Category: Director’s Blog

Oak Tree Hits The High Seas

Oak Tree Director Mark Bindon was delighted to announce the lucky winner of a 7 day cruise along the northern coast of Queensland.

The lucky Park Avenue resident won the cruise after entering a village wide competition held within the Oak Tree Group.

Both Manager Robyn Stewart and Melissa Luck were on hand to offer congratulations to mother and daughter who will enjoy the P&O Pacific Dawn Cruise Departing March 2013.

We look forward to sharing photos of the trip upon their return.

Congratulations ladies – enjoy!

Grandkids Always Welcome

With school holidays upon us again, I was reminded about the importance of embracing family in our villages.

Life in our villages is not just about sharing retirement years with others at a similar stage of life. It’s just as much about allowing family to participate in parents’ and grandparents’ lives. In all our villages, there are many opportunities for family to get involved in village events. This may take the form of morning teas, art shows and lessons, garage sales, birthday parties, Christmas Carols….the list goes on. Our residents have the time and opportunity to involve their families in their lives – there are facilities that can be enjoyed by families whilst visiting their loved ones. It’s always amazing to me how residents welcome others’ family members. Many have commented on how nice it is to have grandchildren around during school holidays in the villages.

Of course the other benefit of living in an Oak Tree Village is that you decide to travel to see family then everything is taken care of whilst you are away. No coming back to lawns that need mowing, garbage that’s gone off, lost mail, vandalism etc – we will look after the place whilst you are gone. It’s great peace of mind for our residents and makes the decision on travelling that little more easy.

We have a number of open days coming up in the next few weeks. Cairns, Warwick, Goodna, Yeppoon will all be scheduled. If you think you may like to see what it’s all about then come along – you might be surprised.

Until next time…
Warm Regards


A Dedicated Team

We recently decided to provide information on our website about our staff. This has been done in a similar way to our Resident Profiles where we get know a little more about our residents. It’s important for prospective residents to get a sense as to why people are coming to join the Oak Tree Community. It’s such a big decision for people to make that we believe the insights from existing residents go a long way to allaying fears and giving people comfort with their decision, and importantly, that others have made the move before them.

Our staff are such an important part of our success. As you get to know them, you will see that all of them have spent time in several villages to fill in for sick Managers. The great thing about this is that our staff broaden their skills, but perhaps more importantly, get to know more residents and understand their needs, ambitions and interests. Hopefully that allows us to make improvements to enhance the quality of life for our residents.

We have a number of Open Days coming up – if you’d like to attend, please give us a call so you can get the details. Many of our Head Office staff will be in attendance so if you do make it along, spend some time talking with our staff – many of them have been with us for some time – they’re experts in having a chat, a bowl or a game of pool if you’re up for it! Most are fairly good on the food as well!

For us at Oak Tree we are always looking for ways to improve what we do – we are committed to making a difference.

Come and see for yourself…
Until next time,

Warm Regards


Yeppoon Capricorn Coast Launched

Oak Tree was delighted to receive notification from Rockhampton Regional Council during the last week that its second village in Yeppoon has been formally approved. This gives Oak Tree the opportunity to make another 62 villas available to seniors in the Yeppoon/Rockhampton catchment. If all goes according to plan, we should see works commence on site inside the next two months.

Providing a retirement alternative for regional markets is what drives us at Oak Tree. In many instances, people are faced with the prospect of having to move away from their home in order to find suitable accommodation. We are doing our best to alleviate this problem. Certainly in Yeppoon now, another batch of villas await those seeking to downsize and improve their lifestyle.

Of course the success of our Rockhampton and first Yeppoon villages prompted us to investigate another Yeppoon project. With Oak Tree Yeppoon basically sold out, the time is now right to expand our offer in this fantastic coastal town. Rockhampton seniors are also welcome to investigate this option through Robyn (our Park Avenue – Rockhampton Village Manager) and Tarnya (our Yeppoon Village Manager).  As I write, we are investigating options for a second village in Rockhampton with our first project selling out some years ago.

I recently had a glimpse of some preliminary information from the 2011 census that we all took part in. Not surprisingly, the number of people over 65 in Australia is expanding rapidly – far faster then village development is occurring. Unfortunately this will mean that many will be without a suitable place to go when the time comes to seek more manageable housing options.

