Registrars' Profiles

Mark Francis

Executive Director, Regulatory Services, Housing and Homelessness Services

Mark Francis

Mark was appointed the Registrar for Queensland’s National Regulatory System for Community Housing branch in late 2013 and has been a member of the Queensland public service since 1997. He has worked in a range of Housing areas relating to Regulation, Policy and Performance. Mark has excelled in executive roles throughout his career, most notably in Disability Services, Community Services, Early Childhood, Child Safety, Aged Care and Primary Health.

In addition to Queensland, Mark has worked in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT. He commenced his professional career in South Australia as a psychologist.

Craig Thompson

Acting Housing Regulator and Registrar

Craig Thompson

Craig has been acting in the Registrar role since January 2019, and has managed either contractual or regulatory functions with the community housing sector since 2006.  Prior to this Craig has worked across public and private agencies involved with Indigenous agribusiness enterprises, regulation of personal bankruptcies, and minimum housing standards.  Craig holds qualifications as a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary, and Certificate IV in Investigations and Statutory Compliance.

Chris Valacos

NSW Registrar

Chris Valacos

Chris has worked extensively as a lawyer in social and affordable housing and brings a wealth of knowledge, particularly related to residential tenancies law, community housing and social housing legislation. He was centrally involved in all four tranches of New South Wales’ community housing legislation, including that tranche which became the National Law.

Chris has extensive experience as a lawyer in both the private and public sector. His previous role was as Director, Housing (Legal Services), with the Department of Communities and Justice. He has previously worked in a regulatory role as a legal adviser with the former Australian Broadcasting Authority.

Chris commenced in the role of NSW Registrar of Community Housing on Monday 4 November 2019.

Sally Gibson

Registrar Australian Capital Territory

Sally Gibson

Sally entered the ACT Government in 2001 from managing a community based domestic violence homelessness service. She developed housing policy and managed homelessness, disability and community housing funding programs before establishing the ACT’s first community housing regulatory system in 2008.

Sally has twelve years’ experience in the development of systems and frameworks for responsive regulation, including care and protection and disability organisation regulation; the ACT and subsequent National Community Housing Regulatory System; and contributing to the quality and safeguards for the National  Disability Insurance Scheme.

Sally currently regulates community housing providers; disability (including psychosocial disability) services; and non-government care and protection service providers.

Karen Walsh

Registrar Northern Territory

Karen Walsh

Karen Walsh joined the NT Government, Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development, in the role of Executive Director, Housing Programs and Support Services in October 2019. Since April 2020, Karen has been Acting Deputy CEO of Housing Services, Local Government and Community Development. In addition to this role, Karen was appointed as Registrar of Community Housing for the Northern Territory in June 2020.

Karen’s extensive career spans over 30 years in the UK and Australia in a range of Government and non-government agencies. Karen’s early career in the UK was in social work in child protection and disability services coordination and case management. Her 12 years in the NSW State Government includes senior and executive roles in the Department of Community Services; The Aboriginal Housing Office; Department of Housing, and including the Office of Community Housing.

These roles responsibilities include, public and community housing – leading strategic policy; strategy and reform; regulation and compliance; strategic partnerships and planning; strategic commissioning and contracting; community regeneration, tenant participation and placemaking; business development and improvement; service and program innovation and design; and program and asset planning and delivery, including property/stock transfer.

Karen held the roles of General Manager of Housing Services and Renewal, and General Manager of Business Initiatives at SGCH (St. George Community Housing) for almost 7 years from 2010, during a period of major growth in the community  housing sector.  Karen led the organisation’s social and affordable housing strategy, delivery and growth, including tenancy management and engagement across 23 local Government areas, and leading the establishment of the organisation’s subsidiary companies.

Prior to joining the NT Government in 2019, Karen’s most recent role was as CEO of Shelter NSW from 2017 to 2019.

Karen’s roles have always involved high level strategic relationships at all levels of Government as well as with the not for profit and private sectors, and have relied on establishing and maintaining partnerships and collaborations.

Karen has served as a Director of many not for profit Boards, including national peak and industry bodies and community housing providers.

Karen qualified as a social worker in the UK in 1991 and gained two Masters Degrees - in Social Policy (2001) and an Executive Masters in Public Administration – with Merit (2007) ANZSOG, University of Sydney.  Karen is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and also an Honorary Associate of the UTS Institute of Public Policy and Governance.

Refer to LinkedIn profile

Kate Kent

Registrar Tasmania

Kate Kent

Kate has worked in policy and management roles in the Tasmanian State Service since 1996, originally hailing from Western Australia. Kate is the Deputy Secretary of the Communities, Sport and Recreation Division within the new Department of Communities Tasmania. This Division focuses on ensuring that all Tasmanians have an opportunity to contribute and participate in their community and works closely with stakeholders such as YNOT, COTA, MCOT, Volunteering Tas, Carers Tasmania, as well as sporting organisations across the State. The Division is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Government's family violence agenda, "Safe Homes, Safe Families"; and for policy development in a diverse range of areas including Aboriginal affairs. The Division also delivers services for high performance athletes through the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.

Kate has been appointed Registrar Tasmania taking over from Michael Reynalds in July 2018. The role involves oversight over the regulation of community housing providers registered in Tasmania under the National Regulatory System.  The Registrar is located within the Department of Communities Tasmania.

Kate has held senior management roles in the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment from 2005-2015, with a focus on land and information management, corporate services and strategic policy; and as Director of the Policy Division in the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 1998-2003, had experience in high level intergovernmental relations and the establishment of policy initiatives such as partnerships with local government and the University of Tasmania and the “Tasmania Together” project.

With a Masters in Economics and a Diploma in Education from the University of Western Australia, Kate had some early brief experience as a secondary teacher in metropolitan schools as well an enjoyable sojourn as a teacher on the Cocos Keeling Islands. Kate has been a Board member of Lady Gowrie and has a strong interest in early childhood development. Kate also has other experience as a Director on national boards such as PSMA Ltd and Our Watch, and on the Theatre Royal Board, and is a Graduate of the AICD. Kate has been a strong advocate for graduate development programs, and is a mentor for the Australian Institute of Police Management Balance Program.