Community at the heart of village life at RetireAustralia
FOSTERING a sense of community and belonging is at the heart of RetireAustralia's ethos, and is an integral part of its five established retirement villages across Queensland.
To instil community, RetireAustralia ensures each village offers a diverse social and activities calendar, with multiple opportunities for connection through shared interests, hobbies and a sense of purpose.
Each community is unique, so the villages' activities and facilities are specifically designed to suit their residents, personality and location.
For instance, Cleveland Manor offers twice-weekly happy hours, fortnightly fish and chip nights, dancing, shopping trips, and monthly dinners.
Neighbouring Wellington Manor hosts regular trivia nights for up to 100 residents and their friends, while its croquet green and putting green are social hubs for residents.
Meanwhile, Carlyle Gardens in Bargara has a popular community garden that yields fresh produce for residents.
Noyea Riverside, on the banks of the Albert River, offers tennis, bowls, darts, and Friday night happy hour, while residents at Toowoomba's Drayton Villas enjoy the community arts and crafts area, indoor heated pool and spa.
"One of the most important things we can do is create an environment where our residents are empowered to live full and vibrant lives," said Simon Fawssett, Chief Operating Officer at RetireAustralia.
"When they have something new and interesting to discover, such as designing a community garden, residents are more engaged with each other, with their community and with the RetireAustralia family."
Alan Mallet, who calls Drayton Villas home, was actively involved in his village's award-winning Carnival of Flowers submission last year. Having always lived on a couple of acres with no-one close by, he was initially concerned about having neighbours.
"But it's a good community," he said. "I've got great neighbours and we all look out for each other. I go walking in the evenings after dark in the village - you feel safe in the community here."
His favourite memory is meeting his fellow residents. "It's like you've come into a place where you know nobody but in a very short space of time you've made friends."
Nick Caris, who celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year at Cleveland Manor, agrees: "Our lives are inextricably entwined with the lives of those around us and it's nice to be in a place like Cleveland Manor with security and friendliness that makes it all worthwhile."
"There's a feeling of belonging. You can't put a price on it."
If you would like to find out more about the Queensland villages, visit RetireAustralia.com.au