Resident service and satisfaction drives Victorian award winner

A strong focus on customer service and resident satisfaction has led to recognition for Ross Dunning as the Victorian winner of the Programmed Award for Village Manager of the Year.

Ross has been the senior manager of the Arcadia Group’s Rylands of Hawthorn retirement community since 2017. It includes 84 apartments over five levels, accommodating more than 100 residents. He also oversees Arcadia's sister village Rylands of Kew.

He started working in the retirement living sector in 2013 following a career in hospitality and the wine industry. His responsibilities at Rylands of Hawthorn include managing the facility, resident services, finance, catering, staff and contractors.

Ross (pictured below with the Arcadia team) has used his experience to markedly improve residents’ enjoyment of their retirement living experience at Rylands, including a number of special events and celebrations which have been delivered in conjunction with the residents’ social committee. A continuous improvement program that he instituted has been adopted by the entire Arcadia Group.

He has led a number of initiatives to improve the quality of life and service for his residents, including working closely with relatives of residents suffering from dementia related issues and leading the development of solutions for residents and their families. Ross also has a strong focus on training and development for his staff, something which has been acknowledged as contributing to confident and mutually friendly relationships between staff and residents. 

He has also successfully overseen a number of complex projects at Rylands of Hawthorn, including the sourcing of a solar energy provider which has delivered significant savings on energy costs for residents.

Ross now enters the running for the National Programmed Award for Village Manager of the Year, to be presented at the National Retirement Living Awards. The Awards recognise the contribution and achievements across all areas of the retirement living sector by the people and companies helping ensure senior Australians have an enjoyable retirement. 

The award winners will be announced at the National Retirement Living Awards Gala Dinner on the Gold Coast on 21 November 2019. 

More information is available at