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RLC celebrates new Life Members and the best projects

  • July 03, 2024
  • by Property Australia
M-L MacDonald and Peter Nilsson have been inducted as honorary life members of the Retirement Living Council

Long serving industry champions M-L MacDonald and Peter Nilsson have been inducted as honorary life members of the Retirement Living Council (RLC)  alongside winners of the National Retirement Living Awards.at the 2024 National Retirement Living Summit.

Former RLC National President, Ms MacDonald, and long-time RLC Board member, Mr Nilsson, were inducted during the opening of the annual Summit on the Gold Coast.

RLC Executive Director Daniel Gannon said the induction of Ms MacDonald and Mr Nilsson as honorary life members was important recognition for their respective contributions to the sector over a long period of time.

“These two industry titans have made outstanding contributions to the reputation, growth and development of retirement living over many decades,” Mr Gannon said.

“Both M-L and Peter have dedicated their time, insights and expertise to help guide and shape the sector into what we see today – an important and affordable housing solution for older Australians,” he said.

Mr Gannon said Ms MacDonald’s four-year tenure as RLC President (2019-2023) coincided with the COVID pandemic, with her leadership bringing stability and strength to industry at a time of deep policy, economic and health uncertainty.

“M-L brought stability and leadership during a stressful and uncertain time for the sector and the 250,000 residents who lived in a retirement village during the pandemic,” Mr Gannon said.

RLC National President and Aveo Chief Executive Officer Tony Randello congratulated the pair on receiving life membership.

“M-L Macdonald has dedicated two and a half decades to the retirement living industry, including two terms as the RLC President,” Mr Randello said.

“She led us through a difficult period in the sector and left a legacy through her stewardship of the code of conduct.

“Peter Nilsson is one of the longest standing leaders in this industry.  He started at the Village Glen in 1978 and has selflessly dedicated his time, knowledge and guidance to the RLC and the Victorian committee to ensure our industry has thrived over the past four decades,” he said.

Ms MacDonald, who is Chief Executive Officer of Masonic Care WA, expressed her gratitude upon receiving life membership.

“It is a great honour to receive this acknowledgement from a sector that I am incredibly passionate about,” she said.

“This industry has provided me with so many incredible opportunities and I am proud to see the ongoing work being done to help provide better housing that leads to better health outcomes for seniors across Australia,” she said.

Mr Nilsson, who is Chief Operating Officer and a director of Community Villages Australia – owner and operator of Village Glen – said it was humbling to be inducted as a life member.

“There is no greater professional honour than that of being recognised by one’s peers,” Mr Nilsson said.

“The importance of our industry cannot be understated, and I am proud to have dedicated my professional life to helping create a happier, healthier future for older Australians,” he said.

The winners of the 2024 National Retirement Living Awards were also announced in front of more than 600 industry professionals at an annual gala dinner during the National Retirement Living Summit. 

Retirement Living Council Executive Director Daniel Gannon emphasised the importance of celebrating the people and projects that improve the lives of older Australians.

“This industry is turbo-charged with talent, including dedicated village managers, purposeful customer-focused operators, and innovative service providers,” Mr Gannon said.

“It’s crucial to celebrate those who power this sector forward every day, while also showcasing industry’s commitment to residents, excellence, and innovation.

“To all of our winners and finalists, we extend our congratulations and thank you for your ongoing dedication to this industry,” he said.

2024 National Retirement Living Award winners

Lumin People’s Choice Award: Village Glen, Community Villages Australia 

Health Metrics Award for Future Retirement Living Leader 

  • Community Leadership: Joshua Campbell, RetireAustralia 
  • Corporate Leadership: Alex Penson, BlueCare 

Programmed Award for Village Manager of the Year: Leanne Zannoni, Keyton 

Blueforce Award for Salesperson of the Year: Zuzana Nevidal, Australian Unity 

Channel Marketing Group Award for Marketing Excellence  

  • Large Operator (>500 ILU): ‘Will Retirement Living Suit You?’ Campaign, Aveo 
  • Small Operator (<500 ILU & not-for-profit): ‘Feel at Home’ Campaign, BlueCare 

The RACV Solar Award for Sustainability in Retirement Living: GemLife Virtual Power Plant 

Switch Star Award for Revitalisation 

  • Refurbishments above $1m: Domaine Retirement Village, Aveo 
  • Refurbishments below $1m: Village Glen, Community Villages Australia 

Temple & Webster Award for Best Redevelopment 

  • Large Operator (>500 ILU): Glenaeon Village Renewal Project 
  • Small Operator (<500 ILU & not-for-profit): ECH Encore Apartments 

One Fell Swoop Award for best Retirement Living Development 

  • Large Operator (>500 ILU): Reside Communities – Samford Grove 
  • Small Operator (<500 ILU & not-for-profit): Kokoda Residences 
  • Luxury Development: The Granton Brighton 
  • Land Lease Development: Ingenia Lifestyle Latitude One