Retirement living trailblazers recognised at national awards

Property Council announces Retirement Living Awards 2018 winners

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Village Manager of the Year Sue Stevens, from Blue Care's Carlyle Gardens in Townsville.

Village Manager of the Year Sue Stevens, from Blue Care's Carlyle Gardens in Townsville.


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VILLAGE revamps and community engagement have proved to be the winning formula at at the National Retirement Living Awards. 

From the Townsville village manager who set up expos and led the renovation of the village restaurant to a new Shellharbour project designed to make residents feel connected, the recent Property Council awards show community is at the heart of retirement living innovation.

The awards – held ceremony at Canberra’s Parliament House last month – recognise the contribution and achievements of individuals and organisations across all areas of the retirement living sector.

Townsville’s Sue Stevens, senior village manager at Blue Care’s Carlyle Gardens, was crowned Village Manager of the Year for “enhancing the lives of residents through various initiatives she has implemented at the village, and through strong community engagement”. 

Aveo Newstead in Brisbane won the Design Excellence Award.

Aveo Newstead in Brisbane won the Design Excellence Award.

Mrs Stevens set up health and wellbeing expos for residents and the wider Townsville community and oversaw the refurbishment and relaunch of the village restaurant and resurfacing of the village bowling green.

She is also deputy chair of the Townsville City Council Disaster Management Team – Seniors’ Portfolio, providing advice and support on seniors’ issues, including disaster preparedness and management.

Aveo Newstead – Brisbane’s first integrated retirement community designed to help residents ‘age in place’ – was given the Award for Design Excellence.

The Queensland development combines independent premium retirement living with residential aged care options and first-class lifestyle amenities above an urban village.

The building has been designed to accommodate residents by providing flexibility to age in place from independent living to residential aged care.

Connecting online

And flagship Warrigal Shell Cove retirement community in Shellharbour on the NSW south coast won the award for Retirement Living Innovation for its service delivery model based on social connectedness.

This has included employing an onsite community facilitator to support the development of connections and friendships among the community and the introduction of an online customer portal.

This online tool – co-designed by village residents –  is designed to helps customers stay connected with family and community and to share news, book appointments and engage in activities by the village’s community hub.

Shock leads to shed transformation 

Transforming a small ‘green shed’ into a luxury leisure centre has won national recognition for Living Choice’s Woodcroft retirement village in Adelaide, which won the Interior Design Award for Best Refurbishment for its leisure centre rebuild.

When Living Choice acquired the Woodcroft village in 2015, owners Ian Tregoning and Graham Hobbs were shocked to discover the 21-year old village and its almost 250 residents had never had a community centre.

Residents were forced to meet in a small ‘green shed’ for village social activities or hire venues outside the village.

In February the new $7 million two-storey leisure centre, incorporating six new apartments, was officially opened. It includes a theatre, pool, gym, meeting and specialist rooms.

Living Choice Woodcroft's new luxury leisure centre.

Living Choice Woodcroft's new luxury leisure centre.

The new facility includes a number of treatments to improve energy efficiency, comfort and sustainability ranging from solar panels, thermally efficient glazing and extensive use of energy-efficient LED lighting, through to high quality artificial and non-slip grass surfaces and environmentally-friendly cladding products. 

Alice Conway, president of the Residents’ Committee, said the leisure centre had enriched the lives of residents. “Residents have great pride in showing their friends and families around and it’s wonderful for the grandkids as they can use the facilities. What’s particularly pleasing is that many older residents have started to come out of their homes and join in too - it’s given them a new lease on life.

Other awards went to Lendlease national sales and marketing manager Aliccia Azzimi (Future Retirement Living Leader), Casey Grange Village sales consultant Lynn Scott (Salesperson of the Year) and Ingenia Lifestyle which won the Marketing Excellence Award for its marketing campaign to launch its flagship Latitude One retirement community in Port Stephens, NSW.

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