Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA MAR-APL 2018 Contents Tell us about your background and how you came to
My training is in finance and my first roles were within the
building construction and finance sectors.
I was ver y heavily involved in the early stages of urban
renewal within inner Brisbane and went on to lead the Urban
Renewal TaskForce for a number of years. I became involved
with a number of master planned communities and broader
social driven solutions for housing.
This planted the seed of my interest in the retirement
sector, which I joined in 2013 when I took on the role of
executive general manager at Aveo. My current role is as
CEO at RetireAustralia and I have ser ved as president of the
Retirement Living Council since 2016.
What would you most like to achieve as CEO this year?
Success to me means success for our RetireAustralia residents.
My goal is that ever y step of our residents’ and their
families’ journey when choosing, living in and leaving one of
RetireAustralia’s communities is as positive an experience
as it can be.
Last year, we made significant strides in enhancing our
customers’ experience, including the implementation of
a comprehensive new resident on-boarding program and
increased training for our key staff members.
For me, 2018 is about building on these initiatives,
continuing to improve them and keeping our residents and their
family members at the heart of ever ything we do. I personally
wish to have more direct engagement with our resident body.
I’m also looking for ward to some important milestones
in our growth business areas: breaking ground on our
first vertical village in Lutwyche, Brisbane and rolling out
RetireAustralia’s government-funded home care services across
our NSW and South Australian communities.
What are the big opportunities for your organisation
and the sector?
The big opportunity for our sector is the realisation that we
can do better. As president of the RLC, I’m passionate about
improving our sector and in 2018 that means delivering on our
eight point plan.
For RetireAustralia, I see an opportunity for us to better
ser ve our residents by providing them with the option of flexible
and quality care in their own homes within our communities.
Our care strategy is centred on listening to the customer’s
needs and desires. We’re also paying close attention to
learnings from New Zealand where has been integrated into
communities successfully over the last decade.
To better ser vice more of our residents, we aim to expand
ALISON QUINN, chief executive
of RetireAustralia, talks about the
challenges and opportunities facing
her organisation, and leadership in the
retirement living sector.
our home care offering to our Sydney and Adelaide villages
What keeps you awake at night?
Our residents, first and foremost, and whether their needs are
being properly met.
Spending time in our villages, talking to our residents drives
home that each one is unique.
As an organisation and a sector, we need to provide more
choices to reflect this individuality and enable residents to live
on their own terms.
How do you deal with stress? How do you support
your executive team through reform?
My family keeps me balanced. To them, I am a mother and a
wife first and last, and I need to leave my work at the door.
As for our executive team, I strongly believe that high
performance comes when the individual is able to separate
and balance work demands from the demands (and desires) of
home. Time has to be found for each.
Investing in both is what makes my team members better
people and contributors to our business. It’s also what makes
us human, and in our business we need to have empathy
for our residents and their families so we can create better
environments and experiences.
What’s the best advice you’ve received as a CEO?
Good leadership is an act of constant communication, and
that the role of a CEO can be lonely and you need to prepare
What qualities make a standout retirement
Empathy. As this sector transitions from being “property
based” to ser vice based, our leaders need to have customers at
the centre of their thinking.
The human element of retirement living is what sets us
apart from the general property sector.
This past year we were delighted to have two of our
village managers recognised with the NSW/ACT Village
Manager of the Year award. I strive to follow their example
and believe ever y leader in our business and sector,
regardless of their role, will achieve better outcomes for
residents by doing the same. n
‘We need to
32 | MARCH – APRIL 2018
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