Recognising Excellence in Housing Research

Each year at the Australasian Housing Researchers Conference AHURI manage the presentation of awards – the Federal Minister’s Award for Early Career Researcher has been in place since 2006, and a new award, Professor Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research was offered for the first time in 2015.

For detailed information about the awards and this year's recipients, please click below:

Professor Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research


Known as The Berry, the Professor Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research is presented each year for the best piece of new research at the Australasian Housing Researchers Conference. This year's recipient  is respected academic  Professor Kath Hulse from Swinburne University, for her paper Renting in a home owning society: Disaster, Deviance or Diversity?. The paper provided a nuanced understanding of private renters in Australia, their housing aspirations and motives. It builds on a significant body of research Professor Hulse has led examining the private rental system. 

Created in 2015 by Housing Choices Australia and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), the Professor Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research honours the outstanding contribution made by Professor Mike Berry to the affordable housing sector in Australia, and to Housing Choices Australia and AHURI in particular.

Throughout his career Professor Mike Berry has made an exceptional contribution to the field of housing research as a former Executive Director of AHURI, a researcher of international repute and as Director of the AHURI Research Centre—RMIT University. He has published a vast body of research focussing on urban development processes, urban social theory, economics and public policy, and housing markets. He has been a long-term member of the Housing Choices Australia Board, including as Chair in 2013, and was Executive Director of AHURI from 1993 to 1999. He is currently Emeritus Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University.

The award encourages future generations of researchers to strive for the same levels of excellence Professor Berry has achieved throughout his illustrious career, and it complements a range of other research capacity building activities AHURI undertakes to develop the skills and resources of the housing research community in Australia.

Winners of The Berry receive an engraved award and a $1000 cash prize. Winners are also listed on an honour board on the Housing Choices Australia and AHURI websites.

Federal Housing Minister's Award for Early Career Researchers (ECR Award)


Sponsored by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), this honour is awarded at each Australasian Housing Researchers Conference. The 2016 winner is Dr. Victoria Cornell from the Centre for Housing Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Adelaide for her paper entitled Exploring The Impacts Of The Aged Care Reforms – Will They Help Low Income Older Renters Age In Place? A cash prize of $500 and trophy provided by AHURI was presented at the Australasian Housing Researchers Conference dinner in Auckland.

The purpose of the ECR Award is to recognise excellence among those beginning their careers in housing and urban research. For further information about this award and past awardees please see

Applicants for the award must:

• have gained their PhD since February 2011, or
• be otherwise new (less than five years as at November 2015) to the arena of housing or urban research.

Additionally, abstracts submitted for this award must show:
• independent thought and work, and
• originality.

From this process, a short-list of abstracts in contention for the award is created. Short-listed abstracts are then assessed on the basis of:
• the conference presentation, and
• their potential impact on the practice of policy and theory in the area of housing and urban research.

Abstracts and presentations are assessed against the following five criteria:
1. logical linkage of theory and practice
2. clarity of thought and argument progression
3. originality
4. contribution to the body of knowledge
5. potential for practical application.