Meet the Executive team

Innovation, quality care via specialised heathcare teams, and access to helpful advice are fundamental to our vision of providing an inclusive and caring experience that makes us the family you choose. 

With extensive experience from a wealth of aged care backgrounds, our Executive team strives to ensure that our residents and families have peace of mind, knowing they are safe in whatever care choices that are made, in appropriate care settings that meet the diversity of needs across all of our residents.

  • Ian Thorley profile image
    Ian Thorley
    Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
    Ian is an accomplished senior leader with over 30 years’ health and aged care experience in both Australia and overseas.

    Appointed as Chief Executive Officer in October 2018, Ian takes the helm of the organisation at a time of exciting growth and opportunity in the sector.

    Appointed as Estia Health’s Chief Operating Officer in October 2016, Ian was responsible for leading Estia’s operations and care teams, embedding key improvements resulting in revenue growth and operational efficiencies, while delivering consistently high standards of quality care to residents across a growing portfolio of homes.

    Ian’s executive experience includes CEO and COO roles in large aged care groups, acute private hospital groups and diagnostic services. Ian has been at the forefront of major developments that have shaped Australia’s healthcare sector, including the privatisation of public hospitals, new reimbursement and funding models, and a broad range of public/private sector service models.

    Ian has held the position of non-executive director in private equity owned, and ASX listed companies, and has consulted to aged care operators, private hospital groups, health insurers, health logistics and specialist health recruitment businesses throughout Australia.

    Ian is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and holds a Master of Commerce from the University of NSW.
  • Sean Bilton profile image
    Sean Bilton
    Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO
    Appointed as Estia’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO in October 2018, Sean brings a breadth of experience from more than a decade as a senior executive in the sector across a diverse range of roles.

    Sean is responsible for leading Estia’s operations teams, initiating key improvements to ensure the highest level of care is delivered to the 8,000 plus residents in our homes. Sean believes that every one of our 68 homes plays a key role in their local communities and works closely with teams on the ground, supporting and empowering them to deliver exceptional and compassionate care to all residents as they make the journey into aged care.

    Prior to joining the aged care sector on a full-time basis, Sean had a long career with AMP Capital Investors as an Investment Manager in the Private Capital area, responsible for managing assets in sectors including aged care, agriculture and resources.

    Sean commenced his career in the Financial Advisory business of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    He holds a Bachelor of Economics from UNSW and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia
  • Steve Lemlin profile image
    Steve Lemlin
    Chief Financial Officer
    Steve holds 30 years of experience in senior financial and operational leadership roles across a range of professional services businesses in Europe and Australasia. Joining Estia in February 2017 as Chief Financial Officer, Steve leads the Finance team in the production of accurate, timely and powerful management information to accelerate business improvement and value.

    Prior to joining Estia, 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 Australia’s largest listed communications group, STW. 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.
  • Mark Brandon, OAM profile image
    Mark Brandon, OAM
    Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer
    With 40 years’ experience in the health and aged care sectors, Mark is an internationally recognised thought leader on strategy, quality, accreditation and government relations.

    He is a member of the panels of experts for the International Society for Quality in Healthcare and the International Federation on Ageing. His experience also includes vice Chair of the International Accreditation Council and advisor to governments.

    As Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer, Mark’s remit includes key stakeholder relationship management and oversight of regulatory compliance. Mark was CEO at the Australian government’s Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd from 2002 to 2013. He previously held senior executive positions at Medibank Private and Medicare.

    Mark is an Adjunct Professor, School of Business, University of Notre Dame Australia and is a director of two organisations in the education sector. Mark was awarded an Order of Australia Medal, in recognition of his contribution to health and aged standards.
  • Fiona Caldwell profile image
    Fiona Caldwell
    Chief Information Officer
    With over 25 years’ experience in various IT strategic and operational leadership capacities, Fiona brings to Estia 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’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.

    Fiona is a recognised leader in optimising the IT user experience. She holds a track record in leading both smaller and more expansive portfolios and teams in both Government and Commercial sectors, including working at Village Roadshow, Cenitex and the Tatts Group.

