Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

1324th OGM and Open Lecture

Medy Hassan “Our Housing Crisis: Dissolving Barriers and Delivering Solutions”

Medy Hassan OAM FRSN (Facilitator)
together with an expert panel

Founder and Managing Director
Haus Holdings

Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2024, 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm AEST 
Venue: Metcalfe Theatre, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney 
Entry: Members, $10; Non-members, $20; Students, $0
Registration: Registration through Membes is required before 2.00 pm on 7 August
All are welcome

Business of the Meeting

The Agenda for the Ordinary General Meeting will be available on the Meetings page of the website prior to the meeting.


The housing crisis in Australia, including social and affordable housing, has reached a critical level, posing significant challenges for all. The soaring property prices, rapid population growth, and limited investment in social housing are key contributing factors to this crisis. Governments and social entrepreneurs have attempted to address issues such as comprehensive reviews of housing policies, increased investment in social housing, sustainable urban development, and measures to curb speculative investment are crucial.

The evening's debate will provide an opportunity to identify possible solutions and pathways to overcome such barriers through the lens of a diverse panel of speakers including investment and industry, an insight into the independent housing authority, the social and homeless sectors, and crisis accommodation.

The debate, to be facilitated by Medy Hassan, will bring together diverse perspectives through an expert panel comprising:

  • Wilhelm Harnisch, an economist and past National CEO of the Master Builders Association and Investment Committee Chair, who will provide an investment and industry delivery perspective;
  • Adrian Harrington, a funds management and institutional investment specialist and past Chair of the National Housing and Finance Investment Corporation, now known as Housing Australia—an independent national housing authority that works with the private sector, community housing providers, and all levels of government to facilitate and deliver programs to help access social and affordable housing and or to buy a home;
  • Rebecca Pinkstone, the inaugural Chief Executive of Homes NSW, a new division within the Department of Communities and Justice. Homes NSW is responsible for system stewardship across the affordable, social and homelessness sectors to ensure the delivery of more homes and better services for the community;
  • Sue Cripps, the Assistant Director (Housing and Service Development) at the Women's Community Shelters, who will provide important insights into the impacts of the 'housing crisis' through examples of homelessness, innovation to create transitional housing options and crisis accommodation.


Medy HassanMédy Hassan OAM is the Founder and Managing Director of Haus Holdings, co-founder of Vitae Capital, and Chairman of GenCap Wealth. His passion is applying commercial strategies to maximise improvements in financial, social, and environmental well-being. His companies are driven by his desire to challenge the ‘reimagine paradigm’ for current and future endeavours and specialises in social enterprise, equity, property, and venture markets.

Médy is an expert in private equity, property, and the delivery of special purpose and complex infrastructure projects. His passion is collaborating to drive innovation, global excellence, sustainable and environmentally beneficial outcomes. He is a recognised national champion of diversity, inclusion and belonging. With 25 years of global and national experience working across all tiers of government, corporate institutions, and private investors, he has overseen $3B of investments and transactions.

In 2021, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. He is a Member of the University of Canberra Council, a Fellow and a Member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW, a Board Member of the Queensland Brain Institute, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building, and an Adjunct Professor at multiple universities in Australia. In 2024, Medy was awarded the APAC CEO of the Year (Australia)—Social Enterprise.

Wilhelm HarnischWilhelm Harnisch is an economist turned policy analyst with over 30 years of experience in the building and construction industry, both in the public and private sectors. One of his areas of expertise is housing. His expertise spans as a former economic forecaster, industry policy analyst, and non-executive director on property and investment boards, and as a non-executive director on not-for-profit boards. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra.

Adrian HarringtonAdrian Harrington has had 33 years of experience in funds management, real estate, government and the not-for-profit sectors across Australia, the UK and the US. He is currently a Senior Advisor to Lighthouse Infrastructure assisting them with their affordable housing investment strategy and execution. He is also Chair of Charter Hall Direct Property Management which oversees more than $10bn in real estate funds, Board member of the ACT Government’s Suburban Land Agency, Chair of Inclusive Housing Australia’s Specialist Disability Accommodation Investment Committee, NSW Chair of Housing All Australians and a member of the University of Canberra's Development and Planning Committee. Adrian is the former Chair of both the Federal Government's National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (now known as Housing Australia) and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI).

Rebecca PinkstoneRebecca Pinkstone has two decades of experience in the housing sector, working in government and community housing. She is the inaugural Chief Executive of Homes NSW, a new division within the Department of Communities and Justice. Homes NSW is responsible for system stewardship across the affordable, social and homelessness sectors to ensure the delivery of more homes and better services for the community. Homes NSW also manages 96,000 public housing properties across NSW, providing a safe and secure home for 260,000 people.

Sue CrippsSue Cripps is an energetic, well-regarded and respected professional in the human services and housing sectors with outstanding leadership experience, having led numerous major organisations and programs, including being the founding CEO of Homelessness NSW. She has extensive experience and expertise in exploring and striving for solutions to homelessness and domestic and family violence, receiving a Churchill Fellowship to review international models that strengthen service integration and improve outcomes for the homeless in 2011.

Sue is currently the Assistant Director of Housing and Service Development at Women’s Community Shelters, a social franchise ‘Hub and Spokes’ model that brings together business and corporate sponsorship, philanthropic investment, Commonwealth and NSW State Government funding and local community fundraising to support the establishment and operation of a number of independent charitable shelters supported by a head office. Since 2018, Women’s Community Shelters has been innovating to create transitional housing options utilising meanwhile use opportunities that seek to increase housing options whilst the current Australia wide housing crisis is being remedied.

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