“During my first trip, I made some enduring friendships, from the second trip I formed business relationships, those friendships and business association links are critical to the success of the business I work in. At first glance the tours appear expensive but the tours open doors that you never knew existed, you will meet people you would otherwise would never meet and you should never regret taking the tour.
“The tours are really well organised and structured and you get to meet people and visit facilities that you would never be able to do on a private trip.”
Alan Waters, the General Manager, Operations for Anglican Retirement Villages in New South Wales
“On my tour of South Africa recently I was amazed because we saw some of the best and some of the poorest conditions for older people that I can imagine, however we also saw some amazing examples of really good care, even in the poor facilities.”
“In South Africa I saw some of the most primitive conditions of aged care that I have ever experienced, but what I also saw in those places was some of the best person centred care I have ever seen. We in the west have so much to learn and relearn from places like Emseni in South Africa about how they support and look after older people in their societies with few resources.”
Andrew Larpent, CEO of Southern Cross Care, South Australia.
“We see SAGE as a wonderful opportunity for our staff to continue research and development into new technologies and design; to form close working relationships with industry CEO’s and senior management, it also gives us opportunities to link closely with aged care and retirement living peak bodies. That’s all good for business. These trips give us a great perspective on what is happening in the aged care sector around the planet.”
“Another area that is critical for Thomson Adsett is technology in aged care. It is advancing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up, so travelling on a SAGE Tour is a great way of seeing first hand new ideas at work and then being able to talk those ideas through with fellow industry travellers to see whether they would work in Australia.”
Chris Straw, Managing Director, Thomson Adsett.
“I know that SAGE is unique. I have been running SAGE tours since their inception 10 years ago, and participated in over 20 trips to 12 countries. Tour delegates constantly tell me that SAGE has a wonderful reputation overseas amongst many international associations and aged care and retirement living providers.
We have great tour partners and connections both here and overseas, we have incredible links in many countries. We are also looking forward to our new incoming tours for those who want to visit the best that Australia has to offer.”
“2016 is our tenth anniversary and it’s a time for celebration, because I don’t think I can remember any of the trips I have organised that were not well received or received high level evaluations.”
Judy Martin, the International Program Manager for SAGE Tours
“I was a part of the SAGE Tours that have visited the United States. I think the key difference that SAGE has, is when tour participants see first-hand an organisation working, wandering the halls, talking to senior executives, staff and residents, understanding why they made certain decisions, how they work, how they deliver care, looking at the place of care, looking at service models, and staffing programs, there is nothing like that available except on a SAGE Tour.”
“There have been so many powerful presentations that SAGE tour delegates see, but for me one of the most powerful thing that happens is the blending of cultures, of experiences and of different approaches. At a recent conference in Perth, WA, I listened to a Sister Lucia from a remote aged care facility in South Africa bring her audience to tears as she described the daily work schedule and care routines she and her staff do. We all thought how lucky we were, but she was also uplifting. A SAGE tour has visited her facility and that experience has changed the lives of many tour delegates.”
Katie Sloan, IAHSA Executive Director from the USA
“Even though our budgets are tight, the investment in sending senior staff on a SAGE tour is worth every cent. My trip in 2013 has saved us ten times the trip costs because we haven’t made as many mistakes that we might otherwise have. As a small provider we are more flexible than our larger counterparts, so I was able to implement many changes to our management processes as soon as I got home.”
“I chose to go on a SAGE Tour when the industry here was in the midst of the ‘Living Longer, Living Better’ change process in 2013. I thought we really needed to get out of our local headspace and see how others have handled change and how we might do things differently. I was excited about what I saw because my staff said after the first few days of the tour I was sending an avalanche of emails back, talking about exciting new ideas and management practices we could implement!”
“It isn’t a holiday, they are long days, it’s mentally exhausting and draining, but it’s also exhilarating and wonderful. At the end of each day I was on a high and knew that I was on the money back home. For me it was an affirmation that I was on the right track. It was so good for me that I now send my senior staff on the tours. My network of contacts from around the country and the world is critical to how I run things here, I couldn’t do without those people.”
Lucy O’Flaherty, the CEO of Glenview, a small not-for-profit in Hobart, Tasmania.
