Updates from the Ryman community

Nellie Melba

Making a Mark at Nellie Melba

Written by Michael Cummings
on August 13, 2019

Managing a Ryman retirement village requires a rare mix of skills and experience not many people have.

Mark Owens is one of the few.

Nellie Melba’s new village manager has 30 years’ experience in the hospitality and events sector, where he held a number of high-level business, leadership, sales and service delivery roles.

He has led hospitality management at multiple AFL Grand Finals, Boxing Day test matches, the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.  


His most recent role, with American hospitality organisation Delaware North, saw him leading head office functions, including procurement, marketing, business development, construction, assets, remote mining camps and travel hospitality sectors.

“I think a lot of the ingredients that go into those roles that I had previously are similar to the ingredients that are required here, because you’ve got some residents and customers and facilities and teams and all of those complexities.”

After having success at the highest levels in his previous career, Mark felt “there wasn’t much more I could do”.

“At a particular age milestone I thought I can either look forward to the next X number of years and continue to sort of go around the block with the same kind of work, or I could take a step out and into what I think is a somewhat related but new and challenging field.”

Cue the opportunity to lead Nellie Melba.

“This role had various components – retirement living, the aged care, the development phase – all of those ingredients there that I felt confident I could manage and at the same time teach them new things, challenge them in different ways and it’s been a great start.”

While Mark’s been on a steep learning curve since starting in May, he says he’s enjoying the different challenges and rewards of village life. 

The goal? Building Nellie Melba’s reputation as the first choice for anyone looking to work, live, or be cared for at a retirement village. 

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