Managing a retirement village is a busy job. Long hours, competing priorities and lots of paperwork. But Gordon Andison (pictured above) loves every minute.

“I don’t see it as a job. I see it as giving back to the community. You meet lots of amazing people. What some of them have done in their lives is incredible. It’s a real privilege,” Gordon says.

Running Anglicare’s The Ponds Village, in Sydney’s north-west, requires sound admin skills, project management nous, and a big dose of flexibility and empathy, he says.

“You need to be a people person. There are significant relational aspects to this work. Residents often discuss personal health concerns or want to talk to me to gain a better understanding of village processes, maintenance issues, or they’re even just seeking advice about almost anything, lifestyle-wise. People ask you lots of things.”

He sees his role as primarily being a matter of smoothing out the bumps to offer residents a carefree lifestyle. That can take many forms from liaising with the Retirement Living Coordinator to deliver the village’s vast array of activities and events, to organising health support services, dealing with maintenance issues, and welcoming new residents into the community.

“If someone goes into hospital, for example, we have a registered nurse who can talk to them and facilitate care when they come home. We do a whole bunch of stuff like that.

“We don’t have a huge number of staff but we’re in the background and, if they need us, we’re here.”