NSW Retirement Outlook wrap

The Retirement Living Code of Conduct, the importance of trust and lessons from the recent bushfire crisis were all on the agenda at another successful NSW Retirement Outlook event in Sydney last week, with nearly 300 people in attendance.

Retirement Living Council’s (RLC) President ML MacDonald spoke about the importance in putting residents at the forefront of everything they do and the need to respect their voice and independence.

A major topic of discussion was the sector's response to the recent bushfires. Panellist Simon Furness, Director of Property Housing at Uniting, who had villages in the evacuation zones, spoke about setting up a crisis response team. He acknowledged the high quality of staff in his villages was so important in these situations.

Jane Monk, CEO of Gannon Lifestyle Communities, reflected on the how emergency situations like this can be something operators can learn from. She discussed the state-wide blackout in South Australia and how they reviewed their emergency communication systems, sewage pumping systems and the need to examine the needs for generators.

She also spoke about the RLC capability framework that was launched in 2019 and how this really focuses on upskilling staff and to drive staff depth in villages.

All panellists agreed about the importance of signing up to the new Code of Conduct, with Kirrily Lord, General Manager – Retirement Living Operations at Stockland, saying that they were currently rolling it out to all their villages.

ML MacDonald also spoke about the increasing need to focus on care and that the Royal Commission into Aged Care will likely provide opportunities for the sector in this area. She also gave a quick overview on the technologies that are being introduced in villages overseas that will ensure residents are able to age in place.

Paul David, from Hutchinson Builders (sponsor of the event along with NSW retirement partner Impact Group), highlighted that seniors housing had quality buildings and that the defects are not seen in the sector as has been recently seen in residential construction.

Thanks to all who attended. The Property Council is hosting retirement living outlooks in March in Brisbane (3 March) and Perth (31 March).