Anne Laffan commenced working for St Kilda Community Housing when it was called St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group 31 years ago.
It would be wrong to see this, as sometimes happens when a person retires, as 31 years of service. Anne didn’t serve anybody. A point to which the various managers she had along the way would hastily testify. Service is far too instrumental a concept to capture what Anne was on about; maybe even issues is similarly too narrow.
Anne managed to frame all the wide and varied tasks involved in managing rooming houses and rooming house tenancies with the only concepts she felt commensurate and worthy of the role, namely; fairness, openness, insight and empathy.
At times of course it was a hard slog and during these hunched moments of existential fatigue, her colleagues might catch her at her desk with a strong cup of tea and a vita wheat biscuit, perhaps indulging a reflection on the metaphysical foundations of the St Kilda Football Club (her team); similarly condemned to the hard slog.
St Kilda Community Housing will have to reinvent itself without Anne, such has been the mark and stamp of her contribution. We will miss her very much.