Property Australia

Let’s arm ourselves

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal August 10, 2021

The property industry is stepping up to support the vaccine rollout. Find out how RetireAustralia’s Murray Gardens village in Albury vaccinated 100% of its serviced apartment residents last week, and download resources to arm your business.


Three key takeaways:

  • The Australian Government’s Department of Health has released a set of resources to help businesses promote COVID-19 vaccination to their employees
  • “We are encouraging our members to use these resources to share why vaccination is important to our industry, the economy and the broader community,” says Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison
  • Last week, RetireAustralia’s Murray Gardens village vaccinated its residents and staff side-by-side, in a simple but powerful strategy.


Australia now has a clear pathway out of the COVID-19 crisis: 70 per cent of the adult population must be fully vaccinated before restrictions can ease.

Until then, we remain in the suppression phase which will continue to require, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said, “early and stringent and short lockdowns” to deal with outbreaks of the Delta strain.

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison has said the four-phase pathway will “encourage all Australians to be vaccinated as soon as possible and provide a greater sense of normality for the community”.

The Australian Government has developed a business stakeholder kit, with video and radio files, posters, social media assets, and sample website and newsletter content, to push the pro-vaccine message. Information on how businesses may reward vaccinated staff and customers is also included.


Vaccines in villages

One company rising to the challenge is RetireAustralia, which hosted a vaccination hub at its Murray Gardens Retirement Village in Albury last week.

Village manager Robyn Anderson and her team established the hub in partnership with Albury Wodonga Health, which “assessed our venue prior to ensure we had the right area and amenities,” she says.

“Some residents could not overcome mobility challenges to attend the public vaccination hub in Wodonga over the border in Victoria, so we decided that bringing the vaccine to them was the best solution,” Anderson explains.

“Around 40 residents were vaccinated side by side with our staff. We had our builders on site and they, as well as some family visitors, also took up the opportunity to get the vaccine.

“Our residents, their families and our village team found the nursing team to be very informative and incredibly empathetic, especially with vaccine-hesitant residents. No one was rushed and fears were allayed.

“It was really powerful for our care team to hear directly from their peers, the nurses. Messages and information from the government, employers and the media are certainly well intentioned, but for our staff, being able to speak with their peers and have their questions answered and fears allayed was really powerful and effective.”

Resident volunteers were on hand to help less mobile residents, while others had the support of adult children who had taken the day off work. “The health team even took the time to sit with serviced apartment residents and shared a meal and a conversation,” Anderson notes.

“One hundred per cent our serviced apartment residents have now had their first jab or are fully vaccinated,” Anderson says, adding that the clinic will return to the village in October to deliver the second round.


Jabs protect jobs

While places in lockdown are obvious priorities, the Property Council urges leaders in other cities to also step up to the plate.

The ACT has posted 12 months without a known COVID case in the community. But Adina Cirson, the Property Council’s ACT executive director, says there’s no room for complacency.

“We have a clear message for Canberrans: jabs protect jobs,” and that’s why we this week we launched a campaign this week for our members to share the message on social media and through their networks,’ Cirson says.

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“At the moment getting vaccinated is the only way to prevent a potential lockdown and the devastating economic impacts of that. Canberra is resilient, and we have been lucky – but the only way to ensure we remain COVID free is to get the jab.”

Cirson emphasises the central role that the property industry plays in driving home the vaccination message.

“In Canberra, one in six people are employed in building and construction. We contribute enormously to the local economy and are well positioned to promote the message of getting vaccinated to protect jobs.”

Download the COVID-19 business stakeholder kit or visit the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to determine when and where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.


Image caption: Nurses from Albury Wodonga Health set up a pop-up vaccination hub at Murray Gardens Retirement Village in Albury, NSW.