Haven; Home, Safe COO

Haven; Home, Safe has promoted Trudi Ray to the newly created position of Chief Operations Officer (COO) as part of a restructure of Victoria’s only fully integrated homelessness services and affordable housing providers.

Prior to being appointed COO, Ms Ray was the Executive Director for Operations in the southern region of Victoria for two years after serving as Executive Director Corporate Services from 2010 to 2016.

HHS Chief Executive Officer Ken Marchingo AM said last week the appointment followed the recent departure of Executive Director for Operations (North) Niall Hensey after nine years’ service.

‘This created an opportunity to deliver a different structure that more closely supports the strategy of the Board and the organisational requirements into the future,’ Mr Marchingo said.

‘Trudi has worked closely with me for over 14 years and is an outstanding and valued member of the Executive Management Team.

‘I look forward to working with her and the Executive as we drive the next stage in the organisation’s evolution and growth.’

Ms Ray said she was excited about the opportunity to work with the General Managers and staff to turn HHS’s strategy into operational and financial success.

‘With single IT housing systems and the development of a new CRM, we are in the process of being fully data-driven where the business can be guided by real-time data,’ Ms Ray said.

‘Operations across the organisation are complex and diverse and we have a genuinely talented and committed team who daily work towards preventing homelessness and giving people a place to call home.

‘The Board has set a great strategy and with my fellow executive we will continue to keep our strategy front and centre, ensuring we build towards more homes, more supports, more partnerships and more capacity,’ she said.

Ms Ray said that while there had been significant investment and commitments made in recent times, Victoria’s overall social housing stock was on the decline when measured as a proportion of all housing.

‘Wherever you look, in metropolitan Melbourne or in regional and rural Victoria, there is a chronic shortage of affordable and available rental housing which has significant social and economic costs not just to the individuals and families but also communities,’ she said.

HHS as always will continue to work with the sector and all levels of government to advocate for the housing and support needed.

Ms Ray will maintain offices in Preston and Geelong and conduct regular staff and stakeholder meetings in the Loddon and Mallee offices in Bendigo and Mildura.

The restructure will include the creation of two Executive General Manager positions to oversee day-to-day operations in the south and north of the state reporting to the new COO.


Trudi Ray has been responsible for growing and managing Haven; Home, Safe’s support services and housing portfolio across the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne in addition to expanding HHS’s footprint in the Barwon South West Region since 2016 in her former role of Executive Director Operations (South).

Over the past two years, HHS has secured more homes and supports for women and families fleeing family violence and those that are homeless working in concert with many support partners also delivering on a 17-unit development in the centre of Geelong.

Trudi’s strong work ethic and diverse management and leadership skills developed over the past 14 years has stood her in good stead as she takes up the Chief Operations Officer role.

Trudi has worked out of both our Geelong and Preston offices and prior to relocating to Geelong in 2015, Trudi was HHS Executive Director Corporate Services responsible for the agency’s Human Resources, IT, Risk Management, OH&S and communications programs

In November 2016 Trudi was elected to the Board of the Community Housing Federation Victoria (now CHIA Vic) and believes in advocating strongly for those most vulnerable in our community, those that are homeless, fleeing family violence or those in housing crisis.

Trudi understands the complexities of vulnerable communities and her passion for social justice and strong community spirit extends beyond the workplace having been the youngest women to be elected a local government councillor in Regional Australia in 2004.

She is a Justice of the Peace, Interim Chair Victorian Branch of Australasian Housing Institute of Australia, a member of the Manningham Council Healthy City Advisory Committee, and has been invited to participate on the Hume Moreland Housing Action Group and Intervening early to prevent homelessness working group with DHHS.

Trudi has received certification two years running into the AHI certified housing professional Level 3, one of only seven housing professionals in Victoria to do so.

Ranked in the top 15 per cent of all La Trobe University graduates in 2013, Trudi is now mentoring other MBA students through the La Trobe Alumni.

-article courtesy of Haven; Home, Safe