Our Board and Executive Team

UNITY HOUSING BOARD

Unity Housing has a team of committed and highly skilled Board dedicated to leading the organisation, optimising performance and ensuring compliance with legal requirements. The contributions of our professional, multi-skilled and committed Board deliver a sound governance structure and ensure a strategic platform to take Unity Housing forward.

In collaboration with Executive and staff, the Board has developed these key strategic pillars for Unity Housing:

1. Empower Tenants
2. Develop Housing Portfolio
3. Strengthen People and Culture
4. Enhance Business Capacity
5. Nurture Partnerships

View our Strategic Plan 2021-24 (PDF)

Leigh Garrett

Chairman. Director since 2008

Qualifications

Master of Business Administration; Bachelor of Education, Graduate Diploma of Occupational Health Safety and Welfare, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Experience

Leigh is the Chief Executive Officer of OARS Community Transitions and the Centre for Restorative Justice. He is a Non-Executive Director of CARA Inc; the Australian Crime Prevention Council; and National Indigenous Intervention Network Inc. Leigh is also a Life Member of SACOSS; a Life Member of Restorative Practices International; a Life Member of National Association of Community and Restorative Justice USA; and a Member of the European Forum of Restorative Justice.

Special Responsibilities

Chair of Governance, Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

Richard Willson

Director since 2008

Qualifications

Bachelor of Accounting; Fellow of CPA Australia; Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Experience

Richard is an experienced, Non-Executive Director, Company Secretary and CFO with more than 20 years’ experience predominantly within the mining, technology and agricultural sectors for both publicly listed and private companies. Richard has a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of South Australia, is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a Non-Executive Director of Titomic Limited (ASX:TTT), Clara Resources Limited (ASX:C7A), Orpheus Uranium Limited (ASX:ORP), MedTEC Holdings Limited, and Unity Housing Company Ltd; and Company Secretary of a number of ASX Listed Companies. Richard is the Chairman of the Audit Committee of Titomic Limited, Clara Resources Limited, and Unity Housing Company, and is the Chairman of the Remuneration & Nomination Committee of Titomic Limited.  He has previously been Chairman, Non-Executive Director, and Company Secretary of numerous ASX listed companies.

Special Responsibilities

Chairman of Finance and Audit Committee, Member of Governance, Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

Sacha Wainwright

Director since 2009

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Economics (Australian National University); Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice; Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors

Experience

Sacha is General Counsel for the Drakes Supermarket Group providing legal advice and support across all aspects of the business including compliance, risk and general corporate/commercial issues. She is a Board member of SA Olympic Council and Football SA. Sacha was previously a partner in the Commercial Property division of Minter Ellison providing advice to large national companies. Her experience includes the provision of legal advice in the areas of property and business acquisitions, property development, leasing and infrastructure projects.

Special Responsibilities

Member of Property Committee.

Karen Janiszewski

Director since 2016

Qualifications

Bachelor of Science (Building); Graduate Diploma of Property; Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Experience

Karen has 36 years of construction and development experience gained in private companies, public companies and government. She is Chair of Biosciences Research Centre, and is a Board member of the Queen Elizabeth Centre and Melbourne Polytechnic. Karen was previously Director, Affordable Housing, Lend Lease Communities and has also held the role of Project Director of Kensington Banks, and has managed hotel, commercial and residential developments. Karen has led teams on project acquisitions and tenders. Previously, Karen was a Board member of Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, King and Godfree Pty Ltd, Embracia and Uniting AgeWell, as well as an Advisory Board Member to the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Housing Urban and Regional Planning.

Special Responsibilities

Chairperson of Property Committee; Member of Finance and Audit Committee.

Yvonne Sneddon

Director since 2016

Qualifications

Bachelor of Accounting; Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Experience

Yvonne is a professional non-executive Company Director, previously a partner at Deloitte and Ferrier Hodgson. Yvonne left private practice in 2004 to become a professional company director. She has more than 35 years’ experience in governance, financial reporting and commercial advice in both the private and public sectors. Yvonne has been a Director and Chair of a number of audit, governance and risk committees in the private and public sectors.

