Annual General Meeting, 23rd October 2019
I extend a very warm welcome to all those who have chosen Allambie Heights Village Ltd. as their new address. To the families of those who have left our care this year, I extend my sincerest sympathy.
Allambie Heights Village Ltd. is a Company that does not rest only on past achievements but seeks to improve and become a reformer in the Retirement Village and Aged Care Industries. Our aim is always to put our residents’ interests and care at the forefront of all that we do.
One highlight among many this year was my attendance along with the Chief Executive Officer and key management personnel at a Leaders’ Summit held in Sydney over two days. Meeting with Industry representatives, exchanging ideas with over 600 delegates from Australia and overseas gave us the opportunity to network with colleagues, discuss new directions and due to our Chief Executive Officer’s Presentations, to put Allambie Heights Village Ltd. very definitely on the Industry map as an achiever.
When one sees so many representatives come together and the current Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in progress, one hopes that the Industry could put forward its views to the Government bodies who are continually moving the regulation goal posts.
‘Allambie Heights Village Ltd., a reformer in the Retirement Village and Aged Care Industries’
I would like to compliment Ciarán Foley for his professional presentation at the Leaders’ Summit and can assure you that our Chief Executive Officer is held in high esteem.
Several staff education sessions have been arranged by management this year. Following adverse media publicity of alleged resident elder abuse in some residential aged care facilities across Australia, three half-day ‘Protection of Older People’ sessions were conducted by Rowena Henderson, Trauma Therapist and Trainer. The training covered the definition of elder abuse, compulsory reporting, identifying the indicators and understanding the various categories of elder abuse as well as managing disclosure and protecting the older person.
I attended one of the training sessions and was impressed by the professional delivery and the staff’s active participation.
Jim Murray, our Residential Aged Care Facility Manager has continued to give information updates and training directly to our staff. Training sessions were held to assist staff to understand and deal with the new Australian Government Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s 8 Standards and 42 Requirements which came into operation on 1 July 2019. I attended one of these sessions with Director Chris Bennecke.
Staff retention remains high with almost 20% of staff having reached 10 years service or more to Allambie Heights Village Ltd. We have an excellent record of keeping people safe and all staff are committed to a robust workplace, health and safety environment.
Occupancy at Allambie Heights Village, Retirement Village has been 100% over the past year and William Charlton Village, Retirement Village is approaching full occupancy. It is to be foreseen that occupancy of Allambie Heights Village Residential Aged Care Facility can fluctuate when residents depart. Any occupancy shortfall has been compensated by provision of respite care until rooms become permanent. It is encouraging that after respite care, some people would wish to return to us at a later date.
‘Staff retention remains high with almost 20% of staff having reached 10 years service or more’‘
Financially this past year, the Company has remained in a good position. Despite the fluctuating global markets, our investment portfolios have performed positively and our revenue from our operations have been healthy. The Treasurer and the Chief Executive Officer provide more information in their reports.
Improvements have been made to the presentation of William Charlton Village following significant building renovations over the past year to benefit all residents. We look forward to landscaping the gardens which will also offer a wonderful aspect to residents and to the local community.
We are also looking forward to the commencement of building our innovative and aesthetically designed new Retirement Village which we refer to at the moment for planning purposes as ‘Allambie Heights Village Ltd. Project 2’. This is located on the green fields site to the West of William Charlton Village. This construction has been only delayed by Council’s bureaucracy in processing final approval.
‘Delayed by Council’s bureaucracy’
During the year, we received positive publicity on many fronts including within the Industry and on Television. We were featured as one of the first Operators in Australia to use PainChek’s innovative software to diagnose pain in residents of our residential aged are facility who have difficulties communicating. This has assisted greatly in providing appropriate health treatments to benefit those residents, staff understanding behaviours and to reductions in medication levels being prescribed by resident general practitioners.
‘Government bodies who are continually moving the regulation goal posts’
The Board of Directors continues to meet on a monthly basis and is joined by our wealth/financial manager advisers quarterly.
I would like to thank my fellow Directors for their dedication to the Company’s governance and for their willingness always to envisage a long-term future for the residents of Allambie Heights Village Ltd. Their participation in Company activities with residents and staff is also commendable.
There are many people who make this Company a happy and safe place to be by their daily attention to detail. I express the Board’s appreciation to Patricia Cearnes, Retirement Living Manager and her team for arranging the refurbishment and marketing of village apartments. I also thank her for her many hours spent with prospective residents across all our operations and for arranging the financial contracts for our residents.
To Jim Murray, the Board thanks you for your active staff training, management of the residential aged care facility and the glowing reports we hear from relatives about your compassionate care.
To our Maintenance and Housekeeping staff, thank you for the way you keep our buildings, rooms, offices, resident communal facilities and grounds looking so well to benefit our residents, staff and visitors.
To our registered nurses, care, recreational and other staff, thank you. You keep the reputation of our residential aged care facility on a daily high and we appreciate all that you do.
To the Residents Committee, we are grateful that you provide the channel through which residents can express their views or concerns.
All of our ongoing innovations, construction and future planning reflect the dedication and hard work of Ciarán Foley and his Management Team. Our Chief Executive Officer is enthusiastic and action orientated and we thank him.
In the coming year we will continue to analyse and prioritise our performance giving our residents the optimum care and security and we will endeavour to become a reformer in the positive journey of ageing.
‘Exchanging ideas with over 600 delegates from Australia and overseas’
Before I conclude my report and in view of the increased media coverage of the Aged Care Sector, I would like to briefly outline the role of your Board.
We are that group of people you rarely see on a daily basis. This is not about praising our work but just for residents’ understanding and assurance about our role.
The Board’s role is one of governance, that is being oficially responsible for directing the affairs, policies and economy of an organisation and ensuring that we maintain our licence to operate.
We are responsible for identifying risks and approving long-term goals.
The current Board adheres to the Corporate Governance guidelines and recommendations. We focus on the duty of care and security of our residents in all decision making. In short, I guess the current Board’s values can be summarised in the following headings:
- Duty of care always;
- Integrity in decision-making, reaching solutions that are safe and reliable and cost effective;
- Shaping tomorrow for future residents;
- Work transparently and collaboratively with Government regulators for our mutual benefit;
- Respond to a changing environment.
Your Directors are chosen to ensure a skills mix of people from diverse backgrounds and qualifications (as seen in the Annual Report) in order to benefit from their expertise. They give their service in a voluntary capacity.
The role of Management is in the hands of the Chief Executive Officer who is answerable to the Board and reports on a regular basis in detail.
The Board has the end line answerability under the Law.
You can have faith in the performance of your current Board as we continue to take steps to ensure the right outcomes for us all now and for residents in years to come.
Thank you for your attention.
Board of Directors