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Ingenia Communities’ Matt Fedrick and Sharon Manson honoured at National Retirement Living Conference

Matt Fedrick, Ingenia Lifestyle’s Development Director in Queensland, and Sharon Manson, Community Sales Manager at Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay, Queensland, were honoured for their work at the National Retirement Living Summit on the Gold Coast.

“I think there is a real need for the creation of community and a commitment to transparency in the industry, which extends to advising potential residents to always consider, question and understand the options available when looking at any retirement community,” said Sharon, Salesperson of the Year.

“I approach our customers as if I was advising my own family – I believe that extra attention and openness ensures that customers and their families can feel confident in choosing the community that best suits their lifestyle needs.”

Matt, who was awarded the title of Future Retirement Living Leader, was instrumental in introducing a new, more affordable style of home at Ingenia Lifestyle’s Chambers Pines community in Chambers Flats, Logan.

“We have been able to introduce affordable housing in these areas, offering properties starting from $239,000 in the Hervey Bay region when the median house price for this area is around $420,000,” he said.

Ingenia Communities CEO Simon Owen said Matt is highly regarded within the Ingenia business.

“Matt runs one of the largest and most profitable business units at Ingenia – our Queensland development business. He demonstrates great leadership in his role daily and constantly coaches and supports his team to be their best,” said Simon.

“He constantly seeks to challenge the status quo and bring new ways of thinking into the business – whether it is building methodology, addressing a new segment in the seniors housing market or repurposing a 40-year-old building.

“Both Matt and Sharon are tremendous assets to the Ingenia team and we are very proud to have their achievements recognised and celebrated by their industry peers and to support their continued success into the future.”

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Village Manager Lexi Connor named RetireAustralia’s Family Award Winner

Lexi Connor, Village Manager of RetireAustralia’s Boambee Gardens Retirement Village in Toormina, on the NSW North Coast, is this year’s winner of the Queensland-based company’s Family Award.

In late October 2021, Boambee Gardens Retirement Village suffered a destructive hail storm, with the community centre and residents’ homes suffering a significant amount of damage.

“Without giving it a second thought, Lexi jumped into action, making sure residents were safe and dry while she organised emergency accommodation. While some residents stayed in the local area, some went to Glengara Care, located on the NSW Central Coast,” said RetireAustralia’s Chief Operating Officer Simon Fawssett, pictured presenting the award to Lexi.

“Moving 14 residents to Glengara Care was no small task. It involved physically packing and moving residents, including their furniture. Lexi went the extra mile by driving the bus to ensure the residents arrived safely. Of course, she could not have done it without the help of her team, in particular Senior PCA Marilyn Unterrheiner who was also recognised with an RA Family Award nomination for her efforts.

“Lexi kept the vibrancy of the village alive by modifying village activities and redeploying village staff who could not perform their usual duties until everyone could return home and the repairs were complete.”

Highly commended in the Family Award were:

Dianne Bear, Village Manager, Belrose Country Club Retirement Village, in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs,

Michael McMullen, Village Manager, Drayton Villas Retirement Village, in Toowoomba City, QLD,and

Brett Halley, Maintenance, Drayton Villas Retirement Village.

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A discussion with Stephen Lind. His first Village Manager role is leading BaptistCare’s new ACT $55M village

The Village Professional had a chat to Stephen Lind, the Village Manager of BaptistCare Yarra Rossa, its new $55 million facility in Red Hill, ACT. The first residents arrived two months ago in April.

Steven is a participant of the DCM Institute Professional Development Program.

Q: Stephen, tell me how did you find yourself as a Village Manager?

A: “I’m new to Canberra, having relocated from Sydney last year. The move prompted the opportunity for new adventures and a new career path.

“When I first saw the role advertised I was attracted to the strong community aspect, as I enjoy my days being filled with interactions and connections with people. “

“I’ve held previous management roles in other industries, which have provided me with ample knowledge and experience to deal with the varied aspects of the role. So far so good!”

Q: Is this your first Village Manager’s role?

A: “Yes, I’m new to BaptistCare and new to the retirement village industry. I see this is an exciting adventure for me that allows me to connect with community and people.”

Q: Where did you work previously?

A: “Most recently, I was working in operations management for garden maintenance companies in Sydney. I worked my way up to these roles after training as a horticulturist and spending a number of years on the tools. Prior to this, I worked in management roles in the self-storage industry.”

“BaptistCare Yarra Rossa has incredible landscaped gardens and walking tracks through the retirement community, as well as views of the Red Hill Nature Reserve, so I’m fortunate to be still surrounded by great gardens even in this role.

Q: What inspires you about the role?

