AHURI and Homelessness Australia are pleased to announce that the 2020 National Homelessness Conference will be held in Canberra, 10 to 12 August at the National Convention Centre Canberra.

As the meeting place for the Federal Government, the 2020 Conference will present a unique opportunity to engage with our national leaders across all political parties on the state of homelessness in Australia.

We look forward to building on the success of the re-launched national gathering held in Melbourne in 2018.

Registrations for the conference are currently on hold as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. A plan for the conference is being developed by AHURI and Homelessness Australia and more details will be announced soon.

Read the full message from the AHURI Executive Director here.

Canberra being the meeting place of the Federal Government, the 2020 National Homelessness Conference will present a unique opportunity to engage with our national leaders across all political parties on the state of homelessness in Australia.

Who should attend?

This is a national conversation for policy leaders and housing and health professionals including:

  • Homelessness, social, community and affordable housing providers and front-line workers
  • Federal and state/territory government policy makers from the housing, social policy, health, mental health and human service sectors
  • Peak industry representatives in housing, homelessness, social services, disability, health and mental health sectors
  • Health and mental health service providers
  • Policy influencers, academics, researches, students
  • Individuals with lived experience

Social and networking opportunities

Monday 10 August - Welcome Function

Included the cost of a full registration and Tuesday day only registration is the Welcome Function being held at the National Gallery of Australia.  Enjoy canapes, drinks, good company and this great networking opportunity as well as access to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection. Buses will leave from the National Convention Centre Canberra taking delegates to the National Gallery of Australia and returning to select hotels at the end of the evening - full details of which hotels will be provided closer to the event.  Bus transfer is included in the cost of the event. Additional tickets are available for $90 each.

Tuesday 11 August - Networking Night

Media, Politics and Homelessness: the Networking Night will be held in the Mural Hall at Parliament House.  This will be a great opportunity to network with members of Parliament, fellow delegates, political advisers and journalists whilst enjoying canapes and drinks.  Buses will leave select hotels at allocated times (these will be advised closer to the date) and return to same hotels - this is included in the cost.  This event has limited numbers and is not included in the cost of registration. Tickets are $130 each.

Check out sights of Canberra if you want to extend your trip.

Canberra in winter


Registrations for the conference are currently on hold as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. A plan for the conference is being developed by AHURI and Homelessness Australia and more details will be announced soon.

  Early Bird
(available until Fri 29 May)
(all registrations 30 May onward)
Full $815 $950
Day $445 $500
Full-time Student or Concession* $350 $350

*Student or Concession Registration fee: This subsidised registration fee is for full time students or holders of a concession card. Student Registrants must be holders of a valid Student ID card.

All prices are quoted in Australian dollars (AUD$) and are inclusive of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Inquiries regarding registration please contact the Conference Secretariat on 03 9417 1350 or email nathome@thinkbusinessevents.com.au


QANTAS has joined as the Official Travel Partner for the National Homelessness Conference 2020 and has some great deals.


The conference secretariat has sourced some great deals for accommodation in Canberra.  It's a parliamentary sitting week, so get in early to secure your spot.

Accommodation options

Full registration and Full student registration entitlements

  • Access to all conference sessions
  • Morning and afternoon teas and lunches daily
  • One ticket to the Welcome Function at National Gallery of Australia Monday 10 August
  • Option to purchase additional Welcome Function ticket/s
  • Conference materials

Day registration entitlement

Tuesday day registration
  • Access to Monday 10 August afternoon sessions and all Tuesday sessions
  • One ticket to the Welcome Function at National Gallery of Australia on Monday 10 August
  • Morning and afternoon teas and lunch on Tuesday
  • Option to purchase additional tickets(s) to the Welcome Function
  • Conference materials
Wednesday 12 August
  • Access to all conference sessions on Wednesday
  • Morning tea and lunch on Wednesday
  • Conference materials

In addition all conference delegates will be invited to download the conference app to access the full program and other details.

