Mercy Community Services

To support and empower those who are poor, vulnerable, marginalised or in a position of disadvantage

Our Executive Team

The Executive Team at Mercy Community Services (MCS) guides the delivery of programs and services across all MCS service streams. They act to ensure that MCS continues to be a leading provider and facilitator of quality, responsive community services.

Mercy Community Services Chief Executive Officer, Peter Sydes

Peter Sydes

Chief Executive Officer

When Peter joined Mercy Community Services as its Chief Executive Officer in 2011 he brought more than 20 years’ experience in the development of residential aged care services, retirement villages, community care and disability programs. Peter is committed to the organisation’s vision to be a leading provider of quality community services and his extensive experience makes him a valuable member of our executive team. 

Prior to joining Mercy Community Services, Peter was the Director of Residential Aged Care at Wesley Mission Brisbane, a Business Development Manager at Sodexo Australia and Chief Executive Officer at Edina Aged Care. 

In addition to his experience in aged care, Peter’s community services experience has extended to the areas of child protection, multicultural programs, and training and employment. Peter has also developed strong governance skills in the disability sector having served on the Board of the Queensland Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association from 2002-14, where he was Chair from 2007-14. Peter has held a Non-Executive Director’s position on the Board of an Information Technology company since 2011 and he is also a member of a private aged care provider’s Advisory Board. 

Peter’s exceptional people management skills mean he quickly and easily establishes empathy and trust with staff. He is committed to the personal development of people for whom he is responsible and values the contribution of all staff.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Business Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Peter and his wife live an active life and enjoy walking, attending sporting events and travelling. 

Mercy Community Services Executive Director Aged Care Services, Julie Purcell

Julie Purcell

General Manager Retirement Living and Aged Care Services

Julie joined Mercy Community Services as General Manager - Aged Care Services in 2014. In her current role as General Manager - Retirement Living and Aged Care Services, Julie is responsible for leading retirement living, allied health and aged care services aligned with the mission, vision and values of MCS and that demonstrate industry best practice. 

Julie has significant experience across the aged care and healthcare sectors.  She has worked in a number of senior operational and corporate roles including change management, information technology, education and business strategy. She has also managed her own consultancy business providing advice and leadership to a range of organisations. 

In her time at Mercy Community Services, Julie has led the aged care team through its successful triennial residential accreditations, the completion of the new Mary Damian Centre aged care home including relocation of residents from Wooloowin to Nudgee, and the implementation of a sustainable financial and staffing model for community and residential services. Julie is committed to ensuring our organisation’s values including acceptance, dignity and empowerment are central to the services we deliver. 

Julie is focussed on communicating a clear strategic direction that ensures integration and development of a diverse range of retirement, allied health and aged care services.  

In addition to her Registered Nurse qualifications, Julie holds a Bachelor of Education and Masters of Business Administration from RMIT.

Mercy Community Services Executive Director Family Services, Stephen King

Steven King

General Manager Families, Young People and Disability Services

When Steven King was appointed to the role of Executive Director of Family Services at Mercy Community Services in 2008 he brought more than 25 years’ experience in community services. 

In his current role, Steven is responsible for strategic advice and information to the Mercy Community Services Executive Team, and leading the Families, Young People and Disability Services portfolio in: the mission, vision and values; strategic and high quality operations of the service delivery; and communication and engagement of stakeholders.

Steven began his career in community services in the early 80s in a residential care program for young people in care. Prior to joining Mercy Community Services, Steven was Regional Manager at Anglicare Southern Queensland, where he managed residential and foster care programs, and he was later appointed as the organisation’s Executive Director. Steven’s extensive community services experience in management and service delivery has made him an important part of our executive team. 

Over his nine years with the organisation, Steven has grown the families division (formerly Mercy Family Services), increasing revenue from $11 million to the current $39.5 million. Under his leadership whilst growing and improving current services, he also diversified services to include the early intervention assessment and intensive support of families, a range of services to assist young people to exit care into independent living, and the primary counselling for families and community support hubs. Steven’s commitment to organisational continuous improvement and providing efficient and mobile systems for staff has led to the implementation a digital system for all records - client management, HR and an incident management. He has also led the development of a Research and Evaluation Team to develop a Model of Practice and the implementation of impact and outcome surveys, for all services.

As a champion of MCS’ Mission, Vision and Values, has led the strategic development of the Romero Centre as a community centre to support and assist refugees and people seeking asylum. 

Steven holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology and was a registered psychologist until he decided to focus on his career in management.

Mercy Community Services Chief Financial Officer, Stuart Dempster

Stuart Dempster

Chief Financial Officer

Stuart was appointed to the role of Chief Financial Officer at Mercy Community Services in late 2013. In this role, Stuart is responsible for Finance, Property and Procurement.

Prior to joining Mercy Community Services, Stuart was Group Manager of Commercial Finance at St John of God Healthcare in Perth, where he was responsible for the rollout of shared services for finance and related functions across the group. He also held the role of Chief Financial Officer for both Indigo Telecom Group and Guvera Inc, responsible for both domestic and overseas operations.  Stuart has worked at a senior level in Vodafone, Oracle, Virgin and Hutchison Three where he held senior finance line roles and consulting roles covering finance function optimisation, systems implementation and change management.

