The Business Development and Partnerships Committee oversees and coordinates planning and actions to promote and develop the organisation in accordance with the Hope Street Strategic Plan and the Business Development and Partnerships Action Plan. It also supports and oversees the planning and actions of the Corporate Committee. The Corporate Committee is a committee of the Business Development and Partnerships Committee. One or both of the Directors from the committee are members of the Corporate Committee.

Board Director

Andrew Nette
Director and Chair of Business Development and Partnerships Committee

Joined Hope Street in 2012; Founding member of the Board; Extensive research and policy experience in housing and homelessness services

Role: To ensure the governance of the organisation is effective and robust and that the organisation is meeting its strategic plan and making the most of opportunities for expansion.

I believe the shortage of affordable accommodation is one of the most serious social issues facing Australia. Young people are particularly disadvantaged. Through my involvement in Hope Street, I feel like I am making a small contribution to helping to turn this situation around.

Committee member

Kat George
Director and Board Chair

Kat George is a policy, stakeholder engagement and project management professional working across human rights, consumer rights, privacy and data ethics. She is an LL.M candidate at the University of Melbourne, with research focusing on economic and social well-being, and the impact of data and technology on the future of human rights. Kat is also an accomplished editor and writer, and her work has appeared in publications including The Guardian, Huck Magazine, Right Now, Dazed Digital, Noisey and Refinery29. She has a background in media and publishing, and has worked in London and New York as a freelance consultant. Kat has also worked in the humanitarian sector, coordinating psycho-social support for children living in refugee camps in Greece. In her spare time, Kat volunteers as a Board member of Hope Street Youth and Family Services, and chairs the Business Development and Partnerships Committee. She is an active member of the Australian Artificial Intelligence Collaborative Network. She also likes reading, tiny dogs, her husband, and unlimited re-watchings of past seasons of Ru Paul's Drag Race.

I am a passionate advocate for human rights. Hope Street's work with young people facing hardship is invaluable and inspiring. I am excited to support this work, and strive towards a future where everyone has equal opportunity, including a roof over their head. I want to help raise awareness about the important economic and social challenges facing young people, and energize people to join in and offer support to Hope Street's programs in any way they can.

Board Director

Riley Ellard

There is strong evidence that without access to safe, stable housing, young people are less able to engage with education, employment, health services and therapeutic supports. Housing is crucial to enabling young people to get their lives on track and thrive. I’m excited to be on the Board of Directors, Chair of the Millennial Advisory Group and a member of the Business Development and Partnerships Committee, highlighting Hope Street’s work supporting young people in times of crisis and working with them to achieve sustainable housing solutions.

Donna Bennett, CEO

Donna Bennett
Chief Executive Officer

Donna Bennett commenced her working life in youth homelessness while completing her Bachelor of Social Work, working in a young women’s refuge and a residential centre for young people in care in regional Victoria.  This was the beginning of her passion and drive for a fairer system and service delivery response to young people and their children impacted by not having a safe home in which to thrive.

Katie Hooper, Business Development and Partnerships Manager

Katie Hooper
Business Development and Partnerships Manager

Katie Hooper has worked in child and family services for over 25 years. She has worked with Government and Not for Profit organisations, in direct practice roles and executive leadership roles. Katie has worked with children, young people and families through Child Protection, Youth Justice, Education and support services. Katie joined the Hope Street team in June 2022 as the Business Development and Partnerships Manager and is excited to engage with the community to support the strategic priorities of Hope Street Youth and Family Services.


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