Social Events

The following optional activity can be booked via the online registration form. If you have already registered for the conference, you can book tickets by logging into your registration via the link on your confirmation email.

Welcome Function—National Gallery of Australia
Monday 10 August 2020
5.30pm to 7.30pm
Cost: included in full and Tuesday registrations (note: includes transfer from National Convention Centre Canberra to Gallery and return to select hotels)
Additional tickets: $90 per ticket

Networking Night—Parliament House
Tuesday 11 August 2020
6pm to 9pm
Cost: $130
Transport: included in the cost is a return bus from and to select hotels (to be advised), drinks and canapes


To qualify for early bird registration, registration fees must be paid in full by Tuesday 2 June 2020. Registration fees received after this date will revert back to the standard registration fee.

All Conference payments must be received prior to the Conference. If payment is not received you will be required to provide your personal credit card details at the Conference to guarantee payment. This card will be debited if alternative payment is not received within 14 days.

We accept payment by:

  • Direct Deposit
  • Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard)

All amounts in the registration form are in Australian dollars (AUD$) and include 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Once your registration has been processed, receipt of payment will be emailed to the email address you provide as contact in your registration.

After Monday 6 July 2020 (midnight AEST), only payments made by credit card will be accepted.

Cancellation and refund policy

Cancellation of a registration must be advised via email to the conference secretariat. Verbal changes of cancellation cannot be accepted.

Cancellations received in writing at the Conference Office by Monday 2 July 2020 will be accepted and all fees refunded less an administrative fee of AUD $100. The refund will be returned via the same payment method as the original receipt of funds.

No refunds will be made after Monday 2 July 2020 Cancellations received after this date cannot be accepted and will not be refunded.

Transfer of registration: Transfer of your registration to another person is acceptable. The full name and details of the person that will replace you must be advised in writing to the Conference Office prior to the Conference.

Non-attendance: No refunds will be made for non-attendance

For all registration inquiries please contact the Conference Secretariat on 03 9417 1350 or email  nathome@thinkbusinessevents.com.au


Insurance of any kind is NOT included in registration fees - it is advised that delegates take out appropriate health and travel insurances prior to travelling. The National Homelessness Conference organisers and the Conference Secretariat do not take any responsibility for delegates failing to insure.


The National Homelessness Conference 2020 will present an outstanding opportunity to align your brand with Australia’s largest homelessness event and we encourage you to consider a sponsorship opportunity at this significant national event.

For organisation’s eager to demonstrate their commitment to this important social issue, realise their corporate social responsibility or raise their profile and network with a highly engaged sector, the National Homelessness Conference is the best setting to achieve these objectives.

The Conference will bring together key decision-makers and influencers working in the homelessness sector and will be the first opportunity in over four years to reach this passionate and highly engaged community of professionals. Becoming a National Homelessness Conference 2020 partner will create opportunities to build and maintain a high profile among your clients and key stakeholders before, during and after the conference.

Download the sponsorship prospectus to find out about the partnership opportunities on offer, and to discuss how we can build opportunities for your business or organisation.

Sponsorship prospectus

For more information contact:

Ms Elissa Rontani
Sponsorship Manager
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
T +61 3 9660 2300
E elissa.rontani@ahuri.edu.au

The National Homelessness Conference program will enable delegates to learn and share on a broad range of issues related to homelessness including housing models that end homelessness; responding to the causes of homelessness such as domestic and family violence; specialist support such as working with clients with disability, mental health issues and people leaving custody; outcomes reporting; social and affordable housing policy and financial inclusion.

The Conference will feature a range of speakers including international experts, national and state policy makers and practitioners from around Australia.  The focus will be not only on current policy and practice but also how we can collaborate and commit to ending homelessness at a national, state and local level.  Come and be part of this exciting forum that will assist in delivering action to end homelessness.

As sessions and speakers are confirmed, the program below will be populated.