If you’ve been thinking about a change for some time, then maybe this is the right time to call us…we’d love to help.

I can’t believe September is upon us. In no time we’ll be talking Xmas activities – time flies!

Until next time, warmest regards


Bon Appetito

Oak Tree had the pleasure of hosting an Italian Luncheon for 120 seniors at its village in Warwick QLD this week.

In almost picture perfect weather, Oak Tree served up a traditional Penne and Bolognese feast as part of Seniors Week celebrations. Oak Tree staff began preparations in the early morning to make sure the 12pm deadline was met…and it was!

We also had the pleasure of hearing some fine musicians during the afternoon – Ralph and Victor De Pasquale travelled up from Brisbane to play their traditional Italian pieces and add a bit more spice to the Italian theme. All in sundry were unanimous in their appreciation of their performance – the boys were well supported by Irene who came up from Stanthorpe for the day. Many thanks to them all. Some of the songs are still going around in my head!

This is the second year now that we have hosted this event – it represents a wonderful opportunity for Oak Tree to give back to the community that has supported us since we opened our doors to Warwick Seniors. The event also allows our current residents to showcase their home – at Oak Tree, we believe that villas become homes once people move into them. Our residents add their personal touch to not only their villas but also their gardens. We are constantly amazed at how villas transform to homes – it really makes our villages a great place to live and gives us, at Oak Tree, a great deal of satisfaction.

Our staff are also a big part of these events. Many thanks to James and Jenny (our Warwick Village Managers) as well as Christy, Tarin, Mel and Michelle from Head Office in Brisbane. It’s important to us at Oak Tree to have interaction between our staff and our residents whenever possible. This allows everyone in our organisation to be exposed to, and understand, the needs of our residents.

If you missed out this year, jump in early next year when we issue the invitation. Not only will you be well fed but you’ll have  a great time and see first hand the great lifestyle our residents enjoy.

If you can’t wait until then, call us and arrange a visit to the village anytime. This goes for all of our villages – from Cairns to Hobart and many places in between. Browse the website to see if there’s a location that appeals to you.

Until next time…

Warm Regards

“Racing” into Senior’s Week

Oak Tree had pleasure in hosting the annual Ladies Race Day in Warwick QLD last Saturday. The event proved a great success despite a chilly south westerly blowing during the day.

It was fabulous to have most of our Oak Tree Warwick residents in attendance. Oak Tree sponsored two races on the day and everyone had the chance to punt. I’m not sure how they all finished up in that respect but I didn’t do well – maybe next year!

Sponsoring such events is an important focus for Oak Tree in our regional locations. Our residents are almost always local people who have worked and lived in the town or city for most of their lives. Sponsoring an event like this gives Oak Tree an opportunity to give something back to the community and support the city’s endeavours.  As I write, Oak Tree is fully engaged in Senior’s week around QLD. The next week or so sees us engaging in local activites, hosting events in our Community Centres and supporting the seniors in our local catchments.  Oak Tree is much more then a place to live…it’s a place where our residents can continue to connect and participate in their communities. On the 28th of August we will host, cook and serve some 120 seniors in our Community Centre in Warwick – the theme is Italian and, like last year, we are hoping it will be a roaring success. It’s just another way to give back to the local community.

Moving to Oak Tree doesn’t mean losing touch with your friends and family. In fact, it provides a great opportunity to strengthen those bonds – our villages are always frequented by family and friends. Many of our residents have come to the village on recommendation from an existing resident. Of course you can come and inspect the village at any time, but what better way to enjoy the lifestyle then with friends and family?  Sharon Rankin along with her husband Ron will welcome Sharon’s mother, Grace, to their village in Warwick this week – what a great story!!

Until next time

Mark Bindon

Reflecting on Great Lives

This week we were saddened to lose two of our much loved residents; Harry Frost in our Warwick village and Walter Vanhelderen from our Skye village. Our thoughts go out to their families and their friends in this difficult time.

Whilst death greets us all at some point in time, we should take the time to reflect on the great lives these men had and the positive effect they had on their family and peers. As members of our Oak Tree communities they were able to share their life experiences with other residents and staff of the Oak Tree family. Our staff love the opportunity to interact with our residents who have wide and varied pasts and life experiences. We will certainly miss them both.

