RSL Care + RDNS will now be known as Bolton Clarke.
The organisation was formed following a merger between the two organisations in 2015. Chief executive Stephen Muggleton said while the previous names served the respective organisations well in their own markets, the group faced difficulty when the brand names were operating in the same streams, and added that staff were working in the same places under different brands.
“We needed to position a new, elegant brand across the group for cohesion, almost to complete the merger but also, importantly, to position us to have the one brand across a range of different service streams,” Muggleton said.
The team looked to the history of both organisations to define the new brand and drew from its early leaders.
Philanthropist Lady Janet Clarke, born in 1851, became president of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (later RDNS) in 1889. Muggleton said Clarke opened up her home to serve meals to and support the sick-poor. “Supporting the sick-poor in Melbourne still remains in our group constitution today,” he said.
Lieutenant colonel William Kinsey Bolton, born in 1860, was a returned serviceman and Gallipoli veteran who in 1916 became the first president of the Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ League (forerunner of the RSL). Muggleton said there is still a ridge on the right flank of ANZAC Cove named after him.
He said the new name reflects where the organisation has come from but also positions it for growth moving forward.
Today, Bolton Clarke employs more than 6,500 staff who make over 4 million client visits every year in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and China and support more than 22,000 veterans annually and over 5,600 residents in retirement living and residential care communities.
Muggleton said both original organisations were unique, independent not-for-profits, as they had constitutions that enabled them to grow geographically and diversify different service streams.
“RSL Care did have community care, but had a very strong retirement living and residential age care offering, and had been wanting to expand south and rapidly expand community care,” he said. “By the same token, RDNS had this tremendous experience, depth, and history of community care and needed to expand north and also diversify. In many ways, it was just a really natural, synergistic fit.”
Bolton Clarke is starting to see the results of the merger and is able to scale a range of services in different geographies, Muggleton said.
“For example, we’re using the RSL Care building capability to undertake new integrated service developments in Melbourne. We’ve got a big integrated site coming out of the ground in Bundoora, another one in St Kilda and one in Box Hill, so we’re starting to use the residential age care in Melbourne. RSL Care has benefited enormously from some of the expertise that RDNS offers, both in terms of its research institute [now named the Bolton Clarke Research Institute], but also its training and community care expertise in Queensland.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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