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Introducing Neil Starkie – GM Strategic Partnerships and Growth

St Bart’s is delighted to welcome Neil Starkie in his position as GM Strategic Partnerships and Growth.

Originally hailing from the UK, Neil spent 25 years as a Chartered Surveyor working in the UK property industry, 13 of which as a Director with global property consultancy Savills. Neil set up and headed the award-winning Midlands industrial team advising multiple international, national and local developer, institutional, occupier and government clients. With specific responsibility for national industrial research, he also led client relationship management, business development, graduate recruitment and training, and more.

After moving to Perth with his family in 2013, Neil was employed as the GM for Uniting Church in the City (UCIC). Combining his experience in property with a passion for addressing social disadvantage, the role saw him provide leadership and management in the areas of property development, support services and social outreach, finance, human resources, risk, administration, asset management, marketing, communications, policy and the development of numerous outreach programs. Under Neil’s leadership, UCIC demonstrated that it is possible for a not-for-profit organisation to operate successfully in the competitive commercial world whilst staying true to its values, behaviours and ethos.

In early 2020 Neil joined Access Housing as CEO, and when Access merged with Melbourne based Housing Choices Australia last year, his role evolved to EGM with national responsibility for Strategy, Communication and Assurance.

Neil is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a number of voluntary board and committee positions with charitable and benevolent organisations in Perth.

Passionate about ending homelessness and having an impact on the community, Neil will have accountability for St Bart’s partnerships, strategy, business planning, communications and fundraising, and will play a key role in supporting the co-design and development of our Brown Street site in East Perth.

We took five to ask Neil a few questions…

What was it about St Bart’s that attracted you to the position?
I love having the opportunity to work for an organisation with a purpose and I can’t think of anything more rewarding than knowing that what you do in your work life has helped someone in real life.

What energises you outside of work?
There always seems to be a long list of DIY jobs at home. Last year I finished a reno of our backyard; it took me three years! At the moment I’m renovating a bathroom – I’m currently two weeks behind schedule. I don’t like sitting down and doing nothing, so apart from DIY I love cooking and sport. I play hockey and also spend a lot of time on the sidelines watching my two sons and wife playing (we are all goalkeepers). I’m also involved with a social enterprise called Change Please, which creates training and employment opportunities for people at risk of being homeless.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?
I’m not sure if this counts as advice, but there are a couple of quotes that have stuck with me. One is from George Bernard Shaw. It’s fairly long, but one line says, “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it what I can.”

The second is from Mark’s Gospel, in the parable of the sheep and goats, he writes, “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you do for me.”

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose and why?
I’m writing this a few hours before England plays Germany at the European Championships. Once upon a time, I had a chance to play at the old Wembley and missed out. Growing up it was every young lads dream to play at Wembley and score the winning goal, so hopefully England win tonight and I’d swap places with whoever scores the winning goal for England.

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