Press Release : 14 May 2021

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, congratulates Julie Renshaw, Stephen Pether, Lyn Ferguson, and Nikki Dhawan on being named finalists for the Retirement Village Manager of the Year 2021.

The award aims to promote and recognise excellence across the diverse and dynamic fields of endeavour in the retirement living industry. It recognises leadership skills and the ability to run a community which engages residents and enriches their lives.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney praised this year’s finalists for their exceptional efforts to keep their communities engaged during a particularly trying year as they faced the challenges presented by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m pleased to congratulate our finalists, all of whom are excellent role models for age service managers, both in retirement living and also across the breadth of age services provided by our Members,” Mr Rooney said.

“These examples of leadership are what is needed, and what the community expects, from age services across Australia.”

Julie Renshaw – Long Khanh Lake Front Village, Toukley, NSW

After years working in banking and retail, Julie switched to events management which led her to a career in aged care, initially in diversional therapy, before managing her first Village. Julie is Manager of the 100-home Long Khanh Lake Front Village at Canton Beach on the NSW Central Coast, which is part of RSL LifeCare. The Village provides serviced apartments and independent living units not only to veterans but to all senior citizens to, as Julie says, “enrich the lives of veterans and seniors and create connected, supportive and vibrant communities”.

Stephen Pether – Bolton Clarke Rowes Bay Retirement Village Manager, Qld

Colleagues describe Stephen as a warm, enthusiastic and engaged village manager who takes a genuine interest in residents’ needs, from the sales process through to moving in and becoming part of the Rowes Bay community. He is proactive and goes above and beyond every day (and often on weekends and holidays) to create a genuinely caring and supportive community. Stephen partners with residents to create a connected community. He is held in high regard by his colleagues, residents and the wider community and has fostered excellent relationships with stakeholders including the local council, clubs and organisations.

Lyn Ferguson – Bethanie Group Elanora, Qld

Lyn fosters a culture of mateship, unity and selfless care for those who are lucky enough to reside at Bethanie Elanora. While operating on a restricted budget, Lyn’s creativity and energy has created meaningful and wholesome experiences for her residents. She prides herself on being able to “just do what I do and get on with the job”, while giving priority to the Elanora community’s safety, happiness and comfort. She began with Bethanie as a personal assistant in 2004 and became Manager in 2011. She is modest, selfless and a vital member of the wider Bethanie community.

Nikki Dhawan – Bethanie Warwick & Joondanna, WA

Nikki manages two different Retirement Villages; Bethanie Warwick and Bethanie Joondanna. Since joining Bethanie in 2015, she has made significant positive changes within five out of Bethanie’s 11 Retirement Village sites. With a knack for cultivating connections with everyone around her, she knows that keeping her residents connected to the external community is fundamental to ensuring they can maintain their independence and stay at home for longer. Before Nikki came along, both the Warwick and Joondanna sites lacked a real sense of community and residents were unengaged and felt unheard.

The winner will be announced on Thursday 10 June at this year’s LASA National Integrated Seniors Housing (NISH) Conference 2021.

You can register for the Conference here.

Media contacts: Nick Way or Kate Hannon 08 6311 7809 (24 hours)

LASA is the national association for all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living/seniors housing. Our purpose is to enable high performing, respected, and sustainable age services that support older Australians to age well by providing care, support and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion – always.

We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 56%  of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 36% are for-profit providers and 8% are government providers.

Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.


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