Western Australia’s Nikki Dhawan has been named Leading Age Services Australia’s (LASA) Retirement Village Manager of the Year for 2021.
Dhawan, who manages Bethanie Warwick and Joondanna retirement villages, was chosen from an outstanding group of four finalists, which also included Julie Renshaw, Stephen Pether and Lyn Ferguson.
Praised for her ability to cultivate connections with everyone she comes in contact with, Dhawan was also commended for recognising that keeping her residents connected to the external community is fundamental to ensuring they can maintain their independence and stay at home for longer.
She was also lauded for introducing an openness and transparency where residents felt acknowledged, listened to and respected.
The award presented each year by LASA promotes and recognises excellence across what is a diverse and dynamic field of endeavour.
It also acknowledges leadership and creativity which engages residents and enriches their lives.
LASA General Manager Policy and Advocacy Tim Hicks said Dhawan was an outstanding example of leadership in providing the best experience for older Australians living in a retirement village.
“Age services, and in particular retirement living, thrive on the connection to community and Nikki Dhawan shows how a good leader can develop and maintain that sense of community so that residents remain engaged,” Hicks said.
“LASA congratulates Nikki on receiving this well-deserved award and wishes her further success in retirement living management.”
Hicks also acknowledged Renshaw, Pether and Ferguson, and said they, along with Dhawan, were able to rise to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and deliver excellence in age services in their communities.
“They are all great role models and their examples of leadership are what is needed.”
LASA Retirement Living and Seniors Housing Principal Advisor, Paul Murphy, said Dhawan is a deserving winner.
“She has developed a strong sense of community and trust amongst residents since joining Bethanie in 2015 and has made significant improvements to five of Bethanie’s 11 Retirement Village sites,” Murphy said.