Reporting Results

Code of Conduct Registration of Interest hits over 800 villages – Operational Stage commences 1 January

Recently at a Property Council education day in South Australia, Ben Myers, the Executive Director of the Retirement Living Council, shared that over 800 villages had already registered their interest in being engaged with the Code of Conduct industry framework.

Ben shared “This industry framework plays an important role in the future protection and promotion of resident interests. 

It helps implement regulation in a way that creates high and consistent standards across marketing, sales and operations. 

It promotes trust and confidence in the sector. 

The framework supports open, transparent and efficient resolution of complaints and importantly provides industry leadership”.

Our tip: It is a really important initiative to take the professionalism of the retirement living sector to the next level. If you need a copy of the Code of Conduct, download it HERE.

At the same event Jason Sack, General Manager at Living Choice Australia shared tips on how the Living Choice team are championing this framework and as industry leaders offered these practical steps to help get you started: 

1. Develop an implementation plan

  • understand obligations and make sure you can always meet them
  • ensure you have the processes to manage complaints and disputes

2. Embrace the Code and opportunities it brings

  • promote the Code to customers and community (MPs and media)
  • include your commitment in marketing material
  • make sure potential residents know you value the commitment

​​3. Engage with residents, resident committees and resident        associations

  • host resident morning teas to talk about the Code and its benefits
  • discuss the Code at resident committee meetings

4. Appoint a Code Compliance officer

  • Who will be the first point of contact with residents on all Code matters?
  • Who will assist in monitoring village compliance?

Our tip: The team at DCM Institute have developed an example implementation plan to help you with the first step HERE

Plus over the summer break, the DCMI team will be adding more resources to the Resource Vault for members on the DCM Institute website, to ensure that signing up to the Code is as easy as practical for all participants. 

Key things to help you everyday

Accelerate your village learning Join us in Sydney 20-21 Feb At The VILLAGE SUMMIT 2020 Village + H.O. Management

23 Sector Speakers: CEOs, Regulators, Motivators

The DCM Institute is proud to present The VILLAGE SUMMIT 2020, two days of inspiration and unique learnings in community leadership for Village Managers and HO Management staff.

The VILLAGE SUMMIT 2020 delivers and accelerates focused technical and soft skill development, professional development and premium networking.

By popular demand we have brought back Matt Church, rated in the Top 10 Motivational Speakers of the world.

Rebecca Hogan, Operations Manager at Churches of Christ (QLD) will provide positive learnings on managing and supporting residents in the dementia journey.

Mark Bindon co-founded Oak Tree villages, Australia’s fastest growing village operator (26 villages), will share his experience building resident trust.

Plus another 18 great sector speakers.

Join 400 of your village sector colleagues in a great two days of learning. $1850+GST, including our unique State Dinners at iconic Sydney venues including The QVB Tea Rooms or The Studio at Centrepoint Tower, where you join delegates from your State to build networks and share.

Learn more HERE.

Things to watch

Operators must not disclose confidential information about residents or prospective residents…. NSW Rules of Conduct number 9!

A timely reminder of Section 9 of the new Retirement Village amendment (Rules of Conduct for operators NSW).  Confidential matters of residents and prospective residents must be respected.

Operators must not disclose or use any confidential information about residents, prospective residents, relatives or others acting on behalf of either party, unless the person provides authorisation in writing or was informed prior to obtaining the information of the intended use of the information.

This can have a great impact on how we operate each day. Here is an example. I am sure most of us would be acting with good intention when we request staff keep an extra eye out for Mrs Smith when she returns from hospital or we ask a neighbour to look in over the weekend.

Under the new NSW Rules of Conduct, you are now required to gain Mrs Smith’s written approval prior to disclosing this confidential information in relation to her current health status to anyone. 

Whilst this has always been best practice and certainly confidentiality is a high priority for most Village professionals, these simple situations that were done from a place of goodwill are now are being caught up in this regulation reform!

Our Tip: Moving forward it is our suggestion that consideration be given to the following to ensure compliance with this regulation and also to be clear of the resident expectation:

  • Ensure the Village Privacy Policy is in the staff handbook and all staff have this explained at induction
  • Make confidential situations a regular agenda item on staff meeting agendas
  • Use a photo release form for any photos used in a public domain
  • Use of a Personal Information release form
  • Remind residents of their rights for privacy via Village Newsletters/Notices
  • Secure record management systems are implemented

As January rolls around these tools will be available for members on the DCM Institute website to download. 

