Brendan J Doidge
Stories for a brighter tomorrow | Activist
Corporate Projects Manager at Common Equity Housing Limited
Swinburne alum Brendan Doidge is Corporate Projects Manager at Common Equity Housing Limited
From the moment he set foot on Swinburne's campus, Brendan J Doidge was determined to get everything he could out of his time here.
“Before embarking on any opportunity – be it work, study, or volunteering – I ask myself one question: ‘How does this help me make society more economically inclusive, environmentally sustainable and socially cohesive?'” says Brendan.
“Swinburne ticked all those boxes, and it's actually something that was crystalised in one of my units taught by Dr Dina Wahyuni; it really frames exactly the sort of difference I want to make in the world.”
Brendan's impressive determination to succeed resulted in numerous honours and awards throughout his time at Swinburne, including the Vice Chancellor's Leadership Certificate, Swinburne Emerging Leader Award, Research Award, Campus Participation Award, Outstanding Volunteer Contribution Award and Career Development Award.
Despite Brendan's time and effort to dedicate to his other pursuits, Brendan also achieved solid marks on his Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), which he completed in 2016.
2021 Alumni Impact Awards
Brendan’s dedication to social impact and advocacy saw him awarded an Alumni Impact Award in 2021.
“Life is all about balance, which I am pretty ruthless about; ensuring I'm neither lost in my studies nor outside contributions,” Brendan explains. “There were so many great opportunities at Swinburne, and I tried my hand at a lot of them. I'm deeply humbled and grateful for all the awards were a happy by-product of my efforts.”
"There were so many great opportunities at Swinburne, and I tried my hand at a lot of them."
Swinburne also reinforced Brendan's passion for volunteering and advocacy. While at university, his commitment to making an impact through Neurodiversity Advocacy resulted in him being recognised as a Rotary Youth Leader. “I’m a firm believer in the value of diversity,” says Brendan. “For too long, neurodivergent people were met with apprehension right through to exclusion; neither of which really made sense – they’re just people. Contributing to these de-stigmatisation conversations was eye-opening and something I still try to highlight in less direct ways, such as advising to consider diversity when selecting vendors.”
Driving affordable housing for all
In 2021, Brendan took on the role of Corporate Projects Manager at Common Equity Housing Limited (CEHL): a co-operative housing association helping its members deliver effective and affordable co-operative housing programs.
“The opportunity to combine my love of strategy with indirectly helping some of Victoria’s most vulnerable was a unique opportunity,” says Brendan.
“It’s our vision to empower people, to create thriving co-operatives and offer better housing solutions.”
A year on, Brendan is driving Corporate Services’ implementation of CEHL’s five-year Towards 2025 strategy to create an environment for stable growth and a greater capacity for positive impact. According to him, the housing association strives to provide more than just housing. “It’s our vision to empower people, to create thriving co-operatives and offer better housing solutions,” he explains.
“For many of Victoria’s vulnerable, it’s easy to fall into feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. By using a co-operative model run by members, for members, they are able to play an active and valuable role in the process.”
Reinvesting in the trailblazers of tomorrow, today
When Brendan isn’t busy supporting those who drive affordable housing, he spends as much time as possible continuing his volunteering and advocacy work. Passionate about Swinburne’s role in creating innovators of the future, Brendan has been providing career advice to countless students at the university for almost two years.
“Charlie Chaplain once said that we should be giving our youth a future and old age a security,” says Brendan. “Not knowing is fine for a time, so if a little perspective helps students with raw potential pave their own path forward, I know I have helped make the world that bit more inclusive, sustainable and cohesive.”
“Not knowing is fine for a time, so if a little perspective helps students with raw potential pave their own path forward, I know I have helped make the world that bit more inclusive, sustainable and cohesive.”
Among many other positions, Brendan also volunteers at two other universities, provides strategic and project advice, and career coaches those in transition because of COVID.
When asked how he is able to maintain such an impressive drive to create a positive impact, Brendan says the answer is simple.
“I believe that we all have what it takes to make an impact,” says Brendan. “The key is finding a cause you align with, and prioritising it; the biggest investment is time and taking your ego out of it for someone or something else’s benefit. Once you’ve done that, the journey will take care of itself.”