• Barnett Foundation

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The Barnett Foundation believes that safe, secure accommodation enhances life outcomes, especially for the family unit.

The Barnett Foundation is committed to:

1)  Developing additional crisis and transitional housing for management by others.

TBF intends to achieve this by

  • Investing donated and internally generated funds into the development and/or acquisition of crisis and transitional housing assets;

2)  Creating vacancies in the social housing portfolio:
TBF intends to achieve this by

  • Operating a sustainable business model developing residential apartments for sale to social housing tenants;
  • enabling these tenants, especially families, to acquire the apartments by providing them with additional, interest free funding conditional on the surrender of their social housing lease; and
  • reinvesting the funds generated by these activities into additional residential apartment projects.

3)  Enhancing the financial literacy skills of social housing tenants:

TBF intends to achieve this by:

  • Providing or facilitating financial literacy courses specifically designed for residents of social housing.

The Foundation will:

  • seek seed capital from financial supporters and generate funds from its internal operations;
  • ensure all funds, donated or generated, are applied to deliver on its purpose; and
  • create a self-sufficient business model; applying business disciplines for social purposes whilst maintaining its core social ethos.

The Barnett Foundation has been granted Public Benevolent Institution status by the Australian Charities & Not-for profits Commission and Deductible Gift Recipient and Income Tax Relief status by the Australian Taxation Office.


Mike is a Chartered Accountant. In 2007, he retired as a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers after spending 30 years with the firm. Mike was a tax partner with responsibility for many of the firm’s major clients. His non-executive career since has included roles on the Board of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Social Traders Ltd. He was also a director of GoodStart Childcare until 2011. Mike has a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Fellow at the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Member of the Certified Practising Accountants of Australia.

Peter is a civil engineer and has been actively involved in the construction and property industries in Australia for more than 35 years as a contractor, consultant and developer. He conceived of, and provided his own funds and guarantees to facilitate, the proof of concept Barnett Foundation apartment development in North Melbourne. He currently consults to private and public enterprises and provides on the ground supervision of emergency humanitarian infrastructure projects for several United Nations entities.

Chris is Chairman of Holding Redlich Lawyers with significant expertise in corporate governance, investment structures, acquisitions and divestments, equity raising and debt financing and investment management. Chris is currently a director of the Clemenger Group, City West Water and VicForests. He is the immediate past Chair of LawExchange International and a member of its Executive Committee. Former positions include deputy chair of Barwon Water (and chair of the Risk Committee), deputy chair of VicTrack (and chair of the Audit and Risk and Property Committee), chair of the Australian Film Finance Corporation (now Screen Australia), chair of Film Victoria, chair of the Australian Communities Foundation and trustee of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Hylton served as Finance Director of Clemenger Group Limited since 1987. Hylton joined the advertising industry in Wellington, New Zealand in 1960 and by 1969 founded his own advertising agency, Colenso. He serves as a Director of Grant Publishing and Marketforce Limited. Hylton has been a Non-Executive Director of Clemenger Group Limited since 1976. He served as a Director of Hardie Grant Books Pty. Ltd. (formerly, Hardie Grant Publishing). In 2015, Hylton became Treasurer of the Victorian Artists Society.

Ian has a strong legal background and is a member of the advisory committee of the Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership (FIL), Chair of the Eva Tilley Memorial Home, and Board member of Unison Housing and MECWA. In 2009, he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to the community.

James is an executive director of the Barnett Foundation, donating his time and experience to the development of a model he believes can contribute to alleviating the current crisis in social housing. Previously, he worked in property and construction with companies including Lend Lease and in corporate finance at Macquarie Bank.

Download the independent report
prepared by the University of Melbourne
on Investigating the Costs and Benefits
of the Melbourne Apartments Project

Download the independent report
prepared by the University of Melbourne
on Evaluating the Outcome and Scalability
of an Affordable Homeownership Model

Barnett Foundation Melbourne Apartments Project