Latest industry developments

Regulation creep is the new normal for the Retirement Village sector

Having been fortunate to hear direct from the best in the business legal representatives around the nation at our Village Professional Development Days, I can confidently tell you that never before in my family’s 30-plus year history in this sector have we seen the type and volume of regulatory reform as we are seeing today!

In Queensland, law firm MinterEllison shared that Stage 2 of a three-part QLD regulatory reform commenced just last week.

In New South Wales, MinterEllison shared a very similar message that operators should be focusing on compliance with Part 2 amendments.

They also encouraged participants to respond to the government’s call for feedback from the retirement village sector and the community about how the new asset management plan commitments should be implemented in the regulations.

You can find details of the discussion paper and submission instructions HERE.

In Victoria, law firm Russell Kennedy explained an issues paper published by the Minister for Consumer Affairs on 25 October 2019 has been released to encourage operators and residents to submit responses to 51 questions.

Community forums will be held in several locations during November. Submissions need to be submitted by COB Friday 6 December 2019. You can find the issue paper, community forum details and submission instructions HERE

In Western Australia, law firm Jackson McDonald highlighted that so far in 2019 we have seen 1 of 6 Consultation Regulatory Impact Statements (CRIS) released dealing mostly with the description of a Retirement Village, advertising and pricing. 

The second CRIS is due this month and could deal with any number of these issues including:

  • buyback regimes
  • funding capital works
  • maintenance and repairs
  • resident input into use of operating budget
  • refurbishment
  • memorials
  • village redevelopment and termination process. 

Note however, the sector in WA is united and has requested the Government take a slightly different approach to the reforms by developing a stakeholder consultative committee to engage with retirement village reforms over the next two years.

There is more to come with SA set to commence their Act review process in early 2020. This is certainly not the end to the reforms across the nation. 

I urge all operators to be in touch with their industry leading solicitors and ensure that they are signed up for their newsletters, and keep an eye on the relevant department websites regularly as much of this reform is sneaking up on operators.

Key things to help you everyday

Regional Meetings

To attend an upcoming meeting just go to the Meeting Hub page on the DCM Institute website and follow the prompts. 

NSW Central Coast Tuesday 26 November 10:30am
Host Tracey Palser
Catalina Village Community Centre 68 Deaves Road Cooranbong
Essential Services in Retirement Villages – Speakers Luke Moody & Chad Gardiner

Brisbane North Tuesday 3rd December 2019 11:30am
Host Karen Naylor
Redland Aged Care Providers and Retirement Living Group
Fiction restaurant, Raby Bay Harbour, Shop 9 & 10/152 Shore Street West, Cleveland

NSW Mid North Coast Wednesday 4th December 10am
Host Amanda Howton
Ingenia Gardens Taree 60 Edinburgh Drive Taree

North Perth Wednesday 4th December 10am
Host Janine Thompson
Kingsway Court Retirement Village 6 Countess Link, Mandeley

Perth Wednesday 4th December 10am
Village tour with Hosts Jemma Viney & Nikki Mollart
Masonic Care WA, Forest Lakes Retirement Village 41 Geographe Way Thornlie

Everyone is welcome so please share this information with other village managers in your area.

If you would like to host a meeting, it is super easy.  Contact Tania and she will coordinate the meeting for you. Regional MeetHost Regional Meet

Reporting Results

Ingenia Community Manager named Employee of the Year

Ingenia Community Manager Misty Lovis, a member of our DCM Institute, has won the Employee of the Year Award at the 2019 Land Lease Living Industry Awards for Excellence.

Known as the Caravan & Camping Industry (CCIA) Awards, it celebrates the achievements of individuals and businesses in the NSW caravan, camping, manufactured housing and land lease living sectors.

Misty’s village, The Grange, also scored top honours for the Best Land Lease Community of the Year Award at the ceremony last Thursday in Sydney, and Ingenia snapped up the Community Engagement Award.

Misty took part in our Village Manager Professional Development program launched in April to deliver better resident outcomes and better business outcomes for operators.

Participants in the program are trained in dementia, ageism, regulations around fire emergencies, guidance with home and aged care, and much more.

Learn more HERE.

Things to watch

Village Vibe contribution: How Watermark Wagga’s Melbourne Cup became fun for young and old!​

The Village Manager at Watermark Wagga had the idea to build a win-win relationship with the Hospitality division of the local Community College that enables students from the college to prepare and serve meals at the residents annual Melbourne Cup function.

Residents get to dust of the fascinators and enjoy each others company, while the students are granted the opportunity to experience what it is like to arrange and deliver a function.  

