Finance Retirement HESTA in groundbreaking dementia village investment

HESTA in groundbreaking dementia village investment

HESTA dementia village.
HESTA will invest in a ground-breaking village for dementia sufferers. Photo: Getty
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HESTA has taken the front foot in dealing with the growing problem of dementia with a $19 million investment in the country’s first purpose-built village to cater for those living with the condition.

The $25m ­Korongee village complex in the Hobart suburb of Glenorchy, will be a joint venture between industry super fund HESTA, Glenview Community Services, a not-for-profit aged care provider, SVA and the Commonwealth Government.

The greenfield site in the Tasmanian suburb of Glenorchy will have 15 demographically tailored homes set within a small town context complete with streets, a supermarket, cinema, café, beauty salon and gardens. It aims to recreate real experiences for people living with ­dementia to keep them engaged and stimulated while providing the care they need.

The investment was made through HESTA’s $30 million Social Impact Investment Trust, which is managed by Social Ventures Australia (SVA). The fund aims to invest in opportunities that deliver both an appropriate financial return and a measurable social impact.

The design of the facility is based on a typical Tasmanian cul de sac streetscape that allows residents to feel at home and wander freely within a safe and supported environment.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said HESTA was making a positive social impact in areas such as the lack of social and affordable housing and homelessness, and now the pressing need for high-quality dementia care. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in the nation.

Without a medical breakthrough, it’s expected that by 2056 the number of people living with dementia will increase to over 1.1 million Australians. “The demand for dementia care across Australia is outstripping the available supply of services and facilities,” Ms Blakey said.

“This investment will help provide a world-class facility for the local community and benefits our members by earning a return, while also piloting a model for investing in Aged Care that could attract other large investors to this space.”

The investment in Korongee represents the single biggest investment to date from the Social Impact Investment Trust, which is Australia’s largest dedicated social impact investment fund.

Ms Blakey said that the investment represents a fantastic example of the exciting collaboration between the $40 billion industry super fund and the sector it’s dedicated to, health and community services.

“We heard about the great work Glenview was doing and, because HESTA has a specific focus on identifying investment opportunities in our sector, we were able to explore how we could support this fantastic project,” Ms Blakey said.

Glenview CEO Lucy O’Flaherty said the Korongee village concept draws on a range of international best practice models, particularly the dementia village of De Hogeweyk in the Netherlands, while contextualising this into a uniquely Tasmanian experience.