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Keeping House: Secure Homes for Women


Open House Melbourne invites you to consider the big questions about the future of housing with an illustrated talk and panel discussion, Keeping House: Secure Homes for Women as part of the Open House Worldwide Festival (OHWW) and in partnership with not-for-profit community housing provider Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI).

Launched to the public on International Women’s Day, the event will explore the complex web of economic, political and cultural forces in Victoria as they impact access to affordable, safe and secure housing for women and women-led households.

Mel Bright, director of Studio Bright, will present the practice’s recently completed Older Women’s Housing Project, a pilot project led by Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI). This innovative housing model consists of four modest high-quality dwellings that are designed to accommodate older single women who are on lower incomes and at risk of homelessness, with the intent to provide these women with security of tenure and enduring affordability.

Sophie Dyring, director of Schored Projects will present her practice’s approach to design and advocacy in the social housing space, expanding on Schored’s work with WPI through the social housing projects Coburg Townhouses and Pakenham Family Housing.

These real-world examples will open a deeper conversation around diverse housing models at a time when access to well designed and affordable housing continues to be a critical issue.

The panel discussion and audience Q&A includes WPI’s CEO Jeanette Large and development manager Natasha Liddell, guest speakers Mel Bright and Sophie Dyring and is moderated by Tania Davidge, OHM Building Council member, architect, writer, researcher and co-founder of the architectural research practice, OoPLA. Introduction by Julie Willis, Professor of Architecture and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning at the University of Melbourne.


Intro by Julie Willis –  Dean, Melbourne School of Design

Jeanette Large – CEO, Women’s Property Initiatives

Natasha Liddell – Development Manager, Women’s Property Initiatives

Mel Bright – Director, Studio Bright

Sophie Dyring – Director, Schored Projects

Tania Davidge – Co-founder, OoPla & Member, OHM Building Council

Learn more about these real-world examples of innovative housing models, at a time when accessing a well-designed and affordable home remains a critical issue for Victorian women.

Presented by Open House Melbourne with Women’s Property Initiatives as part of the Open House Worldwide Festival. Supported by the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne.

Please note: this is a live, in-person event that will also be recorded and broadcast online here at 5pm, Saturday 9 April (AEST) as part of Open House Worldwide’s digital festival. The global network’s festival will focus on innovative, climate-conscious residential design and equitable approaches to housing with a 12-hour live broadcast featuring tours and talks on pioneering housing models in London, New York, Colombo, Taiwan, Melbourne, Vienna, Valencia, Montpellier and more.

Image credits, top and above: [1–2, 6–7] WPI Older Women’s Housing Project designed by Studio Bright, photos by Rory Gardiner. [3–4] Coburg Townhouses and [5] Pakenham Family Housing Project, each designed by Schored Projects, images courtesy.

Important Details

Time & Date

Thursday 7 April 2022
7pm – 8.30pm
FREE, booking required


Fully wheelchair accessible
Accessible bathroom
Accessible parking nearby


Melbourne School of Design (Glyn Davis Building: Building 133) The University of Melbourne

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