Mercy Community Services

To support and inspire people in need to live healthy, connected lives within inclusive communities.

Our Board

The Mercy Community (MC) Board of Directors is comprised of practitioners from a wide range of professional fields.

Dr Lee-Anne Perry AM
BEd(Hons) MEd Syd, DipCL BIF, EdD QUT, FACE, FACEL, GAICD, JP (Qual)

Dr Lee-Anne Perry AM is currently the Executive Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. Dr Perry has had a long career as a Catholic school and education system leader including 25 years served as a Principal. During this time Dr Perry has enjoyed a long involvement with a number of Mercy ministries.

Dr Perry has extensive experience with boards in the not-for-profit sector. She is currently a member of various National Boards and committees including the National Catholic Education Commission, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Council, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) and the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board.


Natalie Smith
(Deputy Chair)

Natalie has 30 years’ experience in the leadership and governance of strategy execution. She is an experienced corporate advisor, particularly in the area of digital transformation, with deep expertise in technology, change management, risk and governance.  Natalie’s previous executive roles include Partner in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory practice and establishing the Chief Delivery Officer role for Queensland Health.  Prior to that, she led and grew technology consulting services for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and a national consulting firm which was subsequently acquired. Her experience spans most industries, with emphasis in Health, Education and not-for-profit organisations. She is an advocate of realising human potential, building diverse and high performing teams and innovative flexible work practices. 

Natalie is currently a member of the Finance, Investment and Property Board for Uniting Church Queensland, Chair of QUT School of Management Industry Advisory Board and Adjunct Associate Professor at the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership.  She is in the final stages of a PhD, researching the role of corporate leadership in transformation outcomes. 

Lynn Smart

Lynn is an experienced company director, business and accounting professional with a strong commitment to quality community service provision in a transforming health and disability sector. She is outcome and customer focussed, gained from a commercial sector background including significant mergers and acquisition exposure. Lynn’s substantive profession has been in senior management and accounting roles within organisations and later as director of her own consulting company.

Lynn is currently an independent director of Holy Cross Laundry Ltd, a subsidiary of the Mater Hospitals and Health Services. She is also an independent director of Zarraffa’s Coffee Group Pty Ltd. Her prior directorships include Queensland Irrigation Scheme LMA Stage 3 board on behalf of the Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply, Open Minds Australia Ltd and the Anywhere Theatre Festival Ltd.

Lynn holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and has been a CPA for more than 20 years. She also holds an MBA from the University of Queensland and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Gail Davidson

Gail has worked in management for over 40 years. She has worked in the disability sector for over 26 years at Executive level and has been responsible for the provision of a range of services for children and adults. She has managed the establishment of new services in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

Gail has been a member of Government Boards and Committees such as the Inaugural Chair of the Regional Disability Council CQ, the Disability Council of Queensland and the Complaints Management Quality Committee, providing advice to the Minister on issues relating to people with a disability and their use of Government services.

Gail has also served on the Board of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund under Treasury, which recommends the distribution of government funds to community organisations to assist them to meet community need. She has presented papers at the Australian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability Annual National Conference and has been a member of the Queensland Government’s “CQ - A New Millennium Project” and the Gladstone Foundation.

Julie-Anne Schafer

Julie-Anne Schafer has experience in diverse and highly regulated sectors including financial services, infrastructure, member service, health and transport. She has ASX, unlisted public company, government and advisory experience. She is currently a director of Av Super, C S Energy, Urban Utilities, Catholic Church Insurance and Chair of the National Injury Insurance Agency Qld. She is President of the National Competition Council.

Her Committee experience includes Audit and Finance, Risk, Investment, People, Remuneration and Nomination, Governance, Culture and Remuneration. She facilitates in Risk and Strategy for the Australian institute of Company Directors.

Peter Forday

Peter Forday joined the Mercy Community Board in 2019 and is the new Chair of the Mission People and Culture Committee. He brings to Mercy Community his commitment to human rights, social justice and community cohesion; and a relational approach that is calm, respectful and personable.

Since 2010, Peter has been a sought after independent consultant offering facilitation and performance coaching for clients seeking better ways to engage, develop and lead others.

His work is based on a 35 year career that has included roles ranging from direct service delivery, program and policy development, and management through to executive leadership roles at CEO and Board level. He has worked within and alongside community, government and private industry on issues including disability, refugee settlement, diversity and inclusion, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliation, child protection, youth justice, crime prevention, health, housing, employment, education and sport. He has been highly successful in building strong, innovative and high performing teams and work places and in facilitating powerful alliances between diverse individuals and groups.  

Peter was a recipient of a Premier’s Scholarship to participate in the inaugural Harvard based Queensland Leadership Program delivered by Social Leadership Australia. He is also an alumnus and faculty member of the Alliance for Leadership Learning's Executive Challenge Academy, an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with Griffith University, and Chair of Multicultural Australia, Welcome Sports and the Police Ethnic Advisory Group.