A: “This role is about the variety of tasks and the opportunity to work with a range of people with different skill sets and life experiences.”

“Everybody in the team has taken a different path to get to their current positions, and I learn something new from them as we work together to build a community for the residents to enjoy and thrive in.”

“Talking with the residents provides the same – everyone has a journey they are on, and I’m privileged to be leading a retirement community where I can benefit from hearing their collective stories and wisdom.”

Q: What tips would you give to others thinking of such a position in the future?  

A: “Be prepared to be both busy and surprised. You will see people at their best, and sometimes, having a difficult day.”

“The role is varied in ways that you won’t expect, but for me that is one of the highlights. You need to be prepared to learn.”

“Coming from outside the industry, while it is a steep learning curve in terms of regulation and compliance, I feel incredibly supported by BaptistCare’s leadership to succeed in this area.”

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‘Age friendly communities’ to the fore as Retirement Living Council bids to influence Canberra

The retirement Living Council wishes to change the language of retirement villages, channelling the new label ‘age friendly communities’.

M-L MacDonald, President of the Retirement Living Council, and Ben Myers (main picture), the Council’s Executive Director, both used the term “age friendly communities” at its national conference on the Gold Coast last week.

“The term “age friendly communities” helps us better communicate what a retirement village, land lease community or rental village actually does,” Ben told us. 

“When we are in Canberra and use one of those terms, the mindset of the politician or public servant immediately goes to it’s a state or territory responsibility. Using the term “age friendly communities” changes that mind set.

“It takes us out of the consumer protection debate.”

Villages are regulated by state and territory legislation and the Retirement Living Council finds this is the mindset of politicians and public servants in Canberra.

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Arcadia Group’s Steven Daly named Retirement Living Council’s Village Manager of Year

Arcadia Group Communities Maddington Village (Perth) Manager Steven Daly was named the Retirement Living Council’s Village Manager of the Year at its annual function on the Gold Coast last week. His Perth-based owner, Roger Kwok was on hand to celebrate his win. 

The award is hotly challenged and carefully judged by a panel of eight industry experts, including Jodie Prosser.

Residents nominate their village manager and operator support with a detailed proposal. Selected candidates are then also interviewed by judging panel.

Steven, who has been employed at Arcadia Group since August 2020, also finds the time to serve as a volunteer firefighter. He is Vice-President of the Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade and also gives his time to All Hands Volunteers.

Before joining Arcadia Group, Steven was employed by MercyCare as Service Manager East Metro. Before then, the Scotsman was Operations Manager at Roshana Care Group and a Facility Manager at BaptistCare.

Our congratulations to Steven and all the nominees put forward by their own residents. A great compliment.

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Five different visions of a dispute – where are you?

We are going to dive deep into Dispute Resolution during this month’s PD Days, but here is one interesting component.

When a dispute occurs in your village – or anywhere else, including perhaps your family home – it’s interesting to take a step back to understand what is unfolding before your eyes.

Here are five potential outcomes. As simple as it seems, by identifying which one you want at the start makes that target easier to achieve:

1. Someone wins, someone loses

This is the competitive outcome.

2. Both parties win

This is the win/win outcome

3. Someone gives, someone takes

This is the compromise outcome.

4. One or both parties run away

This is the flight response outcome.

5. You take on extra demands

This is the accommodation response.

You can see how each of these could occur if you don’t clearly identify which one you want for your purposes. And for many Village managers, to keep the peace, No. 5 where you take on extra workloads is the outcome.

But this rarely solves the core problem creating the dispute.

The key lesson is to decide which outcome you are seeking from the outset so that all energy – and language – is directed to that goal.

More tips will be presented at your PD Day.

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Changes at the DCM Institute: Jodie Prosser pulls back

After 4.5 years, our great friend and inspiration, Jodie Prosser, has decided to pull back from her deep engagement in the DCM Institute to focus on her close and extended family.

Jodie will remain as our ‘Adjunct Professor’, providing a regular eye on content development and occasional PD Day attendance, not to mention the VILLAGE SUMMIT.

Satisfaction and professional development

It has been quite a journey. Jodie, Jill Donaldson and I (later joined by Judy Martin) read the market research report from our 2018 DCM Resident Research project, where nearly 20,000 residents reported their village manager was either the greatest source of satisfaction for living in a village or, when skills were lacking, the greatest source of dissatisfaction (pictured below).

Jodie, with all of her adult life engaged in managing villages, said we could shape not a training program, but rather an ongoing professional development program to support village managers to deliver the best outcomes for residents.

And that is what Jodie did.

