Year-end interviews with aged care leaders: Darren Birbeck – Resthaven

Darren Birbeck Chief Executive Officer, Resthaven

As part of our end-of-year reporting, Inside Ageing is currently asking CEOs and leaders from across the aged care and retirement living space for their views on the year that just was and expectations for 2024. If you would like to share your views email our news desk:

Q1 What was your highlight/s for 2023?

In February 2023, Resthaven acquired twelve retirement villages from ACH Group, which increased Resthaven’s retirement living portfolio by 40%.

This year, we focussed on investing in our workforce. We have refreshed our recruitment and retention systems and processes, and established a variety of well-being initiatives and leadership development opportunities for staff. Our inaugural Team Talent Showcase, held in May, was a chance for employees from across Resthaven to come together to participate in a unique professional development program.

We are already seeing the dividends of this investment through a reduction in turnover and fantastic results in our most recent climate survey.

Our digital transformation project, called Ignite, is nearing its completion, with the implementation of the final stages of our community services system. This follows the successful implementation of our new Recruitment and Onboarding system and Procure to Pay solution.

Q2 What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

In 2024, I am hopeful that the green shoots that the Minister spoke of at the ACCPA conference continue to grow. It has been a challenging few years with COVID and the ongoing reform. We are looking at realising some of the benefits generated by the reform.

We are also looking forward to the completion of the redevelopment of Resthaven Bellevue Heights, which is currently undergoing a $27 million transformation at 47 Eve Road, Bellevue Heights. The works are currently scheduled for completion in mid-2024 and will achieve a consistent high-quality standard across the entire home.

The $46 million redevelopment of Resthaven Westbourne Park is also well underway, and due to be complete in 2025.

Q3. What books will you be reading over the summer holiday break?

I listen to a lot of audiobooks during the year, usually related to learning and professional development. To be honest, I haven’t got too much reading lined up for the summer break. In my spare time, I prefer travel books and historical fiction.


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