Our Board

Please see below our board member details. You can also contact the board via email at board@metrohousing.org.au. NB: this e-mail address is specifically for matters that are not able to be referred directly to Metro staff/management. Please note that e-mails will only be checked on a weekly basis. For any urgent matters that need to go to the Metro Housing Board of Directors please contact reception and they will forward on any request to the Chairperson.

James Kennedy (Chairperson)

James has twenty five years’ experience in operational management and advisory work across the property spectrum. He led the Defence Housing Authority’s group responsible for delivering housing solutions to over 17,000 members of the Australian Defence Force and their families and was Program Director for the Social Housing Initiative at the NSW Nation Building and Jobs Plan Taskforce – overseeing the delivery of 6,300 new homes.

James’ professional focus is on improving the operational and financial performance of large property portfolios and their management. James is committed to the further development of Metro Housing as a critical element in growing the availability of affordable homes.

David Abelló

David Abelló has been a Director of Metro since 2008. He has a Social Sciences degree and a background in social policy research with a focus on mental health, disability support, and accommodation partnerships. He has over three decades of experience in the governance of membership-based disability employment, disability advocacy and youth housing organisations.

Susan Taylor

Susan has lived and worked in the Marrickville area since 1987. She has many years experience in the housing sector with a particular focus on community housing, co-operatives and supported accommodation – particularly in working with young people aged 16-25.

Susan has served as a Director on the MACH and Metro Boards for over a decade and has held the positions of Secretary and Deputy Chairperson during that time. Her focus over the next twelve months will be on developing and improving our support partnerships.

Valerieanne Byrnes

Valerieanne has over 20 years of enterprise and peak body leadership experience, assisting member-based organisations to address strategic desires. With a passion for community development and social justice, Valerieanne has also participated in, and led, cooperative development projects both in regional Australia and in the broader Pacific and, as a committee member, has contributed to issues such as domestic violence, compliance, risk and professional development.

Valerieanne’s primary expertise is in HR and Organisational Development and one of her passions is enhancing strategic capability and managing risk using member centred strategies in line with cooperative principles and values.

Valerieanne is committed to assisting Metro Housing with its sustainable growth strategy and delivering member benefit.

Eanna O’Ceallachain

Eanna has a long history of voluntary service and involvement in community development and social justice issues. He has previous experience on boards, including a statutory local government body responsible for public education. He recently co-founded a self-help film co-op in Marrickville and works in the area of media access for people with disabilities. Eanna was recently admitted as a solicitor to practice law in NSW.

Elizabeth Sharaq

Elizabeth is a Social Science student at the University of Sydney and has been a sole parent for many years. “For these reasons, and more, I wish to pursue practical ways to overcome disadvantage. Secure and affordable housing has the capacity to achieve this end and I am passionate about housing because it can impact positively on many areas of people’s lives.”

Elizabeth has served on the board of Metro (and its predecessor MACH) since 2002 and has been Secretary for the past 2 years. “The time I have spent on the board has been a valuable learning experience and I have the energy and enthusiasm to use the knowledge gained to continue to address inequity.”

Elizabeth brings pragmatism, empathy and a working awareness of the broader theoretical issues underpinning disadvantage.

Malcolm Pollard

Malcolm grew up in Ashfield so is familiar with the inner west area where the majority of Metro properties are located.

After leaving school he worked as a horticulturist, until health problems took him out of the workforce. “In 1998 Resamen Men’s Housing provided me with stable housing and in 2006 I joined the Resamen board. This was shortly before the amalgamation with MACH and in early 2007 I was accepted as a Metro Board member.”

Malcolm’s board experience is fairly recent but he brings enthusiasm and a strong commitment to representing tenants. Malcolm sees his major contribution to the board as the Metro tenants’ representative on the Tenant Network Association.

Melinda Tunbridge

Melinda has twenty years’ experience in various executive positions, holding senior HR leadership roles within the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), News Limited, Tabcorp Holdings, Jupiter’s Ltd and various State and Federal public organisations.

A thought-provoking and proactive HR practitioner who prides herself in asking the tough questions and challenging the status quo. Mel’s approach is innovative and pragmatic, recognising the imperative of demonstrating ROI and commerciality in all HR activities. Having thrived in some very tough environments, Mel has had to hone her influencing skills and creativity to a level that gets the attention of HR sceptics and prompts not only their action but advocacy.

Mel also holds office on several Boards that span a variety of industries.

Her qualifications include a BA of Science, Masters Human Resources, Masters Industrial Relations, and an MBA.

Mel is committed to playing her part in the development of Metro Housing and its relevance in providing affordable accommodation options for those who need it most.