Chontell never imagined her life would be where it is today. In the space of three years, she has gone from being a Community Housing Ltd (CHL) tenant to a CHL employee, a first-time homeowner to now working for a CHL subsidiary company, Aboriginal Community Housing Ltd (ACHL) as a Housing Officer.

It has been a journey she said but her journey is no small feat. In fact, it’s brought her full circle. With her lived-in experience, Chontell is dedicated to empowering her Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, which funnily enough makes up a large part of ACHL’s vision statement.

Chontell laughed, that finding her place at ACHL, things fell into place. “It’s funny how it’s worked out. From being a CHL tenant to the other side helping others find a home.” At first, as a CHL Customer Service Officer up until a year ago, where she moved over to ACHL as a Housing Officer. “Now I get to help my people.”

As a proud Dhunghutti woman, Chontell’s family, country and culture plays an important part in her identity and why she does what she does. “Everything I do is for my family. It’s for my kids. It’s for my wider community, my people.”

That’s why when she was offered the opportunity to move from CHL to ACHL, she leapt at the chance. She was grateful for the skills she had learned while at CHL but excited and ready to embark on the next chapter at ACHL.

“What I love about ACHL is that in addition to doing the everyday housing tasks and checks, we also work in the community, with the community, for the community.”

Over Christmas, Chontell helped deliver kitchen goods donated by Linkedin to CHL and ACHL tenants. More recently, she also took some tenants to the Indigenous vs Māori NRL game. An opportunity for ACHL to build rapport with tenants and ultimately, have fun together thanks to Harvey Norman and the NRL.

What’s next for Chontell? Admittedly, she said she has a long way to go. The housing sector is vast but is eager to continue working with the community and learning and growing at ACHL.

ACHL wishes Chontell a wonderful first year celebration and are looking forward to seeing her learn and grow in the housing sector.