Matthew Torney

Matthew Torney


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Matthew is an executive and consultant with more than 15 years’ experience in public policy, strategy and management. He has built a reputation for designing and driving innovative approaches to achieve complex objectives in the areas of social policy, social infrastructure and urban economics. Matthew’s particular expertise is in helping governments, businesses and communities to identify and work towards shared outcomes.

Influential work

  • Served as chief executive officer (CEO) of Urban Communities, a world-renowned community-based urban renewal and property management company, that harnessed the best of the community and private sectors to create great places to live
  • Developed an innovative outcomes-based measurement approach for Urban Communities to understand its impact on the communities in which it worked
  • Was the principal author on the Victorian Social Housing Framework, which was intended to guide Victorian social housing by balancing increasing the effectiveness of housing support to vulnerable Victorians with improving the social housing system’s financial sustainability
  • Led the largest ever Victorian public consultation and policy development project on social housing with statewide public consultations, expert forums and a public submission process
  • Designed a structure to attract private capital into early childhood social infrastructure that informed decision-making at the Council of Australian Governments and was adopted by the Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Created a concept and developed a business case for diversifying economic development in Melbourne’s West, in particular through a proposed large activity centre in Werribee — a project that has subsequently been taken forward, and has the potential to significantly re-shape Melbourne.

Outside of Nous

From 2015 to 2017 he was the CEO of Urban Communities, one of Australia’s most innovative and respected housing providers. Prior to its merger with Yarra Community Housing to create Unison, Urban Communities managed around 900 public, social, affordable and private rental housing units on behalf of governments and private landlords and provided facilities management services. Its success was based on its capacity to harness the best of both the community and private sectors to create great places to live.

Before joining Nous, Matthew was the director of strategy and growth of Unison, the largest Housing Association in Victoria. He is currently completing a PhD in economic sociology and geography (urban studies) at the London School of Economics. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from The University of Melbourne with majors in geography (urban studies) and anthropology.

Matthew is an active member of the Wattle Park and Surrey Hills communities and a member of the Wattle Park Primary School Council.

In his spare time...

Matthew enjoys keeping fit, particularly through outdoor workouts. He coaches youth basketball teams, and plays as often as his ageing shoulders allow.  He is also partial to a good TV binge.