Housing for Health – the guide

has been developed, co-ordinated and funded by Healthabitat. We acknowledge the generous support from a range of experienced and skilled contributors who have given their time and expertise to develop the Guide’s content and online format.

Healthabitat notes that the Guide has as its base 28 years of work with Indigenous Australians. We hope that, using the principles developed in Australia within 10 years, Housing for Health – the guide, will be the directory for anyone in the world wanting to improve any environment-related health issues by giving detailed guidance on designing, building and maintaining the living environment to improve safety and health.

Housing for Health the guide:

  • aims to preserve the history and intent of the three editions of the National Indigenous Housing Guide
  • acknowledges the direct contribution of thousands of skilled people in the planning and completion of Housing for Health projects, from 1998 to the present, that allows the data in the Guide to be made available
  • makes available the data from over 7,500 Indigenous houses tested and improved around Australia during Housing for Health projects to improve new house design, construction and maintenance
  • will continue to link housing and health issues and move towards an international application of the Healthy Living Practices and expand the guide slowly to incorporate lessons learnt from projects in Nepal, USA, New Zealand, Bangladesh, United Kingdom and other parts of the world
  • will strengthen and expand the prioritised health links to make them applicable to medical professionals around Australia and internationally
  • demonstrates the ‘problem’ environments and the solutions using graphics, pictures and video.
  • will be accessible on-line to expand the Guide’s reach and it’s capacity to adapt.
  • will be interactive, encouraging editing, addition and changes by those using the Guide to increase it’s relevance.

Behind the Guide, the design and production team

Design and Production

Heleana GenausDesign and Production co-ordinator
Jarrad LangdonWeb site designer – Jala Design
Greg NormanArchitectural co-ordination with Jed Long and Kathryn Moir
Justine HillHousing data analysis and interpretation developed for consideration at the Review
David DonaldContent editing prior to the Review
Geoff BarkerDetailed comments prior to the Review
Dr Paul TorzilloDevelopment of the health story and supporting references

The Launch of the Guide October 2013

The Fed Hollows FoundationThanks to the management and staff of the Foundation for hosting the event and promotion of the Guide.
Dr Norman SwanMedical journalist and broadcaster, thanks for launching the Guide
Dr Lilon BandlerMedical doctor at the Sydney Medical School
The Building and Social Housing Foundation, UKPartner organisation of the Guide – thanks for their video link, introduced by Isobel Ashford
ARCHIVE, USAPartner organisation of the Guide – thanks for their video link, introduced by Peter Williams
Simon ForbesVideo production for the Guide launch and filming of the launch.

The Review Team

This team of highly skilled and experienced people gave their time to review the Guide contents and develop ideas for communicating the contents of the Guide. Many others who could not be present at the 2 day review session sent in contributions and suggestions. We thank them all.


Adrian WelkeTroppo Architects and HH R&D program
Adriano PupilloArchitect and HH R&D program
Christian TietzIndustrial designer – Design Lab and HH R&D program
Dave DonaldArchitect and community housing specialist
Geoff Barkerpmd architects and HH R&D program
Glen RodgersZero C
Greg Normanpd architects and HH R&D program
Jeff StandenNSW Ministry of Health, Aboriginal Environmental Health Branch
Stephan RainowNganampa Health Council and HH Director
Ruth ElvinCentre for Appropriate Technology Alice Springs
Tim SowerbuttsQSRC – Statistician and HH R&D program
Victor DonkerGraduate student documenting the review
Shalini GandhiGraduate student documenting the review
Amira VijayanayagamGraduate student documenting the review
Jemima MowbrayGraduate student documenting the review


Andrew BroffmanTangentyere Design
David BridgmanMode Designs
David HavercroftNT Shelter
David HewittNT Shelter
James DavidsonJames Davidson Architects
Jan BerrimanCentral Australian Affordable Housing Company
Justine HillArchitect and HH researcher
Mike LastLandscape architect
Tony DaviesEngineer and HH R&D program
Scott RobinsonEssential Services Officer Kalka / Pipalyatjara


Tess McpeakePrevious experience with housing and health guidelines
Stephen SmythePrevious experience with housing and health guidelines
Su GroomePrevious experience with housing and health guidelines

Advice on the Guide

Karin RichardsFinance and project management
Kerry Bennettretired lawyer and friend of Healthabitat

The Housing for Health team and those living in the houses.

There would be no Guide content without the Housing for Health project staff working nationally since 1998. We thank the hard working staff, at times numbering well over 1,000 people, who have been testing and fixing houses. Over 75% of the team have been local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people trained and assisted by skilled managers and team leaders.

The local work has been complemented by over 400 trade teams as well as dedicated program bureaucrats, in the areas of housing and health, at state and national levels.

We also thank the 50,000+ people that have welcomed the project into their houses.

VIDEO: Paul Pholeros – Director, Healthabitat Speaking about the brilliant people that make Housing for Health projects and the Guide possible 

Supporters of the Guide

The Guide has been partly supported by generous donors who contribute to the work of Healthabitat and wish to remain anonymous.