ML MacDonald elected new Retirement Living Council president

Marie-Louise MacDonald, the Chief Executive Officer of Masonic Care WA, has been elected as the new president of the retirement village sector’s peak national leadership group, the Retirement Living Council.

Ms MacDonald, known to all as ‘ML’, started her career as a Registered Nurse and has been involved in the sector for more than two decades. She has 35 years of experience in executive management in Australia and overseas across retirement, aged care, industrial relations, health care and government policy development.

“I am honoured and excited by the opportunity to lead this sector over the next two years as president of the Retirement Living Council,” Ms MacDonald said.

“The role of retirement living in providing accommodation, services and support for our growing population of older Australians is increasingly important as medical and technological advances have given us all greater expectations of our life expectancy.

“The Retirement Living Council has put our sector on notice, and I am committed to embracing our 8-point plan to guarantee a great resident experience. I am a passionate ambassador for our newly released Retirement Living Code of Conduct and will be out there over coming months promoting widespread adoption of the Code, so those considering lifestyle and housing options have complete confidence in the retirement living sector and we give them the respect they deserve for making the wise move to live in our retirement villages.

“One of my first priorities will be to roll out our industry accreditation scheme and education courses for those involved in village management and village sales. Widespread industry adoption will ensure high quality services for those making the decision to move to a retirement village and those currently living in villages.

“I want to pay special tribute to my predecessor, Alison Quinn, for her leadership over the past two years as we took a hard look at our sector practices. Her guidance and commitment to developing the 8-point plan to guide the sector with its critical initiatives such as the code of conduct and accreditation scheme have given us a platform and roadmap for the future.” Ms MacDonald said.

Ben Myers, Executive Director of the Retirement Living Council, said Ms MacDonald had been an active participant in the Western Australian and the national sector over a number of years.

“ML is currently the chair of our Western Australian retirement living committee, spearheading our state advocacy and ensuring that WA concerns are heard at a national level,” Mr Myers said.

“She has also played a key role in the revision of our retirement village manager and sales manager education programs to equip them to better meet the expectations of those living in retirement villages.”

WA Property Council Executive Director, Sandra Brewer said, “We are thrilled by the announcement that ML has been elected as the new president of the RLC.”

“ML has had a significant influence on the success of our advocacy in the Retirement Living sector and I know she will bring enormous energy to her new role.

"I am delighted that ML has confirmed she will continue as Chair of the WA Division Retirement Living Committee and a member of the WA Division Council in addition to her national responsibilities.”

Ms MacDonald has been elected president until February 2021 and will be supported through this term by Nicholas Playoust (AEH Group) and Tony Randello (Lendlease), who have been elected vice-presidents.