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Nellie Melba: The retirement village that teamwork built

Written by Michael Cummings
on June 19, 2018

When you walk onto the building site of a Ryman Healthcare retirement village the first thing that strikes you – apart from the sheer scale of the endeavour – is the number of different moving parts.

There are different people working on their own discreet tasks, but it requires a Herculean team effort for everything to come together cohesively.

There’s no better illustration of that than at Ryman Healthcare’s Nellie Melba site in Melbourne.

With just weeks until the first residents move into the retirement village, the construction team is in full swing as they approach the final phases of the build.

“There are so many different components to a job this size, and everyone needs to be aware of where their piece of the puzzle fits,” says regional construction manager Martyn Osborn.

“And even more important than getting the job done right, is getting the job done safely. Everyone needs to know not just what their role is, but how it relates to the rest of the team so we’re all rowing in the same direction.”


At the heart of every effective team is good communication, and the Nellie Melba construction crew is no different.

Led by project manager Travis Cocks, the construction team relies on having a clear plan that everyone is aware of.

“We’ve got to be constantly talking to each other about how different parts of the job are progressing, where any challenges might be, and make sure the different phases of the build are flowing as well as possible,” Travis says.

That requires teamwork.

“We’ve got a great bunch who are all working not just for themselves, but for each other. At the end of the day we all want the same outcome: a great place for residents to live that’s built safely and on time.”

While teamwork underpins their success, the Nellie Melba construction team wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective without one key ingredient: strong leadership.

Travis has provided that, culminating in his nomination as just one of three finalists in the ‘Leader of the Year’ category at this year’s Ryman Awards.

It’s a credit to him, but he’s the first to admit he’d be nowhere without the dedication and professionalism of the team members he leads.

“It’s always nice to be recognised, but it’s really a reflection of what the whole crew has worked hard to achieve.”

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