“Our organisation is a private aged care operation, we have five facilities and we plan to expand the business to 1000 beds in five years with a focus on innovation, dementia care and best practice.
Once I heard about SAGE Tours, it was a no brainer to book on a tour and look at innovative ways to deliver quality of life services.”
“For me like almost everyone who goes on these tours, the contacts and networks I now have are invaluable, they are just wonderful. Last year I went to Denmark and Helsinki and I plan to go again because you build key relationships with people at your level and beyond, it is so critical to our future success.”
“I have to share with you that I have been on another study tour, run by a different company and the reason why I will continue to go back to SAGE is that their tours are focussed, full of variety, professionally run, extremely well organised and you continue to learn what is happening overseas. There is no other tour that is aged care and retirement living specific that can compare with SAGE.”
“If I was talking to a group of aged care executives thinking about overseas study travel, I would say pick SAGE, no one else does it as well. I would also say that every aged care and retirement living CEO needs to do at least one SAGE study tour. It’s money well spent, it’s a good investment. The tour organiser Judy Martin is so good at what she does, she is talented with great connections and when you do a tour you can see the work that has gone into the focus and organisation and I really appreciate that.”.
Madeline Gall, CEO of Lifeview in Melbourne
“I run an allied health services company in the aged care space, so our story is somewhat different to most SAGE Tour participants. Our business provides allied health care on contract to aged care providers; physiotherapists, podiatry, speech pathology, dietetics and occupational therapy. So why did I decide to book on a tour? We spend a lot of money every year attending trade shows and annual aged care conferences, so we thought why not try direct contact with the people we provide services to on a tour instead of a trade show, I have to say so far it has been a stunning success. Early days yet but all the signs are remarkable really.”
“It was our intention to pick up ideas when on the SAGE tour, on things like service provision from Swiss perspective. We are now exploring a different method of providing allied health services based on what we saw in Switzerland. None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t booked on the tour. I have now booked our CEO to go on the next trip to Boston and the US, it will be fascinating to see what comes of that trip.”
Nick Heywood-Smith, CEO of Wellness and Lifestyle Aged Care Services
“Initially I thought SAGE tours were not for me, then after talking to some of the tour participants I changed my mind and thought this is a really good idea. And it is! So off I went to the USA and the AHISA conference. I can’t tell you how rewarding that trip and others have been. It’s changed the way we do things here at San Carlo, but more importantly it’s changed the way we designed and built our brand new dementia specific wing. It’s also about building contacts globally at my level, so if I can share a good idea I have with someone else that makes the whole aged care sector a better place to be.”
Rhonda Joiner, CEO/DON of San Carlo a small stand-alone aged care facility in Melbourne.
“SAGE tours are a unique opportunity for aged care providers and other industry stakeholders to experience aged care on a global scale. While it provides an insight into the standards, technology and development by other providers, it also facilitates discussion on employing a global model of care which allows more nations to collaborate to implement technology across the industry on a global scale and that’s good for everyone.”
Sam Samuel, Joint CEO/Owner of Grace Villa
The Global Leadership Retreat gave me what I hoped for and so much more! In our busy lives we don’t take the time to stop and reflect, that is exactly what the retreat allowed me to do.
It was a truly amazing 2 ½ days with outstanding facilitators and exceptional leaders openly and frankly sharing personal and heartfelt experiences and learnings.
It allowed me the time to reflect on the importance of leading from ‘who you are and where you are’, and the significant power of words and attitude. I gained a few new tools and strategies in my tool box for my quest to be the best leader/person I can be.
It was an uplifting experience and a privilege to share this with some of the most passionate leaders in aged care.
Jackie Howard, General Manager Active Living, Anglicare, South Australia.
One of the founders of SAGE Tours.
“The atmosphere on these tours is just terrific. Everybody’s buzzing with ideas of how everything they’ve seen can work back home. The SAGE study tours have become an essential part of our industry in linking service providers with innovative international ideas and practices. Building new connections, professional networking, visiting and learning from world-class facilities; all of these activities will ensure Australian providers can access and implement world’s best practice here at home.”
Former ACAA CEO and Co-Founder of SAGE Tours, Rod Young.