Our Board of Directors

BHC was incorporated in 2002 as an Australian Public Company limited by shares. The Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council are ordinary shareholders of the company and an array of other commercial and not-for-profit organisations play a role as community shareholders in BHC.

As a social business with Public Benevolent Institution and Deductible Gift Recipient status, BHC is focused on assisting low-income households in Queensland to access quality affordable housing.

BHC operates a Group Structure with all property development undertaken through a wholly owned, non-charitable subsidiary, BHC Development Services. The BHC Group is audited by Grant Thornton.

The group also has a wholly owned charitable subsidiary Catalyst Affordable Housing with the scope to operate Australia wide. Catalyst currently operates in Gladstone under the trading name of Gladstone Housing Company.

The Board of BHC comprises an experienced Independent Chair and Directors representing our Ordinary Shareholders (the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council) as well as Directors appointed by our Community Shareholders.

Directors on the BHC Board have a broad range of expertise including legal, property finance, architecture, accounting and community housing.

Our Board of Directors

Eloise Atkinson - Independent Chair

Eloise is an architect and director of the cross-disciplinary design practice, Deicke Richards. She has over 30 years’ experience in the design of public and affordable housing and has worked with clients in state government, community organisations and private developers. She is committed to using design to achieve social purpose and works closely with education clients across the government, Catholic and independent spheres, with a particular focus on collaborative master planning work.

She is a recipient of The AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Eloise is an active member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Awards, most recently serving as Chair of this year’s Queensland State Architecture Awards.

Eloise is the Independent Chair of BHC contributing to all committees. She is also sits on advisory committees for two other not-for-profit organisation addressing older women’s housing and ending homelessness in Brisbane.

Julie Heckenberg

Julie holds over 25 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development, and education and training at both enterprise and Government levels. Julie has successfully translated her skills to the community sector through her work as Founder and Interim Board Member of Under 1 Roof.

Under 1 Roof has gained recognition as an exemplar of cooperation and collaboration, demonstrating real outcomes for people with complex needs. Julie is the Chair of the Tenancy Management Committee and a member of the Catalyst Board.

Geoff Woolcock

Geoff Woolcock is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland’s Institute for Resilient Regions, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University and University of the Sunshine Coast. Geoff is an experienced social researcher with considerable expertise in social and community service planning and impact evaluation. He has 35 years community-based research experience nationally and internationally, in the housing, youth and public health sectors.

As well as being a member of the Tenancy Management Committee, Geoff is a board director of both the Australian National Development Index (ANDI) and the Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP).

Les Jones

Les is a retired Grant Thornton Partner with a wide involvement in not for profit organisations. During his time at Grant Thornton Les headed up Assurance Service and was the Office Managing Partner for five years.

Les has been a Director of various not for profit organisations and has also contributed to the Professional Education program for The Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Les is currently the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee.

Kirsty Smith

Kirsty is a property professional and Managing Director of Kelen Property. She was previously Chief Executive Officer for the City of Brisbane Investment Corporation where she was responsible for the property development and investment strategy for that business, which spans across various real estate sectors. Her property experience across both public and private sectors has been built following an early career in finance and business management roles.

Kirsty has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Property Economics with a Development Major. She is the chair of BHC’s Finance Committee and is also a member of the Queensland Division Council of the Property Council of Australia.

Stacey Ross

Stacey is the CEO of The Centre for Women & Co. a regional specialist domestic and family violence and women’s wellbeing health service. With over 20 years’ experience in the community sector Stacey is passionate about community development, human services and good governance, she leads with integrity and has an endless desire to empower others to reach their full potential. Stacey is a State government appointed director and is a member of BHC’s Tenancy Management Committee.

Matt Leyshon

Matt has more than 35 years’ experience in the property industry. He is currently Head of Origination and a Development Director at GFM, a national property funds manager and leader in the “Build-to-Rent” sector (under its Home BTR brand). Prior to this role, Matt was Head of Development at Grocon, where he oversaw a range of projects including 480 Queen Street and the 2018 Commonwealth Games Village / Smith Collective.

Matt’s other prior roles include Director of Development at the ULDA / EDQ and General Manager of Development at the Indigo Group. Matt holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Architecture from  the University of Queensland. Matt is the Chair of BHC’s Property Committee.

Katie Williams

A former KPMG Partner Katie brings a diverse portfolio of experience, with 25 years providing governance, risk, and advisory professional services across the public sector.  A passion for improving health and human services, Katie has worked with many education, healthcare, and community service organisations both within Australia, and internationally. Specific to the affordable housing spectrum, she is well versed in operational improvement, leveraging digital and technology to enhance tenancy experience, and the importance of strategic partnerships in enabling growth.

Katie now works alongside clients focusing on priority initiatives across the domains of strategy, governance, research, and innovation. Leveraging her internal audit background, Katie is an experienced independent Audit Committee member, and a member of the RACGP National Research and Evaluation Ethics Committee (NREEC), drawing on her academic background in information systems, data analytics and risk management.

Katie is the Brisbane City Council appointed Director and a member of the Finance Committee and the Audit & Risk Committee.

Karla Fraser

Karla is a lawyer and partner at Allens, specialising in banking and finance. Karla has over 25 years’ of national and international experience in real estate and construction finance, corporate and project finance, acting for a range of clients including financial institutions, private developers, listed corporates and government-owned corporations. Karla is currently deputy-chair of the Queensland Law Society Banking & Financial Services Law Committee and a member of the Allens board.  Karla is a State Government appointed Director and is a member of BHC’s Property Committee and Audit & Risk Committee.