitis SA, Ian from Adelaide City Shed and Housing Choices SA’s own staff member Gary also shared their experiences, knowledge and insight with the 25 attendees. Keeping with the health theme, Hepatitis SA completed on the spot Hep C testing, and all the men received a goodie bag full of toiletries.

For more information on Men’s Health, including ideas on how to combat loneliness, visit


Women over 50 Homelessness Taskforce

Housing Choices SA resident Sandra has spent the last 6 months drawing on her lived experience of homelessness as a member of the South Australian government’s Housing Security for Older Women Taskforce.

accommodation service Catherine House before finding her forever home with Housing Choices.

The taskforce brings together a range of lived experience, expertise, disciplines, networks, and community to create change. Final recommendations are expected to be completed in the next few months. “I want to be part of making a difference and seeing for myself firsthand how it is going to look and work effectively.” For more information on the Taskforce, please visit: projects/housing-security- for-older-women-taskforce

Sandra is part of a diverse group of women using their own personal insights with homelessness to co-design an action plan and come up with new ways to fix these issues. “We all have the same goal in mind and that’s getting to the crux of the issues that aren’t working.” “I’ve seen so much progress in our taskforce meetings. It’s exhilarating to know we can actually make a difference.”

Women aged 55 years and over are one of the

fastest growing populations experiencing homelessness in Australia, with older women particularly vulnerable to

housing insecurity. Sandra experienced homelessness and was supported by crisis

Below: Sandra in her bright and cheerful apartment.


Left: Maureen and Naomi from Spirit in Unity pictured with resident Rebeccah (centre). Keiran Snape, David Elliot Carmen Noon, Janet Giles as well as Member for Adelaide Lucy Hood MP. “Homes and community are important – but so are meaningful connections, and we can see that embodied in this space,” said Cassie Mason, Executive Director, Office for Ageing Well at SA Health. Thanks to all the residents who came out to help us celebrate! How to book this new Community Space: Wauwi Inparrila comprises of two large bookable spaces

The new bright and welcoming space was made possible through an Office for Ageing Well SA Health Positive Ageing Fellowship Grant, as well as mentoring support from The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI). Housing Choices also worked with Claire Harris of The Art Bus, to transform the clinical space into a colourful, welcoming space. We want to thank all the residents and local community who contributed to making this a welcoming space - from painting and gardening through to contributing ideas and time. What an incredible community we have! The name ‘Wauwi Inparrila’ honours Wauwi, the wife of Kadlitpina, a prominent Kaurna Elder, while Inparrilla is the Kaurna word for ‘Meeting Place’ – a name that honours the truth, history and hopes for the space. Many local councillors live within a block or two of Wauwi Inparrila and showed their ongoing support by attending the launch; It was wonderful to host Lord Mayor Dr Jane Lomax Smith,

Wauwi Inparrila – a new place for community to prosper “Building houses is not enough, we need to build community” said Adelaide City Councillor Janet Giles. ‘Wauwi Inparrila’ is Housing Choices’ bright new community space in the Adelaide CBD. It was launched with a bang in June, following a community-led, co-design process with many of our own Housing Choices residents. At the grand opening, the community came together to make meaningful connections, enjoyed inspiring speeches and were treated to musical performances by the Housing Choices music group. From ‘Big Jet Plane’ through to ‘These boots were made for walking’, the music group added a lot of fun and a lot of heart to the event. Maureen and Naomi from Spirit in Unity facilitated a Smoking Ceremony and shared an original song.

(Front and Back), joined via a private courtyard.

A third office space equipped with computers is accessible via Wauwi Inparrila’s Front Room. It is located at 11 Mellor Street, Adelaide. Booking approval will prioritise strengths-based projects that actively promote social inclusion, capacity building, sustainability and community leadership. A tiered pricing system enables free use for bookings which provide free community access and discount rates for Not-For- Profit organisations. Wauwi Inparrila can be booked by visiting and searching the name ‘Wauwi Inparrila.








Image 1: Housing Choices SA Acting General Manager Lana Johnson pictured with Lord Mayor Dr Jane Lomax-Smith and Lucy Hood MP. Image 2: Rasili, Michael and Joy having a dance in the courtyard Image 3: Guests at the launch were asked to write their wish for the space and tie it to ‘The Wishing Tree’. Image 4: Naomi from Spirit in Unity sang an original song. Image 5: Resident Joy pictured with Maureen from Spirit in Unity. Image 6: Resident Keith pictured with Michael, who spoke at the launch about the importance of community.


Above: Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) representative Susan with resident Maureen.

Housing Choices is on the hunt for any residents who enjoy writing from across the country to feature in our 2023 Annual Report and other Housing Choices communications. We’re looking for all kinds of stories, including subjects of your choosing for instance; a short tale, a story of your life, interviews, or pieces highlighting a particular hobby, interest or a passion of yours. Stories need to be between either 150-200 words or 350-500 words, with selected writers’ pieces receiving vouchers for $100 for 150-200 words or $200 Have you got a story to tell?

