LASA 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.”

Nikki Dhawan – Bethanie Warwick & Joondanna, WA

Nikki manages two villages – at Warwick and Joondanna – and has made significant positive changes to five Bethanie sites since joining the company in 2015. With a knack for cultivating connections, Nikki knows that keeping residents connected to the external community is fundamental to maintaining their independence. Before Nikki came along, the Warwick and Joondanna sites lacked a sense of community and residents were not engaged and felt unheard.

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

After years in banking and retail, Julie’s aged care career began in diversional therapy prior to managing her first village. Julie is Manager of the 100-home Long Khanh Lake Front Village at Canton Beach, which is part of RSL LifeCare. The village provides serviced apartments and independent living units which, 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 becoming part of the Rowes Bay community. He is proactive and often works on weekends and holidays to create a genuinely caring and supportive community. Stephen 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, WA

Lyn fosters a culture of mateship, unity and selfless care for residents at Bethanie Elanora. While operating on a restricted budget, Lyn’s creativity and energy delivers meaningful and wholesome experiences for her residents. She prides herself on being able to “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.

The winner will be announced on Thursday 10 June at this year’s LASA National Integrated Seniors Housing Conference 2021. You can register for the conference here.

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