IRT CEO honoured with 2022 Harvard Club of Australia Ferris Family Fellowship

09 June 2022

IRT CEO Patrick Reid is honoured to receive the prestigious Harvard Club of Australia Ferris Family Fellowship this week. Patrick will attend the highly regarded six-day course Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management next month at the Harvard Business School in Boston, United States.

Patrick says he is enthusiastic about completing the intensive fellowship at Harvard and looks forward to returning to IRT with an action plan of peer reviewed strategic perspectives, practical frameworks and leadership skills.

“With the ongoing challenges of managing COVID-19 and adapting to reform of the aged care sector we are experiencing scenarios that would have once been considered improbable or even impossible,” Patrick said.

“I’m confident that the insights and lessons I gain from the fellowship will help IRT to produce additional concrete solutions that truly address the needs of older Australians in our communities.”

Each year since 2001, the Harvard Club of Australia with the support of the Ferris Family has funded two non-profit CEOs to attend the Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management program at Harvard Business School. Deborah Attard Portughes Chief Executive of Women & Infants Research Foundation is the other recipient of this year’s fellowship. Previous recipients include CEOs of Salvos Stores, Royal Flying Doctor Service and MS Research Australia.

Patrick expects what he learns at Harvard Business School to extend throughout IRT.

“My goal in attending this program is to re-invigorate the energy of our organisation and bring back fresh ideas and ambitions that will help IRT achieve improved impact and sustainability,” Patrick said.

“Being an aged care and retirement living CEO, I don’t often have the time to focus on my own professional development. I am grateful to have this chance now and am excited about the positive change it will bring to our employees, residents and customers.”

The fellowship comes at an opportune time for IRT as the organisation moves towards transitioning its current model of accommodation and care to one that better meets the changing needs and expectations of older Australians.

“We realise what people want as they enter their later years is changing and we are committed to ensuring our retirement villages and care services are designed for people to age-in-place and maintain their independence for longer.”

Patrick says that over the next 20-plus years, the organisation intends to gradually move towards an integrated village model, where aged care services are delivered in the resident’s own home, supported by smaller residential aged care centres, to care for residents where this is not possible.

“Both Henry Brooks Estate at IRT Kanahooka and our new development Elements at IRT Towradgi Beach reflect our move towards this future strategy,” Patrick said.

Both retirement villages located in the Illawarra prioritise industry-leading ageing-in-place design features. For example, bathrooms and kitchens at Henry Brooks Estate have been fitted out with modern and safe fixtures and fittings, with appliances installed at easy-to-reach heights and trip hazards minimised throughout the villas.

Some homes at the future Elements at IRT Towradgi Beach, will also have live-in care adaptability with an attached garage that has been specifically designed to be easily converted to carer’s accommodation should the need arise. Both villages also incorporate dementia-friendly design principles to further support people to age-in-place.

IRT is committed to continuous improvement and is always looking for ways to provide the best possible care and support for older people to ensure an optimum quality of life. Patrick says that attending the Harvard Business School this July will be a valuable contribution towards this goal.

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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 more than 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.