Program Day 1 – Monday 10 August 2020


Registrations open

15.00 - 15.30


Welcome to Country

Official welcome by Conference Co-conveners: 

  • Jenny Smith, Chair, Homelessness Australia
  • Dr Michael Fotheringham, Executive Director, AHURI

15.30 - 17.00

Plenary Session 1: International Speaker

17.00 - 18.00 Buses leave National Convention Centre Canberra for the Welcome Function

18.00 - 20.00

Social Event: Welcome Function - National Gallery of Australia

Includes access to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Collection

Program Day 2 – Tuesday 11 August 2020

7.30 – 8.45
9:00 – 9.30
Welcome to Day 2
9.30 – 10.45
Plenary Session 2: International Speaker
10.45 – 11.15Morning Tea
11.15 – 12.30
Plenary Session 3: National ecological crises and the future of homelessness
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00
Concurrent Sessions
Session 1 Rough Sleepers
Session 2 Domestic & Family Violence
Session 3 Rooming Houses, boarding houses and others forms of temporary accommodation
Session 4 Capturing the public's imagination: use of all forms of media in advocacy
Session 5 Infants, Children and Young People
Session 6 Not just a city problem - homelessness in rural and regional remote areas
15.00 – 15.30 Afternoon Tea
15.30 - 17.00
Plenary Session 4: Unaccompanied homeless children
17.00 - 17.10

18.00 - 21.00

Networking Night at Parliament House (not included in registration)

Program Day 3 – Wednesday 12 August 2020

7.30 – 8.45
9:00 – 9.30
Welcome to Day 3
9.30 – 10.45
Plenary Session 5: Indigenous Housing
10.45 – 11.15Morning Tea
11.15 – 12.30
Concurrent Sessions
Session 1 Veterans
Session 2 Domestic & Family Violence
Session 3 Poverty and Aging
Session 4 Families
Session 5 NDIS and homelessness
Session 6 Exiting institutions
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00
Plenary Session 6: Policy and structural change and homelessness
15.00 Conference Close

Program Advisory Committee

The Program Advisory Committee is made up of leaders and practitioners working within the homelessness sector across Australia and importantly, aims to incorporate the views of those with lived experience of homelessness.

The Committee comprises of the following individuals (alphabetically listed by surname):

Program Advisory Committee chair

Jenny Smith - Chair, Homelessness Australia

Program Advisory Committee members

Jane Barnes, Consultant Project Manager, Wintringham
Livia Carusi, National General Manager of Homelessness, The Salvation Army
Kate Colvin, Manager Policy & Comms Council to Homeless Persons
Frances Crimmins, CEO, YWCA Canberra
Dr Michael Fotheringham, Executive Director, AHURI
Mark Glasson, CEO, Anglicare WA
Tracy Ingram, Manager, Centacare Catholic Family Services
Prof Guy Johnson, Professor Urban Housing & Homelessness, RMIT
Alison McDonald, Acting CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria
Katherine McKernan, Secretary, Homelessness Australia
Shari McPhail, Assistant Director Homelessness, Dept Health & Human Services Victoria
Yvette Park, Director Strategy, Policy and Performance, Dept Housing and Community Development NT
Assoc Professor Cameron Parsell, University of Queensland
Dr Catherine Robinson, Social Research and Analysis, Social Action and Research Centre (SARC) Anglicare Tasmania
Christine Thirkell, Graduate Peer Education and Support Program
Karen Walsh, Executive Director Housing Programs & Support Services (NT)
Karyn Walsh AM, CEO, Micah Projects
Monique Wiseman, Aboriginal Senior Project Officer, Homelessness NSW

Contact us

Conference Secretariat
Registration and accommodation inquiries
T +61 3 9417 1350
E nathome@thinkbusinessevents.com.au

Ms Sharon Torney
Conference & Events Manager
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
T +61 3 9660 2309
E sharon.torney@ahuri.edu.au