Warrigal Wins National Award for 'Aged Care Provider of the Year'

Warrigal is a not for profit organisation providing residential aged care, home care, club connect and retirement living services to thousands of customers each year. Warrigal has supported older people to create inspiring communities for over 50 years across 13 locations from the coastal areas of the Illawarra to country towns in the Southern Highlands.

Warrigal was recently awarded the ‘Aged Care Provider of the Year’ National Award at the Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) National Summit at Darling Harbour on the 5th of September 2018 after winning the NSW/ACT award in July 2018.

Warrigal 1 Winner Provider of the Year Warrigal team

The Warrigal team celebrate their ‘Aged Care Provider of the Year’ National Award at the ACSA National Summit awards ceremony in Darling Harbour. (Warrigal team left to right): Leanne Taylor, CEO Mark Sewell, Chairman Wyn Janssen, Shiva Gopalan, David Macdonald, Susan Tracey, Helen Newman


The award recognises Warrigal’s outstanding leadership, management, workforce culture, innovation, communication and general excellence to the aged care sector and was presented in front of 900 industry leaders at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said the news was still sinking in that Warrigal had won the national award.


“It is such a great honour to receive such an accolade, especially as we were up against some very impressive not-for-profit organisations from across Australia”.


“To have an Illawarra-based company win this award makes it even more special – we’ve been operating here for over 50 years and to have our regional services across the Illawarra and Southern Highlands recognised at a national level really is a great achievement”, he said.


Mark said Warrigal was using the award to promote the great work being done in the aged care sector by our 900 staff and 350 volunteers who have worked together to achieve this recognition.


“This award is really one to be celebrated by our staff, volunteers and our customers and residents – who all want to achieve the same goal – older people in our region having great lives. That’s something which deserves to be celebrated”, Mark said.


Why we won - The Warrigal Way!


What is the Warrigal Way?

It’s something that’s been created over a number of years, built into our DNA. I really believe it comes from our origins in being established by a group of community-minded volunteers. Some of whom are still part of Warrigal today, like the inspiring Norm Rowland, still a volunteer at Warrigal at the mere age of 98! It means we have been a part of our community since day one, and this continues to be how we operate.


We are about to embark on a conversation with our community about what the Warrigal Way means to them. But for me, it is about putting older people first in everything we do; engaging them at every level of the organisation; smashing ageist paradigms and changing mindsets about aged care and retirement living; and building an intentional culture that celebrates all of this and more.


Warrigal 2 Winner Provider of the Year Warrigal NSW

Warrigal CEO Mark Sewell proudly accepts the ACSA ‘Aged Care Provider of the Year’ National Award on behalf of the Warrigal team. (Left to right): ACSA Chair Sara Blunt, Warrigal CEO Mark Sewell, ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow

It is also about the everyday little things that are vitally important: that we are all about fresh food and serving fresh food choices at every meal at every aged care home; delivering lifestyle and wellness programs with an emphasis on connection not illness; and building inspiring communities through an approach that enables people to create their home environment when they move in with Warrigal.


Then there’s the other details like the fact we are owned and governed by community volunteers, not rich investors! There are no shareholders, or bonuses or executive privileges. We have gold level environmental sustainability initiatives and a relentless search for innovative improvements with our university research partnerships.


But most of all, it’s that we create affordable, inspiring communities for older people with exceptional places and a compelling purpose…this is what makes the Warrigal Way.


When I show family, friends, colleagues and others through some of our homes and villages they are genuinely surprised. Often they say “This is not what I thought aged care was” – and that’s the response we want people to have when they come to our places. That’s the Warrigal Way.

Mark Sewell, CEO