About Better Renting

Images of renters appreciating their rental homes

Better Renting is a community of renters working together for stable, affordable, and healthy homes.

Your housing has a big effect on your health. But with more Australians locked out of home-ownership, more of us are renting for longer and raising children in unhealthy homes. This is a big problem: a home that is too cold, for example, can contribute to asthma or stroke. People renting on a low-income, or with a health condition, are especially  vulnerable. Even if a house is too expensive to buy, you still need a home that keeps you healthy.

As a non-partisan community organisation, we use three complementary approaches to achieve our mission:

  • Campaigning for rental laws that provide healthy homes;
  • Growing communities of renters who are empowered to defend and extend their rights; &
  • Changing the narrative, so that our culture values and promotes renting. 


For media enquiries only, please get in touch on 0432 138 837. For other enquiries please contact us through the form below.

Our staff

A photo of Joel Dignam

Joel Dignam

Joel Dignam is the Executive Director of Better Renting. He has a background in organising and campaigning across non-profits, unions, and electoral politics. Joel has studied Leadership, Organizing and Action with Professor Marshall Ganz through Harvard's Kennedy School of Executive Education, and he holds an Advanced Diploma of Management from the Groupwork Institute of Australia. In 2022 he completed a Churchill Fellowship through the US and the UK, learning from tenant movement organisations.

Bernadette Barrett

Bernie Barrett

Bernie is Better Renting's Deputy Director. She has a background in consumer and lived experience advocacy and leadership. She most recently worked with peak bodies across health, mental health lived experience, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy in South Australia. Bernie has a strong focus on social justice and brings her passion for community-driven change and systemic advocacy together into her work at Better Renting. She is a 2022 Australian Progress Fellow.

Sabrina Clarke

Sabrina Clarke

Sabrina Clarke is Better Renting’s campaigner working on Healthy Homes for Renters. She has experience as a union delegate, a campaigner for Australian Marriage Equality, and fundraiser with Community Shapers. She has a Bachelor of International Relations and a Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development at the Australian National University (ANU) — a background in qualitative research that informs our approach to lived experience and working with affected communities.

Our Board

Alyssa Shaw

Alyssa Shaw, Chair

Alyssa is currently the Co-Founder and Campaign Director for 4 Day Week Australia. She has previously managed national campaigns and projects including Raise the Rate, NAIDOC Week, and universal access to reproductive healthcare. She has also served as the CEO of a charity focused on student welfare and on a variety of governance committees and boards.

Jordan Thompson, Treasurer

Jordan is an accountant with experience working for top 10 accounting firms in Sydney and the Gold Coast. He is passionate about progressive economics and understanding the policy tools that can drive positive social outcomes. Jordan is also a CFA Level I candidate and is undertaking a Master’s in Business Data Analytics at Bond University.

Phoebe Howe, Secretary

Phoebe Howe is the General Manager of Community Shapers, a boutique call centre working to increase the scale and impact of Australia’s progressive movement. She has helped deliver fundraising and advocacy calling campaigns for many of Australia’s leading progressive organisations, from political campaigns to racial and environmental justice to human rights and health advocacy.

Maiy Azize

Maiy Azize

Maiy Azize is an experienced communicator, manager and social researcher. Maiy is the Deputy Director at Anglicare Australia, a national network of agencies linked to the Anglican Church. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in population studies and political science, and a Master of Social Research from the Australian National University.

David Jeffery

David is a renter living in Melbourne who grew up in public housing. David has worked in various roles in the Victorian public service, in politics, and for anti-poverty and climate change organisations. He is currently General Manager of Advocacy and Communications at YSAS (Youth Support + Advocacy Service).

Lindsay Soutar

Lindsay Soutar

With a long history as a renewable energy campaigner, Lindsay currently works as a Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific and previously worked for Climate Action Network Australia. She is the founder and former National Director and board Chair of Solar Citizens. Lindsay rents in Sydney with her partner & two boys.

Adam Verwey

Adam Verwey

Adam is a renter living in Sydney. He is currently the founder and director of Fair Sharemarket and is the founder and former Managing Director of Future Super. He is interested in the potential of financial markets to help create systemic change on issues of climate change and inequality.

Sophia Walter

Sophia Walter is a renter and a campaign communications specialist. She has worked around the world and Australia on the important link between environmental conservation and the people it directly involves. Sophia has a Bachelor of International Relations and a Masters of Journalism.

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We are always on the lookout for great people who want to join our Board to help win stable, affordable, and healthy homes for renters. If you are interested, please fill out an EOI here.

You can contact us using the form below.