Property Australia

Why Sarah Witty is a Secret Star

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal May 25, 2021


Sarah Witty’s career goal is to end homelessness in Australia. It’s a big ambition – but one she believes can be achieved with the help of Homes for Homes.

Sarah Witty, National Partnerships Manager, Homes for Homes

Three words to describe my job… Rewarding, exciting and challenging.

When I explain my role to people outside the property industry, I say… I raise money to increase the supply of social and affordable housing. I onboard developers and get their projects registered with Homes for Homes. It’s a really easy way for developers to ensure that their projects are giving back to the community.

My three daily work essentials are… Homes for Homes developer partners who believe in the model and are as enthusiastic about the possibilities of ending homelessness as I am.

Support from visionary local councils who look past their own municipality and support Homes for Homes for the greater good.

My conversations with people who have experienced disadvantage and homelessness. Their stories continue to motivate me every day.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt in my role… Unfortunately, homelessness does not discriminate; people find themselves homeless for reasons that are out of their control. COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on homelessness. Many white-collar workers found themselves in housing stress and on the brink of homelessness – it suddenly became real for many people. Now, more than ever, the community needs to come together to solve the problem of homelessness.

My career motivation is… To end homelessness in Australia. It’s a big ambition but I believe it can be done.

My advice to others considering a career in my field… Do it. I worked in the property and banking industry for many years – and now I’m using those skills and knowledge to help create housing for those who need it most.

The building or project that embodies what I do… I am happy to say that every project and developer who partners with Homes for Homes embodies my goal of wanting to end homelessness. I am so lucky to work with amazing stakeholders that are generous with their time and money.

The inspirational quote I live by… One day at a time.

This year I’ll be… Better.

Who nominated Sarah? Angela Baldi, Director, Balcon Group

Why is Sarah a Secret Star? Sarah has a wonderful combination of qualities that make her truly unique. She is deeply compassionate, intelligent, practical and inspirational. Sarah is a ‘quiet achiever’ never seeking recognition for herself, rather always highlighting the issue of homelessness and affordable housing, while deftly dealing with all the challenges that her role entails.

She has a passion for helping vulnerable people who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness. Her tireless commitment to increase awareness and supply of affordable housing is an inspiration and she is an asset to our industry and the community. It is a privilege to know her and to share in this journey with Homes for Homes.

Sarah Witty (left) accepts the Planning Institute of Australia’s President’s Award on behalf of Homes for Homes.