Donna Bennett has in excess of 25 years' experience managing and delivering transitional, outreach and crisis accommodation services to young people including families and she has made a significant contribution in the Homelessness Sector via capacity building, community development and systems development.
Donna has established leadership and strategic development skills and has been CEO of Hope Street since 2000.
In 2015 she was nominated for the 2015 Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards, in the category of Excellence in ending homelessness among young people, recognising her continued and tireless work, over the last 15 years at Hope Street. Donna has ensured that the voice of at risk and disadvantaged young people is represented and heard at local, state and national levels within the community, through grassroots engagement of young people and their families, and in her advocacy as an executive officer to local and federal members of parliament and departmental ministers.
As the leader of a community organisation, Donna's enthusiasm and energy inspires Hope Street staff in their ongoing pursuit to empower vulnerable young people to overcome early life disadvantages and achieve their desired goals. She supports and encourages staff to focus on delivering high quality programs that meet the shifting needs of at risk young people, their families and the community, ensuring that the organisation continues to be a proud leader in the field of youth homelessness.
Donna dedicates herself daily to creating opportunities and improving systems that are aimed at ending youth homelessness. She is a well-respected, long-established and active participant of the sector and is widely recognised for her unwavering commitment to bringing about social change:
Young people who access our services receive an individually designed wrap around response that includes immediate, short-term and long-term goals. Our approaches are centred on early intervention and prevention and focus on all aspects of each young person’s life. Young people determine and drive the achievement of their goals.
I have seen hundreds of young people blossom and make significant meaningful changes in their lives.