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Our Values

Amplify our words with actions

Respect and understanding

Collaboration with empathy

Deliver expediently

Our Mission

THIA will put people first, rather than try to end homelessness.

We will do this by:

  • Bringing hope to the sector.
  • Being supportive of the homelessness experience so that energies and funds can be directed in an optimum manner.
  • Enabling people experiencing homelessness to learn about the pathways open to them from redeeming their self-worth to having a transitional roof over their head to seeking and securing meaningful employment.
  • Working with others for the greater good.

Our Goals

  • To collaborate with all to produce real solutions to the staggering statistics that show that the numbers of those experiencing homelessness is on the increase.
  • To become the go-to organisation for all in the sector including government and corporates
  • Greater and more in-depth understanding and care so those who serve the sector are better informed.
  • To better equip clients to undertake the role or career paths they have chosen.
  • To cater with empathy and clear understanding, the many services and support to all who are part of the sector.
  • To reduce the length of time it takes for people to have resolutions to their problems thereby reducing the trauma to people experiencing homelessness and frontline workers.

Our People


Hon. Bruce Atkinson

Before entering Parliament, Bruce was a business consultant, publisher and journalist.

Bruce has a desire to make a positive difference for all Victorians and served as councillor of the City of Nunawading (now Whitehorse) before being elected to the Victorian Parliament.

The priorities Bruce has for his community and constituents are better services and facilities, education, health, mental health, and justice. He is also concerned about environment protection and climate change responses, as well as economic stewardship and support for small business.The priorities Bruce has pursued for his community and constituents are better services and facilities, education, health, mental health and justice. He is also concerned about environment protection and climate change responses, as well as economic stewardship and support for small business.

Bruce’s vision for Victoria’s future is as a safe and prosperous state that offers opportunity to all and values the strength drawn from our diversity.

The areas of public policy that he is most passionate about are mental health support, small business and multicultural community engagement.


Susan Riley

A former Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne Susan has watched and played a role in the many reincarnations of Melbourne as a global city.

Alongside friend and colleague, Beverley Pinder, Susan has been a steady hand in the progress of Melbourne to a pre-Covid status of one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Her work on the City’s Small Business and Retail Portfolio and later on Start-ups and Business, saw her travel the world representing the City of Melbourne alongside former lord mayors John So and Robert Doyle.

At THIA Susan will use her network of contacts to obtain a seat at the table of industry and government for our founder, while complementing her colleague Beverley’s role of amplifying the organisation’s message as an Adviser.

Susan is keen to see THIA create programs and initiatives that will educate and provide training to the sector, while offering to those experiencing homelessness an alternative to the agency model which has tried hard but has never quite made the mark.

Founder/CEO, Secretary

Lisa Peterson

Lisa Peterson Founder and CEO of Turning Hope into Action honed her management skills raising four children, having very little idea or understanding of homelessness.

That all changed six months after leaving an abusive relationship in 2011.

Since ‘luckily’ finding a backdoor into the housing system in 2012, everything Lisa continues to do, professionally, focusses on improving the lives of people experiencing homelessness.

Successful completion of the first year of a Diploma of Community Services including practical hours at the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) through the 2014 state election, Lisa subsequently was employed to deliver the Homelessness program out in the community.

While a member of the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) Peer Education and Support Program (PESP) she had the opportunity to experience the homelessness sector from the inside out as well as to develop her facilitation and public speaking skills.

Independently, Lisa has sat on various committees including the Public Transport Accessibility Committee (PTAC), the City of Melbourne’s (CoM) Homelessness Advisory Committee for two terms and was a co-founder and inaugural elected Vice President of the Homeless Persons Union in 2015.

Lisa currently works as a trainer and consultant for Centre for Building Better Community (CBBC); as a Neighbour at the Intersection educating high school students; and as a consumer rep for Co-Health.

Lisa’s vision for THIA will see the organisation blossom into a much-respected and supported entity.

Treasurer and Adviser

Beverley Pinder OAM

Former City of Melbourne Councillor, Beverley has taken on the role of Treasurer as well as adviser to THIA which aims to be the bridge between those experiencing homelessness and the community.

THIA founder, Lisa, first met Beverley in 2018 when they bonded instantly over their understanding and empathy of those experiencing homelessness while serving on the City of Melbourne’s Homelessness Advisory Committee.

A former Miss Universe Australia (1978), Beverley has a rich background in Public Relations and Reputation Management spanning 40 years.

For more than five decades she has assisted charities and not-for-profits and is a Patron of the Father Bob Maguire Foundation and sits on other NFP Advisory Boards.

Her efforts were this year rewarded as a recipient of an Order of Australia Honour (OAM) for service to the community through a range of organisations.

Beverley cites her own personal experience of homelessness when at the age of six her parents and four siblings were aggressively evicted from a rental and forced to find temporary accommodation at the home of her grand-uncle for whom she has always held gratitude in her heart.

Beverley’s vision for THIA is that it prospers for all those seeking to better understand what is out there in terms of services and support and that it succeeds in helping the wider community including governments and industry, better connect with the needs of a growing, vulnerable cohort.