In a year of extraordinary events, Australia’s retirement living industry has stepped up with exceptional leadership. The National Retirement Living Awards applauded some of those leaders last week.
Delivered online for the first time last Thursday, the 2020 National Retirement Living Awards cheered on finalists in eight categories and celebrated an industry that has overcome exceptional challenges in 2020.
Kim Teudt, general manager for retirement living at Bolton Clarke and one of the judges in 2020, says she and her colleagues are “continually in awe” of the quality and dedication of the people who continue to design, develop, manage and innovate in the retirement living sector.
“I have been judging these awards for a number of years and while we would like to recognise everyone, there is always a standout each year in every category who rises above the rest,” Teudt, a life member of the Retirement Living Council, says.
So, who has ‘risen above the rest’ this year?
Programmed Award for Village Manager of the Year
David Mooney, Village Manager, Timberside Villas, Lendlease
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March 2020, David Mooney had been leading the team at Timberside Villas for six months and had established strong relationships with residents. “David had already gained enormous respect from everyone in our village with his ability to manage in such a way that the spirit among our residents was the best I had seen in my six years at Timberside,” says Allan Watson, chairman of the residents council. “Life during the next three months was difficult for everybody. We were so lucky to have a manager who had the ability to adapt to the circumstances and minimise the effect on our lifestyle. His personal help to some of our older and more handicapped residents during this time was beyond his duties as manager and will not be forgotten.”
Ingenia Award for Future Retirement Living Leader
Andrew Warden, National Manager, Market Insights, Lendlease
In the last 12 months Andrew Warden has overseen the implementation of several key initiatives: a monthly cost estimator, KPI calculator, sales appraisal tools and automated pricelist. Lendlease has 72 operating villages and many more in the pipeline, and Warden’s contribution ensures Lendlease can provide current and prospective residents with clear and easy-to-interpret information to make their decisions, both on entry to and exit from a village.
Imagine Projects Award for Salesperson of the Year
Alison Abel, Sales Professional, Marketability for The Gracewood Retirement Village by BaptistCare
Since the final stage of BaptistCare’s community in Sydney’s Kellyville launched in late 2018, Alison Abel has nurtured prospective residents through two Christmas breaks, delays in construction, intensive competition and the COVID-19 challenge. A month after construction completed, on 1 July 2020, Abel helped more than 100 residents moving into their new homes. President of the residents committee, John Lamont, says The Gracewood “has a very strong sense of community, and Ali has been a valuable member of that, and our family”. Lamont also says “Ali has established and built strong relationships with potential residents, which she nurtures”.
Keeley Green Interior Design Award for Best Refurbishment
Brentwood Village Clubhouse Upgrade, Lendlease
Located at Kincumber on the New South Wales Central Coast, Brentwood Village was acquired by Lendlease in 2013 while in receivership. Lendlease undertook a major upgrade of the clubhouse to meet resident expectations, address shortcomings of the existing facility and to reposition the asset. Following a $5 million transformation, the clubhouse provides a social place for the community and includes a café and dining space, cosy lounge, leisure facilities including a swimming pool, gymnasium and games room, health and wellness hub and various other recreational and social facilities.
Blueforce Award for Retirement Living Innovation
Technology Use in Home Care – Age in Place, NSW Central Coast and South Australia, RetireAustralia
Before RetireAustralia implemented technology for home care services, systems were “very manual, slow and prone to human error,” says Alison Quinn, care scheduling team leader and former president of the Retirement Living Council. After implementing the technology, powered by AlayaCare software, RetireAustralia can provide a more personalised and adaptive service. “If a resident likes to get a cup of coffee from a specific coffee shop or enjoys fish and chips at the beach for their lunch, this information is right at our care team’s fingertips which ensures our residents get a seamless personal service every step of the way. We’re a lot more agile, are almost entirely paperless, and with the same team are able to serve more residents and provide a better and more personalised service,” Quinn adds.
Wise Agency Award for Marketing Excellence
Lendlease Retirement Living ‘Remember When’ Initiative
With older Australians bunkered down in 2020, Lendlease saw an opportunity to empower and inspire. The ‘Remember When’ campaign asked retirees to share positive memories and learnings from the past in the form of a story, poem, drawing or photo. Village residents got on board first before the campaign extended to the broader public. Remember When came to life on a shoestring budget through team ideation, creative spirit and genuine desire to make a difference. In doing so, Lendlease achieved national media attention and engaged 165 retirees. The next step is to compile the largest e-book of reflections for this demographic of Australians, and Lendlease hopes Remember When will become an annual campaign.
DMA Engineers Award for Design Excellence
Minda Redevelopment Stage 2&3 – Brighton Dunes, Minda Incorporated
Brighton Dunes is a resort-style luxury retirement apartment complex on one of Adelaide’s most beautiful beaches. Home to a community of like-minded people who value location, lifestyle and comfort, the development team prioritised residents’ interests and welfare, health and wellbeing, support services, sense of community and social inclusion. Minda has established a “neighbourhood” says James Packham from retirement living sales specialist Harcourts Packham. Through clever design “the general public has vastly increased utility of the space and greater connection with the Brighton Dunes community”.
Urbanise Award for Best Retirement Living Development
Halcyon Lakeside, Halcyon
The $145 million Halcyon Lakeside project at Bli Bli on the Sunshine Coast features 232 luxurious homes with lake frontage and access to six kilometres of walking paths. Each of Lakeside’s 8-star energy rated homes employ passive solar design, solar panels and hot water systems, and embrace Liveable Housing Design. The $7 million lifestyle precinct boasts a championship-sized bowling green, pickleball courts, floodlit rooftop tennis court, heated mineral pool, arts and crafts space, and a health and wellness centre. “Halcyon Lakeside is a true visionary masterpiece – creating a connected and cohesive community of active seniors who have also contributed to the broader Ninderry community,” says Dan Purdie, member of parliament for the state seat of Ninderry. “Halcyon has played an integral role in the growth of the region, in particular Bli Bli, building strong communities and providing depth of quality and housing choice.”