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 Julian 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!’’
Clint Tingey, Village Manager of Aura Holding’s newest community, The Atrium Lutwyche in Brisbane’s inner north, says he has developed genuine connections with his residents.
“Being a village manager means the residents have someone they can chat with face-to-face if they have any issues and they won’t be speaking to a stranger on the end of the phone. They also won’t need to deal with contractors or service providers, I can organise all that.’’
The Atrium welcomed its first residents in February. “After moving in I was able to dispose of all the residents’ rubbish associated with packing and moving. I think that was a major benefit to many of them. I also could explain how everything worked in the apartment, including appliances,’’ Clint says.
“I worked in commercial property management for many years but there was never an opportunity for strong relationships with people. I have a real connection with all my residents and it’s more like a mini family. They really appreciate the service I provide. They know they have someone on site and they can call on me out of hours if needs be.’’
Meg Williams 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 email@example.com.