IRT tackles challenges head-on
IRT Group held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, marking the end of the most challenging year in its 51-year history.
The not-for-profit retirement living and aged care provider grappled with catastrophic bushfires on the NSW South Coast, storms in Queensland and, by late February, a global pandemic.
IRT CEO Patrick Reid said the team rose to the challenge, with deeds of great courage, extraordinary stamina and an unbeatable team spirit.
IRT operates 31 retirement villages, 21 aged care centres and five home care regions in NSW, South East Queensland and the ACT. During 2019/2020 it provided accommodation and/or care to more than 9000 residents and customers, supported by 2800 employees and almost 600 volunteers.
“In the face of great adversity our employees and volunteers have shown incredible resilience as they continue to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our residents and customers,” Mr Reid said.
“The bushfires in January threatened seven retirement villages and seven aged care centres and one site, IRT Dalmeny, had to be evacuated. Our frontline employees demonstrated tremendous bravery and selflessness to keep our residents and customers safe when many of their own homes and families were under threat.
“Through the COVID-19 pandemic all of us – from our Directors and Executive team to our frontline employees – have been united and intensely focused on doing everything within our power to keep our residents and customers safe.
“We’re pleased that, to date, we’ve had no outbreaks at any of our retirement villages or aged care centres and we’re determined not to let our guard down.”
The difficult operating environment led to a worse-than-expected financial result, with the organisation recording a $20 million underlying loss, mainly due to the costs of managing the bushfires and the pandemic.
“In response, we have reduced our 2020/2021 capital expenditure by 50%, deferred major property development projects, and identified a range of other initiatives to make our organisation stronger and sustainable for the future,” Mr Reid said.
“Our organisation was founded in 1969 on the principle that older people deserve the best. That’s what we’ve worked hard to provide them with for more than 50 years and it continues to be our driving force.”
During the year IRT also:
- had a strong focus on bedding down the raft of changes required under the new regulatory regime introduced on 1 July 2019 as part of the Australian Government’s Single Aged Care Quality Framework
- completed Stage 1 of the Henry Brooks Estate at IRT Kanahooka retirement village, with the first residents moving in during September
- announced the development of Jasmine Grove, a new model for collaborative housing designed for women over 55 living on their own. Jasmine Grove will be incorporated in Stage 2 of Henry Brooks Estate
- secured two years of government funding for Booraja, a pilot project providing culturally appropriate home care services to South Coast Indigenous people.
More information is provided in the IRT Annual Report 2019/2020 available online at irt.org.au.
Media enquiries: Hannah Ellson 0429 361 627
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About IRT Group:
IRT Group is one of Australia’s largest community-owned, not-for-profit providers of retirement living, residential aged care and home care. With 50 years’ experience and locations throughout NSW, the ACT and South East Queensland, we employ almost 2800 people and play a significant role in promoting seniors as dynamic, influential and valuable members of society.