Leadership Team

The CEO reports directly to the United Synergies Board of Directors and is supported by a team of experienced program managers (United Synergies’ Leadership Team). The Program Managers oversee our key service delivery areas.

Christopher John

Chief Executive Officer

Christopher became the CEO for United Synergies Ltd in April 2012 after six years as CEO of Lifeline Hobart, Tasmania. Prior to this Christopher lived in Brisbane and worked at Southbank Institute in the Faculty of Health, Humanities and Applied Science in teaching and management.

Christopher has a Masters of Management (Community Management), a Post Graduate Diploma of Health Science and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Company Directors Course (GAICD). Christopher is a Board member of Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) and a current co-opted Board member for PeakCare Queensland.


Mark James

Mark James

Manager - Corporate Services

Mark joined United Synergies in December 2012 after seven years in New Zealand running and expanding a successful retailing franchise network to 50+ franchises. Mark’s previous experience includes senior management positions in the public sector in health funding and also in the private sector with a healthcare provider.

Mark graduated with a Business Degree from The Robert Gordon University in Scotland and immigrated to Australia after living in New Zealand for 13 years.


Danielle Mackenzie

Regional Manager Sunshine Coast

Danielle began working for United Synergies as the Regional Manager Sunshine Coast in July 2015. Danielle’s position has a key role in leading the Sunshine Coast team in delivering services, programs and projects across the region.

Danielle has more than 15 years experience in the Not for Profit, Health and Mental Health Sectors, and expertise in operations, service delivery and provision, governance, risk and compliance, and board effectiveness.

Danielle’s professional interests include service enhancement, change management , organisational psychology and mental health awareness and promotion. Danielle’s qualifications include Masters in Health Management and Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).


Karen Phillips

Karen Phillips

Manager - National StandBy Response Service

Karen joined United Synergies in January 2009 as Program Manager for the Education, Employment and Training (EET) team and was instrumental in substantially growing the program area from four to 26 staff in three years. More recently as the National StandBy Response Service Manager, Karen is responsible for the delivery of the program across 17 sites nationally. The National StandBy Response Service is Australia’s largest suicide postvention program.

Karen’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Education and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.


Michelle Wiersma

Regional Manager Toowoomba

Michelle began working for United Synergies in July 2015 following United Synergies’ amalgamation with Toowoomba Youth Service.

Michelle brings with her extensive experience in the Human Services sector and non-profit organisations with a focus on governance, change management and community development.  Michelle has a long history of active participation in the Toowoomba community and is committed to developing strategies for social inclusion for young people.

Michelle’s qualifications include Justice of the Peace, Advanced Diploma Community Sector Management, Diploma Community Service Coordination and Diploma Youth Work.


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