Village managers: our smooth operators
Village managers are the oil that keeps all Aura Holdings’ retirement communities functioning well and running smoothly.
Moving into a retirement village and downsizing can be a challenge involving selling the family home with all its memories and sorting through a lifetime of possessions. But during this moving process the benefits of a village manager become very apparent when they swing into action to help you settle into your new home. They can help organise a downsizing professional, suggest a removalist, transfer your phone and other services, and introduce you to all your new friendly neighbours.
There are many strings to the bows of our village managers who act as the legal representative of Aura Holdings, the owner and operator of the villages. Their roles are varied and they need to be trained in everything from fire safety and evacuation procedures to occupational health and safety, privacy laws, food handling, and the Retirement Living Act. Village managers deal with any maintenance issues that might arise in your apartment or around the village. They can also organise social activities and events, but the single goal of all village managers is to support their residents.
Mandy is the fun and friendly Village Manager of The Avenue Maroochydore, who thrives on the interaction and relationships with her residents. During the Covid lockdown in March, Mandy kept her residents entertained with activities such as Balcony Bingo, calling out numbers using a loudspeaker in the centre courtyard while residents stood on their balconies.
“It’s always been my goal to serve my residents better and create a community that is vibrant, happy and welcoming,’’ Mandy says. “It is infinitely rewarding watching The Avenue’s residents settle in, make new friends and thrive with a sense of positive sense of belonging. It can be a demanding yet such a rewarding job. I love it!’’
John, the Village Manager of Aura Holdings’ inner northside Brisbane community, The Atrium Lutwyche, says managing the small, boutique community community allows him to form strong relationships with all his residents.
“Focusing on residents' individual needs is very important to me so they can live their best lives at The Atrium,'' says John who has a strong background in retirement living management.
"It can be very daunting moving from a home you may have lived in for several years and downsizing to an apartment but I am here to make the move as easy as possible for new residents. I show them how everything works in their apartment and around the village, and introduce them to all their friendly neighbours.
“Our onsite cafe, Sano, is a big attraction and I always see the residents in there meeting up for morning tea or having lunch together.''
Meg is the Village Manager of the Kingsford Terrace Corinda community in Brisbane’s western suburbs. Meg says village managers must be good problem solvers. “Each village has its own personality just like the managers. We wear many different hats in one day and no day is the same.
“We take the hassle out of everyday challenges that can become overwhelming as we age. We’ll look after those small things like changing a lightbulb or getting the dishwasher repaired.
“During Covid our residents felt protected and safe. We vetted all who came in and had contact tracing sorted. Aura was well equipped and agile in response to Queensland Health updates, implementing strict measures, providing regular updates and advice. I think this quick response by all involved was key to helping our residents feel safe and connected.
“As village managers we are discreetly aware of our residents’ health status and know who needs a bit more checking on. This was really important during Covid. A few residents felt a little anxious during the lockdown, and not being able to see their kids or grandkids took a toll, but being in the village surrounded by their friends and the wonderful team here really buoyed their spirits. It was a great effort from everyone. I loved how we all came together with kindness, empathy, support and a good dose of humour to balance what was happening in the world outside.’’
Find out more about living at an Aura Holdings’ village at (07) 3397 2930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.