Ben Myers: why I have resigned as Executive Director of the Retirement Living Council

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Ben Myers said it was his decision alone to resign as Executive Director of the Property Council’s Retirement Living Council (RLC).

“There is not a right time to do these things but to me it is as good a time as any to make the move and make way for a change,” he told The SOURCE.

The retirement sector is, according to Ingenia Communities’ Chairman Jim Hazel entering a “golden decade”, with the ageing population, helped by the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing large scale development and high occupancy rates.

Ben said it was time for the Retirement Living Council to have “fresh energy”.

It was in June 2017 that ABC’s Four Corners’ “Bleed them until they die” eroded public trust in the retirement village sector.

Ben said it is a highlight how he supported members overcome the “reputational changes” the TV show presented, and to look at where the industry is now.

“Back then the operators were focused on the built form, but now we see them trying to extend care to their residents. This is now a far larger part of what a retirement community can deliver,” said Ben.

Ben Myers at the National Retirement Living Conference on the Gold Coast last month.

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said Ben’s final day is 23 September, although he will stay on if required.

“Ben joined us in 2016 as just our second Retirement Living Executive Director,” Ken said.

“Early in his tenure Ben was confronted with an industry reputational crisis, ignited by the 2017 Four Corners investigation. He and then chair Alison Quinn led the industry’s strategic response to this, including through the creation and implementation of the Retirement Living Council’s highly effective eight-point plan (which fast tracked a set of enhancements to the sector which had been debated for a decade), and the successful Wise Move communications campaign.

“Special recognition must also go to crucial work that he and current chair M-L MacDonald led with members to keep highly vulnerable retirement living residents safe through the depths of the pandemic.”