In his time with our organisation, Stuart has brought together the finance, property and IT functions of our service streams and worked with the wider organisation to make us one of the most financially sustainable NGOs in Queensland. Stuart is committed to supporting poor and disadvantaged parts of our community and has a particular interest in achieving outcomes for people living with a disability.

Stuart is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (CA) and is also a member of the Australian Institute of Taxation. His consulting experience reflects a strong interest in organisational and systems transformation for which he holds PRINCE 2 and Six Sigma qualifications.

Stuart moved to Brisbane from Perth with his family in 2013 and enjoys all kinds of sports – especially soccer – and is actively involved in his local community and church.

Mercy Community Services General Manager Mission Integration, Lisa Eastment

Lisa Eastment

General Manager Mission Integration

Lisa joined Mercy Community Services as General Manager Mission Integration in 2015. In this role Lisa leads the integration of the Catholic identity, traditions and charism of mercy within in all aspects of the organisation. In addition, Lisa strategically manages the Romero Centre for asylum seekers and refugees, as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy, pastoral care, leadership and formation of staff, social justice and advocacy initiatives.

Lisa has an extensive background in education both in the classroom and in administration Preparatory Year to Year 12, and Vocational Educational. Lisa has advanced and significant operational leadership skills developed through 20 years’ experience working at Board, senior management and operational levels in Government and Not for Profit sector leading key service areas. Lisa plays an integral role in our executive team. 

In her time at Mercy Community Services, Lisa has worked with senior managers to ensure that the mission and values of Mercy Community Services are alive and embedded in all levels of the organisation. Lisa is committed to ensuring that Catherine McAuley’s vision is kept central to all that we do at Mercy Community Services.

Lisa’s leadership style reflects a stewardship approach with a strong belief that good governance leads to good outcomes. 

Lisa is passionate about social justice and ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse groups and disadvantage communities have access to education, employment and advocacy services. 

Lisa holds a Diploma of Education Early Childhood, a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Arts Leadership, Practitioner for PRINCE 2 Project Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Lisa is currently engaging in a second Masters of Ethics and Law studies with a specialisation in Human Resources to further a personal passion. Lisa has served on numerous boards including the inaugural board chair of the Mercy Heritage Centre, Mercy Community Services Board, Chair of the Marlene Moore Flexi Schools Network Board and the Rosies Friends on the Streets Board.

Lisa and her husband Kevin have four children, and enjoy connecting with family and travelling. 

Mercy Community Services General Manager People, Culture and Organisationql Development, John Hoffman

John Hoffman

General Manager People, Culture & Organisational Development

In this role, John is responsible for human resources, risk, and workplace health & safety. When he was appointed to the role in 2013 he brought to our organisation more than 20 years’ human resources and operational management experience with 13 years at the executive level. His extensive human resources experience makes him a valuable member of our executive team. 

Previously, John’s career included working in not for profit, retail and professional services organisations including Blue Care, Angus & Coote Jewellers, Blockbuster, and Drake International in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. 

Since he joined Mercy Community Services, John has established key shared services platforms across the organisation in support of meeting portfolio outcomes and driving organisational change. John is committed to leading significant strategic people related activity such as change program management, complex organisational development issues, industrial relations outcomes, culture development initiatives, staff engagement practices and developing risk and governance frameworks. 

John personal leadership style is values based focussed on compassion and integrity. He is driven to provide an organisational environment where staff can be the best they can be. 

John holds a Degree in Industrial Psychology. 

John is married with a young son, and enjoys running, playing and watching sport and family activities.

Mercy Community Services General Manager Strategic Service Sevelopment, Vickie Bachmann

Vickie Bachmann

General Manager Customer Experience and Intermediary Services

Vickie joined Mercy Community Services in April 2015 as General Manager Strategic Service Development. In her current role as General Manager, Customer Experience and Intermediary Services, Vickie is responsible for driving the organisation’s strategy in such a way that each person who engages Mercy Community Services has an excellent and effective customer experience. Vickie is also responsible for organisational growth and leadership of a number of portfolios including NDIS intermediary services; Family & Child Connect; Innovation, Research & Development; and Marketing and Communications.

Vickie brings to her role almost 25 years’ experience working for not for profit organisations in the disability and community services sector. Her extensive experience in business support and development leadership roles is of great value to our organisation. 

In her time with Mercy Community Services, Vickie has led the development of a number of new business initiatives including maturing MCS responsiveness to domestic and family violence, and development of the marketing and communications function. Vickie led the successful launch of NDIS Service and Financial intermediary services in North and South West Queensland. She also led the team that established a solid foundation on which supports and services for children and young people with a disability are provided. Vickie is committed to ensuring the sustainability of MCS to facilitate the achievement of the broader mission to advance the potential of people and strengthen communities.

Vickie is a transformational leader who works collaboratively with staff, resourcing, empowering and energising her team to achieve for the communities that MCS serves. Vickie also plays a leadership and mentoring role to the organisation’s disability services team as part of the strategic growth and development work she is undertaking aligned with the NDIS.

Vickie holds a Diploma of Management and a Diploma of Project Management and is currently studying an MBA. 

Vickie lives on the Sunshine Coast with her two children and enjoys many outdoor recreation and sporting activities.