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After three years on the Queensland Board of Advisors, we farewell Jen Williams, former QLD Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia and new CEO of The Committee for Brisbane. Jen reflects on her time on the board, supporting the Foundation and our mission to build homes for vulnerable young people.

Why did you initially decide to support the Foundation?

The Property Industry Foundation is an incredible cause. Unlike other charities, it utilises the skills and resources of its donors to extend the reach of their generosity. People can directly see the difference their donation of time, money or materials is making, rather than just putting dollars towards a generic outcome. This greatly appealed to me.

Why is giving back important to you personally?

I’ve been so fortunate in my life. As a former high school teacher, I regularly saw the impact that inadequate housing had on the day-to-day life of young people and their ability to get ahead. Through my connections at the Property Council, I really felt I could help raise awareness of the issue, as well as leverage the skills and generosity of this wonderful industry to help make a difference.

Are there any special people you would like to mention?

The Board of Advisors in QLD has gone from strength to strength. The past couple of years have seen a turning point for the Foundation with a new chair and many new members. Along with Kate Mills and the team, the biggest thanks would have to go to all the wonderful volunteers and donors, who work tirelessly behind the scenes to get projects happening.

Tell us some of your personal highlights from over the years?

The Charity Regatta is always a highlight! What a fun day each year, and it always raises so much money. It would be remiss of me not to mention the Foundation raffle at the Property Council Christmas Party, which raises over $50,000 each year in Queensland alone. It was great to see this model emulated in other states, helping to raise even more funds for homeless youth!

What do you think is the Foundation’s future  – in QLD and nationally?

The Foundation’s profile in QLD is really starting to take off. With the new Haven House projects underway in Kingaroy and Logan, this will really cement the important role of the Foundation here. With housing stress only set to worsen, organisations like the Property Industry Foundation will become even more important. It is vital the property industry has a dedicated avenue through which to collectively channel its support and generosity.

Best of luck, Jen!