A $19 million investment from an industry super fund has helped an innovative dementia care village open its doors in Tasmania.
In development with HESTA, not-for-profit aged care provider Glenview and Social Ventures Australia (SVA), the Korongee Village in Hobart will pioneer a new approach to care for people living with dementia, the second leading cause of death of Australians.
HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said the opening of the village is a significant milestone towards better care for those suffering with dementia in Australia.
"This world class facility is a huge step forward for dementia care in this country and puts Australia and Tasmania at the forefront of a global push to improve the quality of life of those living with dementia," she said.
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"We hope our investment in important projects like Korongee encourage other large investors to contribute to Australia's impact investment market.
"This will make a huge difference in how we address significant social challenges like dementia, and also helps create jobs and opportunities for our members who work in health and community services."
The industry super fund has made strides in impact investment in the last five years, launching a $30 million Social Impact Investment Trust in 2015. It has since grown its commitment to $70 million, which it says aims "to catalyse the development of the Australian impact investment market".
"The trust looks to encourage other institutional investors to make their own impact investments by demonstrating a proven track record of scalable investments," HESTA said.
According to the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, the local impact investment market has more than tripled over the past three years to almost $20 billion.
"If even a tiny slice of our almost $3 trillion super industry start investing for impact it will make a huge difference to tackling big social challenges like dementia," Blakey said.
The Korongee Village features 12 houses in four cul-de-sacs, a community centre, gardens, general store, cafe and wellness centre.
"The unique design of Korongee, and the way its residents are cared for, is centred on evidence that supports small house living," Glenview chief executive Lucy O'Flaherty said.
"An important element of this model is including familiar sights and natural spaces which can have a huge impact on overall happiness, health and wellbeing."
There are currently 459,000 Australians living with dementia.