Along the way we travelled together for three weeks in America to learn about other models. We were joined by Judy Martin in Boston and Washington after Judy was elected Chairperson of the world peak body, the Global Ageing Network, in Toronto. The experience and talent across the two of them is quite remarkable. (Jodie photographed below with the designer of the original Apple Macintosh in San Francisco on a Village Summit fact finding trip).

Then last year, despite COVID-19, we travelled to New Zealand and established the Te Ara Institute, a joint venture with the Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand, providing tailored professional development programs there.

We have had great support from Sally Middleton as liaison with DCMI participants and Tania Kelly making the operations side hum.

New expertise

We are now pleased to announce the appointment of Tiffany Follbigg as National DCMI Administrator, who brings a wealth in Learning and Development experience from the home care sector.

Connie Comber also joins us as Regional Manager to provide participant support. Connie has been a Village Manager in a large regional centre, plus she is a highly qualified dispute mediator.

We are seeking to employ a second Regional Manager to work with Connie. You can see our announcement below.

Roxy D’Silva is on maternity leave for the next three months.

And Judy Martin continues in her leadership role as Director – Industry Engagement.

550 participants

Today we have over 550 DCMI participants, a number we could have only dreamt of four years ago. So thanks to you for your faith and thanks again to Jodie for her vision and professional execution, while not forgetting Judy as our early partner.

And more is to come.

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Jobs

Seeking a Regional Manager

  • Supporting DCMI Institute participants in Professional Development programs
  • Liaising with retirement village operators to engage new village managers
  • Tracking village sector state regulations and compliance

With more than 550 participants in the DCM Institute village management professional development program, we are seeking an additional Regional Manager to support existing participants and operators, plus new entrants to our ongoing 12-month program.

You will have experience as a Village Manager or within head office village management. You will naturally be a people person and have strong self management skills.

The role is Sydney-based and will require occasional travel.

This is a vitally important role and will provide high career satisfaction.

Please contact Antonia Norris for more information &/or provide your CV in confidence. 

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Team Culture: we all want it, but how to build it?

We all understand that having a positive team culture can transform the quality of our daily work life, plus transform what we achieve individually and as a team.

Having an effective retirement village team is doubly important because each member is interacting with residents every day but often alone (think maintenance and office reception).

But what is team culture?

Team culture is a combination of:

  • Values,
  • Beliefs, and
  • behavioural norms

 that team members share.

It can be seen in the way leaders and followers behave when representing the company.

A good team culture has several identifiers, such as:

  • It includes great leaders
  • It develops a great and satisfying place to work
  • It produces more engaged work colleagues 
  • It reduces interpersonal conflicts
  • It reduces turnover

Telling questions: how to build a good team culture

Begin by understanding the existing culture. Use the following checklist of questions to assess it:

  • What are the corporate values?
  • What is the level of employee awareness of corporate values?
  • What are the values reflected in worker behaviour?
  • What are the values reflected in managerial behaviours?
  • Are employees supportiveness?
  • Do workers respect each other?
  • Are there shared beliefs in achieving business goals?
  • Does management act to communicate, maintain, or improve team culture?
  • Are there operational processes that support healthy staff behaviours?
  • Are there managerial activities that negatively influence staff behaviours?
  • What are the company policies and protocols that guide staff behaviour?

Activities for promoting a strong company culture

1.    Stakeholder feedback

Request the feedback of employees, clients, and other external stakeholders regarding staff values, beliefs, and norms of behaviour.

2.    Culture of the management

The culture of the company leaders is likely to have a bigger influence on team culture than any other factor. In a good team culture, the senior managers are its main advocates.

3.    Reward workers who reflect the team culture

To promote a strong team culture, it’s important to show your employees that you value their contributions to it.

4.    Hire people who suit the team culture

It’s important to hire employees who can support your team culture instead of sabotage it.

Most important of all, a positive team culture develops a great and satisfying place to work. And that must be good.

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How easy is it to exit a resident?

At our May PD Day around the country, we asked our legal partners in each state to walk us through the laws and regulations around the exiting a resident from retirement village.

It was universally recognised as a regrettable objective, and one not attempted lightly.

It was explained that there does exist pathways through tribunals and outside experts say in the realm of dementia, but at the end of the day in every state it was acknowledged that there is no failsafe way to achieve the exit.

Firstly, the many months to years it takes to go through a tribunal makes this a rarely attempted route. With behaviour that is dangerous or negative to the overall ability of residents to lead a quiet and unsettled existence, there is little that can be implemented to expedite a departure.

In other words, it is a task of negotiation, mediation and persistence with the resident or their family to achieve the exit.

This is far from satisfactory for village residents, their families and the operator staff. But this is the fact that remains.