A fantastic opportunity for young and old to enjoy the festivities of Cup season.

They have been kind enough to share some of their photos below and above (event organiser and resident Jenny Grear enjoying a glass of bubbly).  Looks like they all had plenty of fun!

Fancy Hats: Anne Cottam and Nancye Rew enjoying each others company

Good time: Ves and Diane Skyes having fun at race day celebrations

Pastel Perfection: Margaret Gregurke and Katie Campbell dressed to the nines

Like to share your ‘good ideas’? Please send them in with photos. 

Reporting Results

Dementia-friendly communities​

There are 4 million Australians over age 65 – that’s about 15% of the Australian population living with Dementia…and its a growing cohort expected to be 22% of the population by 2057.

70% of these people are living in their own homes within the community, including within retirement communities. 

There is no question that as Village professionals we will be in a position to support those living within our communities with Dementia.

Dementia Australia has a range of tools and resources to assist with supporting those living with Dementia, including a couple of great new social movement initiatives called Dementia Friends, Dementia Friendly Communities and Dementia Friendly Organisations. 

I encourage all Village Professionals to become Dementia Friends. It only takes about 25 minutes online. 

Or perhaps your community could become a Dementia Friendly Organisation and then perhaps you could even consider becoming a Dementia Advocate and encourage the local business community around you to become a Dementia Friendly Community.

In the meantime here are a few tips that will help people living in your community with Dementia:

  • Contrasting colours in rooms such as doors being a slightly different colour than walls, grab rails & toilet seats being different colours that the tiles and paint, word on signs being contrasting colours
  • Identification labels on drawers, cupboard doors and entrances and exits
  • Clear kitchen cupboard doors to be able to see what is behind the door
  • Non-patterned floors and highlighting colours on change of levels/stairs
  • Personalisation/recognition indicators in the front garden of the persons home
  • Promotion of Dementia Friend (25min) on-line training for residents and staff
  • Quiet space in community areas to get away from the noise
  • Invite Dementia Australia to visit your village

Download the DIY Dementia Friendly Toolkit at

Register HERE or contact Dementia Australia below.

What the research tells us

RV Digital Marketing: Product vs Community

Most digital marketing in retirement is like my first cellphone. It was great but it wasn’t smart.

Nowadays, we have the opportunity to make our phones dumb or run a company from them as the advances over the last decade are tremendous. But it comes down to the necessities of the user.

With your digital marketing, are you maximising the present-day opportunity for your future residents?

Their journey to retirement includes a multi-touch approach that desires a genuine, authentic display of your community.

From digital to open days, are you presenting an aligned approach to marketing?

Consider the three V’s of branding, visual, verbal and value.

When these are unaligned, our marketing efforts get lost in the noise of confusion creating longer customer journeys amongst shorter mandatory buyback timeframes.

Our brand values are unaligned when we advertise our communities like products.

Consider what your organisation represents, the words you use and your positioning amongst competitors the next time you draft a piece of content or advertisement, and please don’t advertise discounts.

When we differentiate ourselves on price, we position ourselves as a commodity rather than the unique communities we are. 

Perhaps the last significant purchase our residents will make in their lives, I believe they are looking for a place to belong to, invest in and travel from.

Think about this as you create your next campaign.

Joshua Hanchett
My Heart Studio | Your Digital Partner​

Latest industry developments

VILLAGE SUMMIT 2020 at the Sheraton Grand Sydney, 20-21 Feb: People Passion Professionalism

Start thinking now about joining 400 of your Village Management colleagues for an inspiring two days in Sydney. 

The theme of this years VILLAGE SUMMIT is People Passion Professionalism, an intensive 2 day program designed to equip, inspire and connect Village Professionals.

Join some of the country’s most successful village operators and managers who will share their challenges, successes and learnings plus insights from other industries as we prepare to accommodate the new wave of consumers. 

With a focus on legislation, industry frameworks, leadership, soft skills, technology, care, sales, marketing and insight into the expectation of future and current residents, this program promises to support the decision makers of the sector both ‘in-field’ and head office professionals.

Hear from Matt Church (pictured), nominated in the Top 10 Leadership speakers in the world Matt will share the power of motivational leadership to inspire and influence village communities. Mark Bindon, Co Founder of the successful Oak Tree Group will share the Resident Engagement journey and how to build a brand based on trusted relationships.

Plus 18 other fabulous speakers.

Register now at so as not to miss out on joining the 2020 premier national conference for Village Management.