IRT's $20m boost for aged community

Nieves Murray launched the IRT Community Foundation on Thursday. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Nieves Murray launched the IRT Community Foundation on Thursday. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Illawarra-based seniors lifestyle provider IRT will distribute $20 million in grants to improve the lives of older citizens in the community.

The organisation has announced it will relaunch the IRT Community Foundation and return $20 million of its profits to the community over the next five years.

The IRT Group is rapidly expanding nationally with $175 million in development under way including a 100-suite care centre at Tarrawanna to be opened by Christmas.

A development application is also about to be lodged for a 75-unit extension to Howard Court in Wollongong's CBD.

The move to relaunch the IRT Community Foundation is part of a new strategic plan and vision statement called Towards 2020.

IRT chief executive Nieves Murray said the $20 million would be used to help make a positive difference to the way older people were considered in society and to help the less fortunate.

The IRT Community Foundation, previously a research foundation, will be officially launched at a dinner on October 1, coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.

After funding considerable research into ageing over the past five years, the new foundation will build on IRT's commitment to enrich communities with three priority funding programs:

  • A community grants program to fund local initiatives that improve the lives of older people.
  • An education and advocacy program to influence policy and decisions that affect older people.
  • A research program where IRT will continue to fund important research into ageing.

Ms Murray said the vision of the IRT board and management team was ambitious but achievable.

The aim was to ultimately change people's perceptions of ageing and create new opportunities for older people.

The Towards 2020 strategic plan was a road map that would set out the direction towards achieving such goals and had been developed with input from all aspects of the group's operation.

Ms Murray said she was looking forward to seeing funding requests when the IRT Foundation called for submissions early in 2015 for projects that would enhance people's lives.