Gold Coast identity and volunteer of the year, Jeff Burchell has embarked on a new challenge – turbocharging the social events calendar at his Miami retirement village to make it a top place to live.
As the convener of Breast Cancer fundraiser ‘Jog for Jugs’ on the Gold Coast and a long-time volunteer at the Mermaid Beach Bowls Club, the retired real estate agent and volunteer of the year recipient is no stranger to putting on a good event.
But he’s really upped the ante after boldly declaring that putting on first-class events is part of his quest to make his new home, The Verge, the ‘Number 1’ village in the portfolio of its operator, Retire Australia. It’s a mission that really kicked into gear on June 17, when Jeff and the social committee hosted a grand event to celebrate The Verge’s first birthday – just six months after he suffered a major stroke.
There was live music, hot canapés, custom bar and grazing table. Jeff even thought of a theme – black and white with a dash of colour!
“It was a grand event for everyone in attendance, including Federal Member for Moncrieff Angie Bell and Gold Coast Councillor Pauline Young,” Jeff said.
Maureen and Jeff Burchill with Cllr. Pauline Young
“We’ve already had some great social events for Anzac Day and Mother’s Day, we have Christmas booked at the Burleigh Heads Golf Club and we have the best happy hour on Sunday afternoons, plus craft and card games."
"It’s all about creating an inclusive social calendar where no-one is excluded, and everyone has a lot of fun.”
RetireAustralia’s CEO Brett Robinson also attended the birthday celebration, along with about 60 residents and several future residents who have put their names down for Stage 2 of the village, which is now selling and will boast 66 spacious apartments.
Angie Bell MP (Federal Member for Moncrieff), Jeff Burchill (Chair of The Verge Social Committee) and Brett Robinson (CEO RetireAustralia)
Jeff and his wife Maureen moved into The Verge in March, two months after Jeff suffered a major stroke that caused him to go blind in one eye and left him with limited vision in the other.
The care and support offered at The Verge gave Jeff peace of mind in knowing that if something ever happened to him then Maureen would be taken care of and part of a like-minded community.
The location also meets the needs of Jeff and Maureen - it's a short distance from the bowls club, where Jeff has volunteered for five years as chairman, and is not far from their daughter and two grandsons.
Jeff and Maureen’s lives have been centred around giving to their community. Maureen was heavily involved in her two daughters’ education and their broader school community, running playgroup, canteen and fundraisers. Jeff was awarded Mid Gold Coast Volunteer of the Year in 2021 and has been recognised by the Breast Cancer Foundation for his ongoing work with Jog for Jugs on the Gold Coast after his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Naturally, it didn’t take Jeff long to jump into the role of Social Committee Chair at The Verge. Nor did it take him long to sign off his emails with ‘The Verge – No 1 Village’!