Board of Directors

Mercy Services is governed by a skills-based board of eight (8) directors who oversee the strategic direction of the organisation to implement strategies and achieve goals in compliance with the Australian Securities

Investment Commission (ASIC) and Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). 

The Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and PNG appoint all Directors.


Val Woodman

Acting Chairperson

Mark O'Connor

Board Member

Judith Murphy RSM

Board Member

Sue Oakey

Board Member

Peter Williams

Board Member

Kay Sheridan RSM

Board Member

Darlene Perks

Board Member

Tony Bidstrup

Company Secretary + Public Officer

Mercy Services Management Team

The Mercy Services Management Team are experienced, qualified and caring people.

Chief Executive Officer, Tony Bidstrup

Tony Bidstrup was appointed CEO of Mercy Service in 2016.

Tony has many years’ experience as CEO and Deputy CEO in the banking and insurance industries. Tony has also undertaken volunteer work in Africa working with the underprivileged.

Finance Manager

Allan Collins joined Mercy Services as our inaugural Finance Manager in November 2014 after over 12 years working in the not for profit disability sector.

Allan directs and manages the Mercy Finance Team and is responsible for the financial reporting as well as ensuring that Mercy Finance Team has the resources, skills and training for the introduction of new systems and ventures that Mercy may undertake.

Allan is a fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants FIPA and completed an Advanced Diploma of Business Management with the University of Ballarat.

Allan has also worked in the transport, newspaper, radio, packaging and metal roofing and fencing industries.

Head of Home & Community Care

Lea Gregg has been working as an RN in the health care industry for 39yrs. For the last 16yrs of that, she has worked in Aged Care.

Lea holds a Diploma in Leadership and Management, Diploma in Quality Auditing, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Mental Health First Aid Instructor and is a Registered Nurse.

Lea oversees Home Care Packages, Commonwealth Home Support Program, West Wallsend Day Centre, Tighes Hill Day Centre, Maintenance Team, and Newcastle Elderly Citizens Centre.

Head of People and Culture

Lee Thistlethwaite joined the Mercy Services team in September 2017. 

Lee arrived at Mercy Services with over 15 years experience in the field of human resources obtained across various industries including retail, hospitality, manufacturing and most recently in community services. Lee is passionate about ensuring people management processes are effective, transparent and respectful and she believes that sound relationships and genuine conversations are the cornerstone to achieving a respectful workplace. 

Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Business (Honours) – Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management.

Elvira Johnson

Manager Family and Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) Services Elvira has been employed by Mercy Services for over 23 years and holds Bachelor of Arts Hons (Psych), Master of Health Science, Cert IV Workplace Training, Assessment & Evaluation, Diploma of Business (Front Line Management), and Advanced Diploma Community Sector Management.

She is responsible for the  SEICT Early Intervention programs, McAuley Community Housing program, The Holyoake Program and McAuley Outreach Services.

Director of Care, Singleton Residential Aged Care

We are currently recruiting for this position.

Head of Community Transport

David Murray has been Head of Community Transport since November 2017. 

David came to Mercy Services with experience as a senior manager in community transport, social housing and the building industries. He has worked for both government and not for profit coordinating their
maintenance and capital works programs, bringing with him solid management and leadership skills. He strongly believes in helping those who are disadvantaged and those in need of assistance.

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