AHURI Research Webinar Series

Australian home ownership: Past reflections, future directions

Wednesday 20 May 2020 at 10am (AEST)

Thank you to everyone who attended our first AHURI Research Webinar Series event — Australian home ownership: Past reflections, future directions on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

If you were unable to join the webinar, the video recording and presentation slides are now available:

View the video recording

Download the presentation slides

Read the research report

About the event

Since the late 1970s, Australia’s overall home ownership rate has held up well; it was at 67 per cent in 2016, only marginally less than the 68 per cent of 1976. Broadly, Australia now has an institutional environment which no longer supports ownership and there appears little chance of Australia sustaining home ownership at current levels into the future. This leads to some important questions for policy makers about what sort of housing system is appropriate for Australia’s future.

This webinar presented the findings from a new AHURI research project — Australian home ownership: Past reflections, future directions - led by Professor Terry Burke from Swinburne University of Technology. This research examines the growth of home ownership and its tenure dominance in Australia post World War II. It builds a statistical analysis of Australian ownership trends, most notably for younger households (ages 25–34 and 35–44), over the last four decades, and presents a comparative analysis of ownership trends for equivalent countries.


Terry BurkeProfessor Terry Burke, Swinburne University of Technology

Terry Burke is Professor of Housing Studies in Swinburne’s Centre for Urban Transitions. His expertise is in urban and policy studies.

Within these broad areas his interests are in housing – particularly housing affordability – lower income housing provision (public and private rental housing), the generational divide in housing and comparative urban and social policy. Much of Professor Burke’s research is prompted by his concern that the urban and housing well being of Australians is being eroded by the unintended side effects of globalisation, economic change and a political inability for policy reform.

Professor Burke developed Swinburne’s suite of courses in Housing Management and Policy and has undertaken a wide range of consultancy and nationally competitive research studies for industry, government and the third sector. He has served on many government advisory committees and boards dealing with social and housing issues and is widely published in the urban and housing area.


Heather HolstDr Heather Holst, Commissioner for Residential Tenancies, Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety

Dr Heather Holst is Victoria’s first Commissioner for Residential Tenancies, having commenced in the role in September 2018. The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies provides independent advice to inform the development of residential tenancy policy, legislation, programs and services.

The role is focussed on advocating for the rights of renters, with coverage of residents of rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks, private rental and community housing.  In particular, the Commissioner identifies and responds to systemic issues in residential tenancies.

With almost 30 years of experience in the Victorian housing sector, Dr Holst has worked in a wide range of roles in not for profit agencies, government and university. Prior to this Commissioner role, she was Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of Launch Housing.


Michael FotheringhamDr Michael Fotheringham, Executive Director, AHURI (facilitator)

Michael is a research and policy development specialist with experience in a wide range of areas including housing and homelessness, public health, urban and community services planning. After joining the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute in 2014, he was appointed Executive Director in 2017 and is now responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Institute and leading the development of a contemporary and policy relevant evidence-base on housing, homelessness and urban issues.

Michael has expertise in building research programs and policy agendas with not-for-profit, government and academic organisations. He currently serves on a variety of expert advisory panels including the Australian Government’s Smart Cities Reference Group, the Housing Supply Expert Panel, the Queensland Housing and Homelessness Research Alliance, The Urban Futures and Sustainable Living Expert Research Advisory Group, and the Homes for Homes Housing Advisory Group.