Retirement villages are not new. They have been a part of the accommodation mix for older Australians for a very long time, but have gained popularity and market variations over the past 30 years.

It could be argued that retirement villages have been around for centuries. Royal Freemason’s were providing cottages for older Australians back in 1860. The house “Morven” at Morven Manor was built in 1888 and in 1951 “Morven” was purchased by the Brotherhood of St. Laurence as a holiday home for elderly people needing a change of sea air. In 1980, Morven Manor was purchased to establish one of the first retirement villages in Victoria.

As the industry grew in size, the need for an authority body became prevalent when after an informal meeting in 1982, the first retirement village association was formed in Victoria and was officially incorporated in 1986.

In 1987, New South Wales formed an association and the first combined meeting of the two state associations was also. This led to a conference that was held in Sydney in 1988 with representatives from both Victoria and New South Wales.

Tony Baldwin and Bruce Walker were the first presidents in New South Wales and Victoria respectively and Queensland and Western Australian associations were established soon after, followed by South Australia.

The Retirement Village Association (RVA) was established in 1989 to act as the peak body to represent the interests of retirement village owners and operators across the country.

In 2002, the RVA was incorporated for the purpose of establishing a single national association. All existing state associations gradually folded their activities into the one association and the RVA became a truly national organisation.

In 2012 the RVA merged into the Property Council to become a powerful force for industry as the Retirement Living Council. Today, the Retirement Living Council and its representative members in the Property Council is the single voice representing retirement living providers who offer an exceptional lifestyle currently enjoyed by more than 184,000 Australians.