Special Responsibilities

Member of Finance and Audit Committee; Member of Internal Audit Committee. 

David Spear

Director since 2017

Qualifications

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; 2013 Alumni Harvard Business School Governance Program.

Experience

David is a professional Company Director and Corporate Governance Consultant with national consulting firm VUCA Pty Ltd. David has more than 30 years’ experience in commercial business management, now including significant directorship experience over the last 15 years. He is currently Chairman of Tyre Stewardship Australia; Chairman of Office Brands Australia; Chairman of McLaren Vale Grape, Wine, Tourism Association; Chairman of Orange Butterfly Foundation; Non-Executive Director of Central Adelaide Waste and Recycling Authority; Non-Executive Director of Big River Pork; and Director of VUCA Pty Ltd. David is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an Alumni member of Harvard Business School Governance program 2013 and a former SA/NT State Director of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Special Responsibilities

Member Governance; Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

Michele Smith, OAM

Director since 2022

Qualifications

Registered Nurse; Graduate Certificate Health Management; Fellow Australasian College of Health Service Managers; Certified Healthcare Executive; Member Australian Institute Company Directors.

Experience

Michele is a Certified Healthcare Executive and Professional Company Director with 37 years’ experience in the health and human services industry. She is the inaugural Governing Board Chair of the Eyre Far North Local Health Network in SA; a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Voluntary Assisted Dying Review; State-wide Clinical Support Services (subsidiary of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network Board (RAH) which governs the state-wide services of SA Pathology, SA Medical Imaging, Breast Screen SA, SA Dental Services and SA Pharmacy), and Ochre Health Group.

Special Responsibilities

Member of Governance; Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

Gregg Ryan

Director since 2022

Qualifications

Master of Business Administration; Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (Economics); Bachelor of Social Work. Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors; Member, Australasian Housing Institute.

Experience

An experienced public administrator in human services, particularly in social housing, mental health and children’s services, Gregg has worked for Federal and State Governments, as well as for the City of Adelaide. For eight years to 2020, Gregg managed not-for-profit housing policy and financing, program and project management for the South Australian Housing Trust. He continues his involvement in community housing, urban renewal and community development as a director, consultant and in a voluntary capacity.

Special Responsibilities

Member Property Committee.

Executive Team

Unity Housing’s day-to-day activities are managed by the Chief Executive Officer and supported by our Executive Team and a range of professional and dedicated staff.

Matthew Woodward

Chief Executive Officer

Responsibilities

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unity Housing is responsible for the implementation of the organisation’s strategic, business and risk management plans and for ensuring that Unity Housing meets its legal, contractual, financial, compliance and performance objectives within its strategic framework and in accordance with our philosophy, purpose and mission.

Paul Reardon

Chief Operations Officer

Responsibilities

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) is responsible for providing high-level leadership to ensure the effective delivery of property and tenancy management services that are supported by Unity Housing’s community and tenant engagement strategy.

Ian Elsegood

Ian Elsegood

Chief Financial Officer

Responsibilities

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for finance and centralised administration; enhancing business capacity through the delivery of support services and structure; ICT managed services; and providing professional analysis of opportunities and proposals.

Adam Mellow

Executive Manager Assets and Development

Responsibilities

The Executive Manager Assets and Development (EMAD) is responsible for development and delivery of Unity Housing’s strategic and practical asset management program, which includes maintenance and property management, acquisitions, developments and disposals.

Warrick Dillon

Warrick Dillon

Executive Manager Group Services

Responsibilities

The Executive Manager Group Services (EMGS) is responsible for providing corporate expert advice and support in meeting Unity Housing’s strategic objectives and deliverables in relation to Corporate Communications and Marketing; Human Resources; and Quality Assurance.

We are the largest single provider of community housing in South Australia.