One of the differences for us at Oak Tree is taking any opportunity to be in the villages and spend time with the resident group. This is important for all of our staff, not just the Directors. In this way we provide a learning experience for our staff as well as recognising the contribution to life that our residents have made over their lifetimes. Open Days and village events provide this great opportunity and will always be a part of the Oak Tree way.

Being a predominantly regionally focused business allows us to provide an independent retirement option for people outside of the metropolitan environment. Of course we do have 3 villages in the metro areas and these provide a great option for people living near by.

The problem we often see in the regional areas though is a total lack of retirement accommodation. This has meant historically that seniors have had to leave the area to seek a retirement village lifestyle. Whilst this makes sense in some instances (moving to be closer to family elsewhere) in most instances it is extremely challenging. Our experience at Oak Tree is that, generally, seniors want to remain in their home town or city. This is where their family often resides, their friends, their local GP, their bowling club, their favourite shops etc. Moving can be a dramatic experience if it means moving (not by choice) outside of their local community. More importantly though, the loss of these people means a bit of the town dies with their moving away. At Oak Tree, our aim is to prevent this from happening as much as we can.

We are doing our best to open options for people in regional locations on the eastern seaboard of Australia. Places like Townsville, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Warwick, Brisbane, Armidale, Inverell, Tamworth, Dubbo, Orange, Newcastle, Kingston Tasmania and Taree. These are live projects – we will be adding to this list in due course. Take a look around the website and see if something appeals. We’d love to help you find an option that makes sense for you.

Until next time.

Warmest Regards


Olympic Community

I dont know about you but I love the Olympics. As a child I watched in awe as athletes from all over the world competed on the world stage. When I was younger the 4 years between Olympics seemed to take an eternity. As an adult though they come around so quickly – it only seems like yesterday that our athletes were in Beijing China. I’ve always admired our athletes who represent our country so well, the great majority relying solely on hard work and determination. Being Australian, and proud of it, helps too!

The Olympics is really a  world community event held over a couple of weeks. If you get a chance to speak with an Olympian, they will invariably say that the Olympic village where the athletes reside has a wonderful atmosphere and community spirit. Apart from the competitive element of the Games, the opportunity to connect with other people is a highlight.

It’s a bit like out villages. People from diverse backgrounds coming to share their experiences in a community environment. It’s also about taking time to reflect on the benefits of living in this great country. As I travel around our villages I am always amazed at how new villas are transformed into homes. Watching people take on new interests for the first time in their lives is also very fulfilling – how can they do this? Because THEY CAN at Oak Tree.

Enjoy the Olympics – if sport’s not your thing then maybe marvel at the fact that we can bring so many people together for a few weeks when our differences are put to one side.

Come and visit us at an Oak Tree Village to see if what we offer appeals to you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Go the Aussies!
Mark Bindon

Director’s Blog – FISHING FEVER

Saturday saw our inaugral “Oak Tree Classic” fishing day at our Warwick village in QLD.

Despite a windy day we had a great roll up of aspiring fishing enthusiasts – all ages were represented which was great to see. There were a large number of prizes on offer, most donated from local business’ and supporters, and the fish were a bit quiet but lucky for us, some were unlucky enough to be caught. Congratulations to Keith (the brother of village resident Daph Cross) who took out the prize for the best catch in the over 55’s age bracket. The biggest catch of the day, unofficially, was young Toby who caught a 45cm yello tail – Well done!

The day was really about enjoying the great outdoors on the banks of the picturesque Condamine River. The Oak Tree Village is very fortunate to have this famous river running on its land and just a short walk from our Community Centre. It was great to see families enjoying the location and just relaxing. Of course a day like this would not have been complete without a BBQ lunch which was enjoyed at teh Oak Tree Community Centre – Franco, as usual, was taking prime position at the BBQ, sampling all the fare!

Special thanks to our staff who brought the event to fruition – Mel and Gary from head office, and of course our Village Managers, Jenny and James.

Make sure you look out for the event in 2013 – it’s bound to be bigger then ever! And take a look at some of the photos by visiting our Warwick Village Page.

It is great to see activities like this in the villages – it really is what the Oak Tree lifestyle is all about. Why don’t you call us to see for yourself.