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 Aged Care Services

Julie joined Mercy Community Services as General Manager Aged Care Services in 2014. In this role, Julie is responsible for leading Aged Care Services aligned with the mission, vision and values of MCS and that demonstrate industry best practice. 

Julie brought more than 20 years’ experience to our executive team across the aged care and healthcare sectors.  Julie has worked in a number of senior operational and corporate roles including change management, information technology, education and business strategy and her experience is of great value to our organisation. More recently she 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 implemented 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 aged care services we deliver. 

Julie is focussed on communicating a clear strategic direction that ensures integration and development of a diverse range of 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

Executive Director Family 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 role, Steven is responsible for strategic advice and information to the Mercy Community Services Executive Team, and leading family stream 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 seven years with our organisation, Steven has grown the families stream (formerly Mercy Family Services), increasing revenue from $11 million to the current $32.6 million. Under his leadership he diversified programs to include mental health support to families, and multicultural services. Within the traditional child protection services, and a response to the changing needs of children young people and families, he with his leadership team, expanded the provision of services to include a Therapeutic Residential, supported independent living for young people, and early intervention and support services for families. Steven’s commitment to staff has led to a restructuring of the organisation so that all staff work in supportive teams, make a significant increase in the induction and continued training and development of staff, and the implementation of Sanctuary. He implemented shared services to provide specialist support to staff and to continuously improve services.

Steven’s commitment to MCS’ mission, vision and values has seen him implement a number of measures: a compulsory induction of all staff in the mission and values and history and heritage of the Sisters’ of Mercy, the involvement of staff in the Mercy Partner’s formation retreats and to the Pilgrimages to Ireland. Further he has championed the Romero Centre as a missional and MCS funded multicultural community centre to assist refuges and asylum seekers and newly arrived migrants.

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, IT, 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 is responsible for the promotion and integration of the Catholic identity and charism of mercy within in all aspects of the organisation, as well as pastoral care, 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 mission 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 and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Lisa is currently engaging in a second Masters of Ethics and Law studies 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

John is Mercy Community Services’ General Manager of People, Culture and Organisational Development. In this role, John is responsible for human resources, risk, quality and compliance. 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 gone about establishing 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 Strategic Service Development

Vickie joined Mercy Community Services as General Manager Strategic Service Development in April 2015. In her role, Vickie is responsible for the strategic development of new and existing business opportunities aligned with the vision, mission and values of MCS as well as leadership of the marketing and communications portfolio.

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

Prior to joining Mercy Community Services, Vickie worked in a range of roles at Endeavour Foundation responsible for management of disability and community services operations, business development, strategy and NDIS development, most recently as the National Business Manager Development & Strategy.

In her time with our organisation, Vickie has led the development of a number of new business initiatives including maturing MCS responsiveness to domestic and family violence, and marketing and communications development. Vickie is committed to ensuring the sustainability of MCS that enables the furthering 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 mentoring role to our disability services team as part of the strategic development work she is undertaking for this area of our organisation.    

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 husband and two children and enjoys many outdoor recreation and sporting activities.