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Canberra retirement village manager in running for national award

Creating a strong sense of community for residents has been one of the hallmarks of Susan O’Neill’s role as the manager of the Ridgecrest Retirement Village in Page.

Now Ms O’Neill has been officially honoured for her achievements, announced as the NSW/ACT winner for the Programmed Award for Village Manager of the Year. She is now a finalist for the national award, which will be announced in November 2018.

Ms O’Neill has managed the 127 unit village on behalf of Stockland since 2014.

The village also includes a community centre, and Ms O’Neill’s work in leading the improvements to the centre was a significant factor in her award win.

Working with the village committee, she put forward her ideas for the improvement of the community centre to become a warmer and more welcoming space that would attract greater patronage from village residents and become an extension of their homes.

A variety of improvements have been made, ranging from upgraded furniture to new lighting and audiovisual equipment, as well as improvements to the hairdressing salon, billiards room and the creation of a library.

As one resident noted: ‘Susan has rejuvenated the community centre and it’s used constantly by the residents”.

She has also been recognised for going above and beyond for village residents, often doing things in her own time outside of traditional working hours.

Residents highlighted her tireless support for their social club fete as one example, as well as her work in strengthening the links between the village and the Belconnen community.

In her addition to her efficient management of the village’s business affairs, Ms O’Neill has been awarded for the strong rapport she has established with her residents.

“We are very blessed to have her as a manager here at Ridgecrest. She does a wonderful job helping to make happiness and contentment for us at this stage in our lives,” said another resident.

The National Retirement Living Awards recognise the contribution and achievements across all areas of the retirement living sector by the people and companies helping ensure senior Australians have an enjoyable retirement.

The national award winners will be announced at the National Retirement Living Awards Gala Dinner in Canberra on 29 November 2018.

More information is available at