Housing Coordination Manager, Katherine
Natasha Hamilton didn’t start out wanting to be a Housing Officer. Raised between Wyndham and Katherine, as a child she wanted to be a nurse, until the sight of her accident-prone brother oozing blood made her realise a medical career was not for her.
After finishing her schooling in Darwin, Natasha returned to Wyndham where two major life events occurred within a short time: the sudden death of her partner and the birth of her first child.
It was a tough time. But my grandmother said ‘you have a little boy, you need to start thinking about the future.”
With family support, Natasha set her feet firmly on the path that has led to a rewarding and meaningful career with the Department of Housing. While working part-time with CDEP, she studied community management with Curtin University, driving to Kununurra and then flying on to Perth every six weeks for her course while her family cared for her child.
As her studies drew to an end, Natasha joined the Kimberley Land Council for a number of years as a liaison officer, working with Indigenous women on the participation agreement for Argyle Diamond Mine.
“I loved travelling and seeing the different country, talking with people about their country and what is important to them, and learning about my own country and culture.”
She developed her negotiation skills, with later roles, in administration at Argyle Diamond Mines and Wyndham Hospital as a medical clerk and Aboriginal liaison officer, giving her a wide range of administrative skills.
Ready for new challenges, Natasha moved to Katherine with her partner and family and applied for a job with Housing as a counter officer in 2007. She missed out on that role, but six weeks later, Housing offered her a short-term contract for another position and the rest is history.
Natasha began with roles in tenancy support and management, client services and then as a support officer in remote housing.
“I grew up in public housing,” she said. “One of my passions is improving housing in remote communities and supporting indigenous families through public sector housing.”
“I love the strategic stuff, looking at the big picture, how do we make sure we can achieve the outcomes from the top right down to grass roots, how can we improve the way we deliver service?”
She has travelled frequently for work, especially to remote communities, at times changing roles so she can spend more time with family. As a larger organisation, Housing has the flexibility to provide a range of opportunities for staff and assist them to maintain a work/life balance.
Housing also encourages staff training and Natasha has taken leadership courses and topped up her academic experience with a Diploma in Management through the Lookrukin Women’s Leaders Course.
“If your organisation has training courses, take the opportunity, you never know what you will learn; helps motivate the mind and develop skills to possible do things differently.”
She is proud of what she has been able to achieve so far.
“When I go out and see some of the housing now, I think ‘I was part of that,’ getting that done.”