Joining hands to create harmonious villages

Members of the Board of the NSW Retirement Village Residents’ Association (RVRA) recently met at Living Choice Glenhaven, which is home to one of their committee members and Past President, Jim Gibbons.

The committee members took the opportunity to tour the village and meet with Living Choice’s Regional Manager, Gail Eyres. Gail said it was a constructive meeting and that she welcomed the opportunity to forge closer ties with the RVRA which has members in almost 300 NSW villages.

“Most reputable retirement village operators are members of the Retirement Living division of the Property Council of Australia and Living Choice is represented on the national council and state committees. It’s very valuable for us to network with other operators, attend their training courses and conferences and also learn from each other,” said Gail.

“Just as we have the opportunity to be supported, it’s important for residents to also have an association to support them,” she added.

Lynne Edwards, RVRA Marketing Officer, said the aim of the RVRA was to help residents to live in a happy, harmonious and financially stable retirement village through information, advice and support about management, budgets, residents’ committee procedures and resident entitlements.

“We also work on behalf of residents to help ensure a positive outcome for issues arising out of the Retirement Villages Act and Regulation,” she added.

“When we make that momentous decision to `up-sticks’ and move to a retirement village, part of the choice we make is to secure peace and serenity as we age, surrounded by friends, family and community. We buy into a lifestyle where there will be time to sit and smell the roses – we hope!

“We do not have a crystal ball which allows us to see what that future might hold – perhaps it is wise to take out a little reassurance by joining the RVRA?”

Lynne said the RVRA was a not-for-profit volunteer association that was overseen by a Board comprising retirement village residents. “They have seen it all. They know the problems – and the positives. By joining the Association, you can gain advice and support, access to information on your rights and obligations, the role and responsibilities of Resident Committees, plus you can help strengthen the advocacy role of the RVRA.”

RVRA Members have full access to the Members’ Section of the RVRA web site, a library of Information Sheets and Guides, a twice-yearly Newsletter and the Monthly Bulletin which includes topical items of retirement living interest. Members also have access to the RVRA Members’ Enquiry Line which puts members with problems in touch with one of the Board members for advice.

Lynne said prospective residents could join the RVRA as an Associate Member, and change to full membership after moving in. Managers of Retirement Villages are also able to join as an Associate. Join on the website or ring 1300 787 213 (option 2).