Things to watch

Village Vibe contribution: How Watermark Wagga’s Melbourne Cup became fun for young and old!​

The Village Manager at Watermark Wagga had the idea to build a win-win relationship with the Hospitality division of the local Community College that enables students from the college to prepare and serve meals at the residents annual Melbourne Cup function.

Residents get to dust of the fascinators and enjoy each others company, while the students are granted the opportunity to experience what it is like to arrange and deliver a function.  

A fantastic opportunity for young and old to enjoy the festivities of Cup season.

They have been kind enough to share some of their photos below and above (event organiser and resident Jenny Grear enjoying a glass of bubbly).  Looks like they all had plenty of fun!

Fancy Hats: Anne Cottam and Nancye Rew enjoying each others company

Good time: Ves and Diane Skyes having fun at race day celebrations

Pastel Perfection: Margaret Gregurke and Katie Campbell dressed to the nines

Like to share your ‘good ideas’? Please send them in with photos. 

Reporting Results

Dementia-friendly communities​

There are 4 million Australians over age 65 – that’s about 15% of the Australian population living with Dementia…and its a growing cohort expected to be 22% of the population by 2057.

70% of these people are living in their own homes within the community, including within retirement communities. 

There is no question that as Village professionals we will be in a position to support those living within our communities with Dementia.

Dementia Australia has a range of tools and resources to assist with supporting those living with Dementia, including a couple of great new social movement initiatives called Dementia Friends, Dementia Friendly Communities and Dementia Friendly Organisations. 

I encourage all Village Professionals to become Dementia Friends. It only takes about 25 minutes online. 

Or perhaps your community could become a Dementia Friendly Organisation and then perhaps you could even consider becoming a Dementia Advocate and encourage the local business community around you to become a Dementia Friendly Community.

In the meantime here are a few tips that will help people living in your community with Dementia:

  • Contrasting colours in rooms such as doors being a slightly different colour than walls, grab rails & toilet seats being different colours that the tiles and paint, word on signs being contrasting colours
  • Identification labels on drawers, cupboard doors and entrances and exits
  • Clear kitchen cupboard doors to be able to see what is behind the door
  • Non-patterned floors and highlighting colours on change of levels/stairs
  • Personalisation/recognition indicators in the front garden of the persons home
  • Promotion of Dementia Friend (25min) on-line training for residents and staff
  • Quiet space in community areas to get away from the noise
  • Invite Dementia Australia to visit your village

Download the DIY Dementia Friendly Toolkit at

Register HERE or contact Dementia Australia below.

What the research tells us

RV Digital Marketing: Product vs Community

Most digital marketing in retirement is like my first cellphone. It was great but it wasn’t smart.

Nowadays, we have the opportunity to make our phones dumb or run a company from them as the advances over the last decade are tremendous. But it comes down to the necessities of the user.

With your digital marketing, are you maximising the present-day opportunity for your future residents?

Their journey to retirement includes a multi-touch approach that desires a genuine, authentic display of your community.

From digital to open days, are you presenting an aligned approach to marketing?

Consider the three V’s of branding, visual, verbal and value.

When these are unaligned, our marketing efforts get lost in the noise of confusion creating longer customer journeys amongst shorter mandatory buyback timeframes.

Our brand values are unaligned when we advertise our communities like products.

Consider what your organisation represents, the words you use and your positioning amongst competitors the next time you draft a piece of content or advertisement, and please don’t advertise discounts.

When we differentiate ourselves on price, we position ourselves as a commodity rather than the unique communities we are. 

Perhaps the last significant purchase our residents will make in their lives, I believe they are looking for a place to belong to, invest in and travel from.

Think about this as you create your next campaign.

Joshua Hanchett
My Heart Studio | Your Digital Partner​

Latest industry developments

VILLAGE SUMMIT 2020 at the Sheraton Grand Sydney, 20-21 Feb: People Passion Professionalism

Start thinking now about joining 400 of your Village Management colleagues for an inspiring two days in Sydney. 

The theme of this years VILLAGE SUMMIT is People Passion Professionalism, an intensive 2 day program designed to equip, inspire and connect Village Professionals.

Join some of the country’s most successful village operators and managers who will share their challenges, successes and learnings plus insights from other industries as we prepare to accommodate the new wave of consumers. 

With a focus on legislation, industry frameworks, leadership, soft skills, technology, care, sales, marketing and insight into the expectation of future and current residents, this program promises to support the decision makers of the sector both ‘in-field’ and head office professionals.

Hear from Matt Church (pictured), nominated in the Top 10 Leadership speakers in the world Matt will share the power of motivational leadership to inspire and influence village communities. Mark Bindon, Co Founder of the successful Oak Tree Group will share the Resident Engagement journey and how to build a brand based on trusted relationships.

Plus 18 other fabulous speakers.

Register now at so as not to miss out on joining the 2020 premier national conference for Village Management.

Key things to help you everyday

Village Manager Handover checklist (Busy Busy silly season)

We are approaching the time of year as Annual meetings and Melbourne Cup moves slowly behind us we start to think about planning for Christmas decorations, celebrations and the holiday period.

Village professionals often find themselves running on empty at this time of year and take the opportunity to have a well-deserved break. Often in the lead up to the leave it is busy busy busy and a time where there are lots going on.

Whether you are having a relief manager stepping in for you or a team member manning the fort it is good practice to be starting to think about the tools, resources and information they may need to access whilst you are away (especially if you would like to avoid that call on Christmas day when the code to turn off the fire system can not be found).

Some of the items I like to go through with a relief manager include:

  • Site orientation/plan – utility shut off locations
  • Staff introductions, role, responsibilities, capabilities, rosters & norms
  • Introduction to Chair Resident Committee & Committee details
  • Village values/culture, decision making and communication policy explanation
  • Resident contact information
  • Service provider contact details & contract details
  • Emergency evacuation familiarisation & services contact details
  • Current budget guidelines, meeting minutes etc
  • Complaint management guidelines & policy
  • Current complaints in progress
  • Contractual explanation & likely anomalies
  • Resident file/documentation process
  • Explanation of delegation & accounting processes
  • Maintenance schedules