    Fiona holds a Bachelor of Computing and MBA from Monash University.
  • Leanne Laidler profile image
    Leanne Laidler
    Chief Quality and Risk Officer
    Appointed in May 2019 as the Chief Quality and Risk Officer, Leanne has 40 years experience in healthcare commencing her career as a nurse in Melbourne Australia.

    Prior to her appointment with Estia Health, Leanne held the position of National Deputy Clinical Governance Manager for Ramsay Health Care.

    Over her career Leanne has held a number of national and international private healthcare appointments. These roles saw Leanne lead strategy and operational initiatives for both clinical and business matters. Those initiatives blended both quality improvement and cost control via reduction and elimination of waste. The roles also demanded her experience and knowledge of risk management, liaison with key customer groups such as third party payers, underwriting insurers, government bodies, doctors, and management teams.

    Leanne is passionate about quality healthcare services and was a leader of a program which attracted a Federal Government award for outstanding achievement in Best Practice. This was for a Case Management Program focused on achievement of the desired clinical outcomes in partnership with consumers. Leanne’s passion for the model saw her involved with Melbourne University to establish a Graduate Diploma in Case Management and to establish the Case Management Society of Australia of which she served on the Board for many years and is a Past President.

    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.
  • Jane Murray profile image
    Jane Murray
    Chief People Officer
    A passionate, values-based leader, Jane brings over 15 years’ experience in commercial business leadership and HR strategy from ASX listed companies. Appointed to the role of People and Culture Director in July 2017, Jane leads the delivery of Estia’s HR and Safety capability.

    Astute and performance driven, Jane has grown a successful career across a variety of senior human resources and change leadership roles for top ASX listed companies, as well as government agencies, including AXA Asia Pacific, AMP, Australian Casualty and Life, and the Victorian Funds Management Corporation.

    As an internationally accredited Organisational and Executive Coach, Jane has proven capability in unlocking leadership potential within organisations to build on their success. Jane attained her International Coaching Federation Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential for organisational coaching in early 2017.

    Jane holds a number of qualifications across Human Resources, Project Management and Organisational Change, and is currently undertaking a Masters of Business Leadership.
  • Damian Hiser profile image
    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 7 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 improving 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’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).
  • Rita Sheridan profile image
    Rita Sheridan
    GENERAL MANAGER DEVELOPMENT AND PROPERTY
    Rita Sheridan’s professional experience spans across key areas of capital development and operational services in the aged care and accommodation sector, residential land and dwelling construction and commercial interior design and construct services.

    Most recently Rita was General Manager Property for both Amana Living and prior for Southern Cross Care (WA) Inc and for more than 10 years her responsibilities included leadership and management roles in strategic planning and developments, asset and maintenance services, retirement living and affordable community housing. She has a significant record of successful completion of major capital developments in both aged care and retirement living bringing together strategic market insight and functional service detail that support the key requirement of the business.

    Rita holds a Business degree majoring in Accounting and has represented the sector previously holding retirement living committee positions with ACSWA and the Property Council WA.
  • Suzy Watson profile image
    Suzy Watson
    General Counsel and Company Secretary
    Previously in-house counsel at BUPA in both Sydney and the UK, Suzy holds over 15 years of experience in both private practice an in house roles. Suzy was appointed as Company Secretary and General Counsel in December 2014 and in this role provides advice on a full spectrum of legal and compliance matters to support corporate activity, operations and strategic growth.

    Suzy was awarded the 2016 Leonard Watson Chant Legacy scholarship (Governance Insitiute of Australia) and the National Industry Scholarship for Women in Leadership. Suzy will shortly commence the Women in MBA Scholarship at Macquarie University.

    Suzy holds a BA Hons (Law and Government), an LLM in International Economic Law (Distinction) and is studying for an LLM (Applied Law) in In-House Practice. Suzy is a qualified Lawyer in both the UK and Australia, a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association.