About

Who We Are

Open Support is a not-for profit, community service organisation committed to addressing the unmet and changing needs of the most vulnerable in our community.

Our History

Open Support has been at the forefront of addressing social need since it was established by Sisters of Charity Australia as part of St Vincent’s Clinic in 1990.

Open Support was originally called Sisters of Charity Outreach and had its early conceptual beginnings in 1987, when Sr Mary Maguire, then Superior-General of Sisters of Charity Australia, reviewed the changes that were taking place in society and the Church at the time.

Sr Mary sent this message to her fellow Sisters: “I need my religious women to respond to new needs, to keep time to a different rhythm. I want you to leave the security of what you know and what you have, and go once more where no one else has one – to the people that today’s society doesn’t want to know”.

Have a look at our 30 year History of Open Support Click here to see our history in PDF format

Our Organisation

Open Support is a designated social services ministry within Mary Aikenhead Ministries.

As such, the organisation has a direct association with the Ministries’ health and aged care ministry, St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA), Australia’s largest Catholic not-for-profit health and aged care provider. SVHA includes St Vincent’s Clinic, St Vincent’s Private Hospital and St Vincent’s Public Hospital, Sydney.

Open Support operates as part of St Vincent’s Clinic; is based in the Clinic’s Darlinghurst, Sydney location; and, is governed by a set of by-laws.

A registered Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) with deductible gift recipient status, Open Support is the registered trading name of St Vincent’s Clinic.

• St Vincent’s Clinic as the Operator of a PBI (Open Support) ABN: 39 967 916 030.
St Vincent’s Clinic is a company limited by guarantee, has income tax exemption and is a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC).
St Vincent’s Clinic ABN: 95 003 635 498.

Our People

Open Support has a small staff base of both full and part time employees, as well as a strong and dedicated volunteer workforce of over 200 volunteers, who are integral to the delivery of many of our core services and operational areas.

Open Support’s governing entity, the Open Support Committee, reports to the St Vincent’s Clinic Board and provides advice to the Executive Director of the Clinic, Mr Geoff Alder.

Lisa McDonald
Dr Lisa McDonald is the Group Mission Leader of St Vincent’s Health Australia.

In this role she has a broad range of senior leadership responsibilities including delivery formation in our Mission to all staff and animating our Inclusive health work to serve those on the margins of society. Lisa has worked in education, corporate training, local government and in church based agencies. She commenced her path of mission leadership following completion of a Communications degree then a Master’s degree in Theological Studies. Lisa holds a Doctorate in Ministry, Transformational Leadership through Boston University School of Theology.

She has worked for St Vincent’s Health Australia since 2008.

Danny Choo
Danny has over 25 years’ experience providing leadership, strategic consultation and management of technology programs to large organisations. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer at TimeTarget, a workforce management solutions market leader. Danny’s previous roles include ISG’s Business Advisory practice, Talent2’s Global MD BPO business, ADP’s VP in Asia, Director at PwC. He also led a $1Billion IT&T program, was GM Sales and Marketing at Panasonic, Head of Technology for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and served in the Australian Army. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon and holds a MBA, BSc and Graduate Diplomas in technology management.
Robert Farrell
Robert is the Executive Director of Farrell Real Estate Services Pty Ltd and Park Investment Partners Pty Ltd. He is an Advisor to Campus Living Villages Ltd and the Chairman of The Valuation Advisory Group ( Valuer General).Previously C.E.O. Laing + Simmons Commercial 1988 to 2008 , then an Executive Director of Cushman & Wakefield 2008 to 2015 Executive Director of Laing + Simmons Corporation1995 to 2013 and a Director of Laing + Simmons Wealth Management 2009 to 2015.

Robert is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Valuers (FAPI). Fellow of The Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors (FRICS) and a Licenced Real Estate Agent

Geoff Alder
Mr Alder has extensive investment banking experience, both locally and internationally. He has worked for many years in the UK, Ireland and Japan. He has a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from Australian National University, a Masters of Health Management from the University of New South Wales and is currently undertaking a Master of Health Law at the University of Sydney. He is also a lay member of the Health Professionals Council of Australia. Geoff has had had a long standing relationship with a number of charitable organisations, many of them health care related.
Abbie Clark
Abbie is a strategy and public policy professional with experience in government, private sector consulting and the not for profit sectors. Abbie previously led Advocacy and Corporate Affairs for the St Vincent’s Health Australia Group, and joined the St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney executive in 2019.

Prior to this, she held roles in the federal Government - in the public service and as Chief of Staff to a Cabinet Minister - and in strategy and policy consulting for public sector and NGO clients. Abbie started her career in a NFP community housing organisation and has a deep commitment to social justice in line with our Mission at St Vincent’s. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science (UNSW) and a Masters of Public Policy (ANU).

As the Director of Strategy and Planning, Abbie oversees strategy, health service planning and strategic partnerships across the Network. Abbie supports the Executive team to set, and embed, strategic decisions across the organisation.

Simon Calleia
Simon was a founder of Credit Corp Group Limited, a listed Australian Financial Services Company, and has held both Executive and Non-Executive roles including the Chairman of the Remuneration Committee. Since leaving Credit Corp Simon has been involved in a number of businesses and currently runs the private investment company, 152 Pty Ltd. Simon is a member of the Australia Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of Financial Services Institute of Australia, and has a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accountancy and Law. He also has a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.
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