Our Executive Team

Sean Bilton, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Sean Bilton, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Appointed as the CEO and Managing Director at Estia Health in July 2022, Sean was previously in the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO since October 2018.

In his COO role, Sean has led the Workforce, Funding and Procurement Teams, together with P&L responsibility for the 68-home portfolio. Sean has also overseen the successful commissioning of three new homes and consideration of future growth opportunities. His success in leading the company through an unprecedented and complex period of change during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Aged Care Royal Commission has ensured Estia Health’s continued standing in the sector.

During his tenure, Sean has worked closely with the Chief People Officer on the development and operationalisation of Estia Health’s employee attraction and retention strategy. Sean embodies Estia Health’s values and principles and ensures that the purpose “To enrich and celebrate life together” is the foundation upon which all decisions are made.

Sean has worked for more than 15 years in the sector, his involvement commencing as an Asset Manager at AMP Capital when he managed the integration of multiple acquisitions, which were the genesis of the Opal Healthcare business.

When joining Opal as the Head of Commercial in 2010, Sean was responsible for overseeing the acquisition and development led growth of the business, as well as customer acquisition, communications, and marketing.

He holds a Bachelor of Economics from UNSW, is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD.

Damian Hiser, Chief Customer Officer

Damian Hiser, Chief Customer Officer

Damian is a senior healthcare executive, with nearly 30 years’ experience in the private health care sector in Australia and the Middle East, and the last eight years in aged care in Australia. Damian brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the complexities of health care systems, looking at opportunities to improve the customer experience to contribute to business sustainability and growth.

Appointed to the role of Chief Customer Officer in October 2017, Damian is responsible for programs that improve the experience for residents and their families as they navigate the difficult and emotional journey into aged care, to help make the transition as easy as possible.

He leads a team in the areas of hospitality and lifestyle, marketing and communications and client services in building Estia Health’s brand as one of the most respected and preferred aged care providers in the local communities in which it operates.

Damian holds a Bachelor of Optometry (UNSW) and a Master of Business Administration (UTS).

Leanne Laidler, Chief Quality and Risk Officer

Leanne Laidler, Chief Quality and Risk Officer

Appointed in May 2019 as the Chief Quality and Risk Officer, Leanne is a senior healthcare executive with over 40 years’ experience in the hospital sector in Australia and overseas.

Prior to her appointment with Estia Health, Leanne was National Deputy Clinical Governance Manager for Ramsay Health Care and previously Group Vice President Nursing, Learning and Operational Excellence with Parkway Health based in Singapore.

Leanne is responsible for leading Estia Health's delivery of high quality care to our residents in safe and supportive environments. This involves the development and implementation of a person-centred care framework that combines quality and risk management strategies. Leanne’s role is focused on embedding a continuous improvement culture, using quality indicator measurement and a risk management framework that enables transparent incident reporting, data analysis, trending and benchmarking with validation of compliance via audit.

Leanne is a Registered Nurse with a post registration Bachelor of Nursing awarded from Deakin University and a Master of Business from Monash University. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Gerontology program.

Steve Lemlin, Chief Financial Officer

Steve Lemlin, Chief Financial Officer

Steve holds 30 years’ experience in senior financial and operational leadership roles across a range of professional services businesses in Europe and Australasia.

Joining Estia Health in February 2017 as Chief Financial Officer, Steve is responsible for corporate finance and investor relations and also leads the broader finance team in supporting our homes deliver the best experience for our residents through accurate and timely management information.

Prior to joining Estia Health, Steve was Finance Director at private equity owned Careers Training Group, which followed his role as CFO and then COO at leading digital advertising and engagement company, the White Agency, part of STW Australia’s largest listed communications group. Steve has held senior financial leadership roles at MYOB/Solution 6, Reckon and Ramsay Health Care as well as leading a management buyout, turnaround and subsequent sale of a corporate training business.

Steve is a Fellow of the ICAEW and holds an Honours Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Lancaster, UK.

Cath Gillard

Cath Gillard

Cath’s professional career spans over 25 years in human resources and employee relations. Prior to joining Estia Health in May 2022 as Chief People Officer, Cath was the Executive Director People & Culture at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, a role she held for five years. Cath has also held senior human resources positions within the General Electric group of companies, Linfox and the Toll Group.

Earlier in her career, Cath practiced as an employment and industrial relations lawyer for over a decade with law firms Minter Ellison and Lander & Rogers. At the time, she provided legal advice across multiple industry sectors including health, state government, financial services, manufacturing and construction.

Cath holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Melbourne and a Masters of Management (Human Resources) from Monash University. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Certified Human Resources Practitioner (Australian Human Resources Institute).

Fiona Caldwell, Chief Information Officer

Fiona Caldwell, Chief Information Officer

With over 25 years’ experience in various IT strategic and operational leadership capacities, Fiona brings to Estia Health a wealth of practised knowledge and a sound background in managing IT solutions and projects.

Appointed to the role of Chief Information Officer in October 2017, Fiona leads Estia Health’s IT team in the delivery of modern and innovative technologies and services and seeks to advance the level of assistance and amenities available at Estia Health.

Fiona is a recognised leader in optimising the IT user experience. She has extensive experience in the Government and Commercial sectors, including Village Roadshow, Cenitex and the Tatts Group. Fiona holds a Bachelor of Computing and Master of Business Administration from Monash University.

Michael Lockwood, Chief Development and Property Officer

Michael Lockwood, Chief Development and Property Officer

Michael has worked in the property and construction industry for over 20 years, with more than half this time directly involved in the aged care and retirement living sectors. He has held roles working closely with developers, builders and not-for-profit operators.

Michael is responsible for executing Estia Health’s property growth and renewal strategy, as well as asset management across the portfolio.

Prior to joining Estia Health, Michael was the General Manager, Property & Housing for Catholic Healthcare and previously Construction Manager for Anglican Retirement Villages where he led the strategy, new developments and property services. 

Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Technology, Sydney as well as a Master of Commerce (Property Investment & Development) from the University of Western Sydney.

Suzy Watson, General Counsel

Suzy Watson, General Counsel

Suzy was appointed to the role of General Counsel in October 2014 and in this role provides advice on a full spectrum of legal and compliance matters to support corporate activity, operations and strategic growth. Previously in-house counsel for the Bupa Group both in Sydney and overseas, Suzy holds over 15 years of experience in both private practice and in house roles across healthcare, commercial and corporate law and is a dual qualified lawyer both in Australia and in the United Kingdom. Suzy was awarded the 2016 Leonard Watson Chant Legacy scholarship (Governance Institute of Australia) and the National Industry Scholarship for Women in Leadership.

Suzy holds an LLM (Applied Law) majoring in In-House Legal Practice, an LLM in International Economic Law and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Law and Government from the University of Manchester. She is currently enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management at the Governance Institute of Australia. Suzy is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, a member of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Association of Corporate Counsel.