Reconciliation Action Week

Reconciliation Week felt quite momentous in South Australia this year, with the Voice to Parliament referendum dominating the discussion at morning teas, annual orations – and everything in between. Housing Choices SA’s Inclusive Communities team hosted a meaningful and respectful discussion about the Voice to Parliament over morning tea, with a special guest speaker from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The AEC representative shared an informative overview of the referendum, enrolling to vote and topics relevant to our residents, such as managing your privacy. Afterward, there were plenty of questions and perspectives shared by the 30 residents in attendance. A few lucky Housing Choices SA staff and residents attended the Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration, now in its 16 th year. The Honourable Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister

of Australia delivered the 16 th annual event,

which honours influential Aboriginal leader Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue and seeks to highlight vital issues for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The very first oration was delivered by Lowitja herself on the 40 th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, and Client Services Manager Fiona Cichon said it felt like they were a part of history this year as well. “It was a fabulous speech, calling for a successful Voice to Parliament referendum later this year, which was received very positively by the audience.” After the speech, there was question time with the Prime Minister hosted by Adelaide’s Lord Mayor, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, and a beautiful rendition of the Freedom Song.

for 350-500 words. Submissions close August 14.

To submit your story or if you have an idea you’d like to discuss or would like more information, please contact communications@


DIY Gardening Ideas

Franklin Street sale – what we know In May, there was an announcement detailing plans to redevelop the former city bus terminal at 111 Franklin Street into a mix use space, including apartments and civic areas. These redevelopment plans affect the Common Ground Community Garden and The Joinery site. For the many Housing Choices SA residents and staff who have been involved in establishing, maintaining and creating community in this beautiful space, this

Aphid Spray Aphids are small, soft- bodied insects that cluster densely on new plant growth and the undersides of leaves. They are a pain for gardeners, especially as the weather warms up and they attack vegetables as well as ornamental plants.

Banana Peel Fertiliser

Save money and reduce waste while keeping your plants happy! Banana peels contain lots of nutrients, including potassium and

phosphorous, which are commonly used in fertilisers.

What you’ll need: 3 x tablespoons of liquid dish soap

Method: 1. Cut up your banana peels into small pieces. The more peels, the better. 2. Place them in a large glass jar and cover them with water. 3. Leave them for two to three days, stirring occasionally. 4. Strain and use the liquid to water your plants. You can also add the liquid to a spray bottle and spray it onto the leaves and branches of your plants to help deter aphid.

500ml water Sponge/cloth

comes as sad news. Construction is not

scheduled to commence until 2026 and Housing Choices SA will keep our residents as informed as we can - both about the proposed plans and about an alternative site for the garden.

Method 1. Mix the water and soap mixture in a spray bottle (reusing an old spray bottle is fine). 2. To control aphids but not lose ‘good’ bugs, spray the soapy water onto the sponge/cloth and gently wipe it on the leaves of the plants.

3. Be sure to check

underneath the plant leaves for eggs and larva. 4. Reapply every 2-3 days for 2 weeks.


The Spring Gardening Competition is back!


Over three sessions, the group will explore setting money goals, creating a realistic budget, as well as understanding the financial goods and services available to help when needed. For more information contact the Inclusive Communities team on 1300 312 447 . Microfinance, will again facilitate the My Money program. From August, Housing Choices SA in collaboration with Good Shepherd Money Matters - the My Money Program is back!

Residents of all gardening abilities are encouraged to enter one of the five categories – Best creative Garden, Neatest Garden, Balcony Garden, Veggie Garden and Communal Garden. Judging is by the team at Bunnings Windsor Gardens, and the winners of each category will receive a trophy and a $100 Bunnings Voucher. All residents receive a certificate of participation. Spring is coming, and with it comes our yearly Spring Gardening Competition! Regardless of the size of your garden, whether it is a shared garden space or perhaps a balcony garden, there really is a category to suit everyone.

How to enter: Residents can enter by sending

in a photo of their garden to the Inclusive Communities at – or send them by post to 192 Waymouth Street, Adelaide SA 5000. If you are unable to take photos, we are happy to come out and take them for you – please call us on 1300 312 447 . Competition closes Friday 27 th October

Disclaimer: To the best of Housing Choices Australia’s knowledge (Housing Choices), this information is valid at the time of publication. Housing Choices makes no warranty or representation in relation to the content or accuracy of the material in this publication. Housing Choices expressly disclaims any and all liability (including liability for negligence) in respect of use of information provided. Housing Choices recommends you seek independent professional advice prior to making any decision involving matters outlined in this publication.

Contact us: Please get in touch at any time if you have any questions or suggestions. For maintenance requests please call 1300 153 850 or report via our website: contact/report-a-repair

192 Waymouth Street Adelaide SA 5000 1300 312 447

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