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Possible Royal Commission considerations and ‘wins’ for every Village operator…

If you do one thing in the lead up to the May Federal Budget – grab yourself a coffee and watch this 15-minute thought provoking discussion from Tammy Berghofer, Partner at MinterEllison, about the potential impact of the Royal Commission recommendations on retirement village operations.

There is a very real opportunity for villages to be the major winner from the Royal Commission.

Tammy outlines the opportunities and important considerations for both operators and front-line village professionals.  She highlights the future expectations of residents and the questions village professionals will need to consider.

In this video Tammy has simplified the Royal Commission impacts to village operations into 3 key areas:

  • Impact of a new Aged Care program
    • Instead of three different ‘aged care programs’ (CHSP, Home Care and Aged Care), it is likely they will all converge into one, with people entering the system and then carrying through to high care 
    • Universal entitlement to care – everyone gets to care for free
    • Increased choice, control and flexibility
  • Expansion of Care at Home
    • This is what the Government wants / long term care strategy requirements
    • Need for expanded termination processes
    • Village and care residents will be older and have higher health and acuity needs
    • Increase skills and knowledge for village professionals 
  • Influence on village built environments 
    • Ageing in place considerations will increase in importance 
    • Assistive technology use will increase in importance
    • Possible grant funding options for operators
Key things to help you everyday Latest industry developments

Grants are great! And easier than you think for villages

Are your residents wanting a new indoor bowls mat or would they like to learn how to use their smartphone or tablet?

What about an art exhibition or a programmed walking group?

Why not apply for a grant to help fund or subsidise an activity for your village community?

Grants are largely offered to fund an initiative which targets and benefits a particular cohort, like older community members.

They will generally have a required outcome or specific need to be met, as defined in the key purpose of the funding. The good news for our communities, is that services and activities for older people are a key objective for many Government agencies and other grant providers.

Discuss the idea of grants and how they can used with residents; perhaps a member of your village community might like the job of monitoring available grants.

Applications for grants might be for a major initiative, or small events such as:

  • Art classes and exhibitions in senior’s week
  • Visitor programs
  • Intergenerational activities with local schools
  • Community garden
  • Cultural performances
  • Events with guest speakers
  • Fitness / walking groups
  • Volunteer training
  • Village bus trips
  • Healthy eating promotion
  • Dances, Balls and Cabarets
  • Art, sport, activity equipment and supplies

Where to look for Grants?

  • Local Council
  • State Government
  • Festivals and community events.
  • Sporting codes
  • Service clubs

Some links to help get you started.

Grant Finder: helps you locate the grants and assistance programmes most relevant to you.

Grant Connect: Government grant opportunities and grants awarded.

Funding Centre: Resources and guides on how to apply for grants

Community Grants:lists Government grants for a range of grants offered by various departments

National Shed Development Programme: focus on improved social connections of shed members

Accessing grant funding can take some time but the effort will be worth it.

Key things to help you everyday Things to watch

Networking is back! We are taking small steps toward face-to-face peer support

What a refreshing experience.

Over the last three weeks, our DCM team has been supporting three face-to-face Village Network meetings, with more to follow.

South Australia

In SA, Sally & I gathered with 20-plus village professionals to catch up and have a tour of the diverse Stockland Somerton Park village. We also talked all things on the SA Retirement Village Act review, expected SA Water rate changes and Five Good Friends’ new Village concierge product.

New South Wales

In NSW, Judy and 15 village professionals gathered at the award-winning Terraces village, operated by Presbyterian Aged Care, and shared insights about assisting residents to travel intra and interstate.

They also talked about the value of maintaining a peer network, the floods and the impact they have on villages and resident families. They also shared some light-hearted giggles about books and movies set in retirement villages.

Here is some light entertainment if you are interested:

TV – The End and Poms 

Books – The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman and The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell


In Victoria this week Judy and 20 village professionals shared the morning together at Australian Unity’s The Grace at Albert Park, which features stunning views.

The discussion was around the exciting future and opportunities Retirement village operators have to look forward to. They also discussed how the village manager can set or break a culture of a village and the importance of engaging all levels of staff in the village business similar to the airline industry, where staff are encouraged once a year to sit in another role in the business for the day.  

Keep an eye on the DCMI Network announcements for more Village Network gatherings near you coming soon.

Key things to help you everyday

Some novel (Australian based) travel ideas for your residents

Are your residents missing international travel? (maybe not the jet lag, the airline food or the language barriers…)

At the recent Village Network meeting in NSW, the group shared commentary around the importance of residents having access to travel options both locally and interstate. Some village professionals have already put in place relationships with travel agents that are experienced in group travel arrangements.  

Japan in Cowra?

Why not mimic a Japanese holiday by visiting the cherry blossom season in Cowra NSW, Japanese Gardens, or a Japanese Bathhouse experience near Lithgow and then onto Sydney perhaps to visit the Japanese Foundation for a Tea Ceremony, or an origami class? Maybe even visit a Buddhist Temple to add to the cultural experience? A similar program could be developed in QLD.

Germany in Hahndorf

Or perhaps it’s a taste of Germany residents desire? Explore Hahndorf – Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and the Barossa Valley. Explore the traditional shops, try their hand at making apple strudel, play German 9 pin bowling at the Tanundra Kegel Club established in 1858 and visit Jurlique’s biodynamic and organic farm established by a German couple and now a famous skin care range, as well as Seppletsfield, Haighs Chocolate factory and the Adelaide Migration Museum.

There are packages that can theme around Amsterdam, Greece and many more popular international trips that are on hold for now. Whether residents are keen to join an existing tour or tailor make something specific for their interests, there is no shortage of travel opportunities here in Australia.

If you are at a loss where to start to arrange such travel, consider a conversation with Naomi from Travel Associates who has 28 years of group travel experience and importantly, 13 years of arranging international seniors travel programs with DCMI’s Judy Martin for the SAGE International Study Tours.

Feel free to contact Naomi for your free consultation on 0411 264 241.