Vale Zig Inge AM – Pioneer of the retirement village

We have only just learned that Zig Inge died at home a month ago yesterday, aged 96.

He came to Australia from Latvia in 1949, aged 22.

Zig was an early pioneer of the modern retirement village industry. Between the late 1970s and when he and his family sold the Zig Inge Group in 2007, they created 19 villages with over 3,000 homes.

He is largely credited with the concept of structuring village contracts such that residents would pay a lower entry deposit for their village house and only pay the accommodation component when they leave the village – the concept of management fees deferred.

Zig was also known for his deep respect for the residents. He insisted on calling residents Mr. or Mrs. (or Mrs.), even though he knew them well, and he personally attended every budget presentation.

It was also the first to introduce resident managers.

After the sale of the group to a consortium backed by Macquarie Bank (named Retirement Villages Group – RVG), he felt that the focus on the welfare of residents had been somewhat lost in the “corporatisation” of the village. ‘industry. To demonstrate this, the family bought Prospect Hill Village in Camberwell, 9km east of Melbourne’s CBD and reintroduced their personal management style, which continues today.

Zig was also passionate about philanthropy. His Zig Inge Foundation, founded in 2008, focuses on funding community groups whose activities are designed to have a positive and lasting impact on the well-being of various less privileged groups and communities.

He has actively supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience.

Zig was awarded the Order of Australia in 2012.

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