Leadership Team

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

Andrew Anderson


Andrew Anderson joined US as CEO in May 2019. Prior to taking up the reigns in this role, Andrew was the General Manager Medical and Southern Operations with CareFlight NSW, where he was exposed to the rewards and challenges of working in the ‘for purpose space’. In this role, he was responsible for CareFlight’s NSW Operations, National Medical and Corporate Services.

Prior to joining CareFlight NSW, Andrew spent 15 years in Senior Leadership roles in the industrial services, financial and manufacturing sectors.

Andrew’s qualifications include: Company Directors Program, Australian Institute of Company Directors; Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management, Harvard Business School, Boston; Advanced Diploma of Business Management, University of New England; and Master of Business Administration (MBA), Australian Graduate School of Management.

Karen Phillips

General Manager Suicide Prevention

In Karen’s current role of General Manager she provides overarching guidance and coordination for our Centre Managers and StandBy Operations Manager. Karen is focussed setting and delivering on high standards across the organisation to ensure we have smooth operations and good practices to support our clients.

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 Karen led the operations of StandBy – Support After Suicide program. As the National StandBy Response Service Manager, Karen was responsible for the delivery of the program across 17 sites nationally.

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

Dr Tanya Bell

Strategic Development Manager

Tanya joined United Synergies in 2017 and is involved in the strategic planning and development of our services to ensure while meeting the requirements of government policy, we are working effectively with our partners and local stakeholders to achieve better outcomes for our clients.

With almost two decades in the primary health care sector, Tanya has worked for research and academic institutes, state government departments, as well as non-government agencies including Medical Locals and Primary Health Networks. More recently Tanya has been engaged in a strategic leadership capacity assisting organisations to define and establish direction and priorities to deliver on their vision, values and strategy.

As a Population Health Epidemiologist, Tanya is passionate about improving the health and well-being of communities.

Nicholas Fawcett

General Manager Clinical Services

Nick began working with United Synergies in 2015 and was instrumental in expanding the Mental Health program area to include headspace Caboolture, Bundaberg and Gympie.

Nick’s leadership has overseen the progression of headspace Maroochydore to be considered one of the best performing headspace centres in Australia. Nick is a strategic and innovative thinker who relishes challenges, has the energy and enthusiasm to lead and develop Community and Health Services.

Nick is a Registered and Masters-qualified psychologist with experience across Primary Health Networks, not-for-profit, government, business, sporting organisations and academia. Nick’s qualifications include Master of Psychology, Graduate Diploma in Educational Psychology, and Bachelor of Arts.

Melissa Smidt

Acting People & Culture Manager

Melissa joined the People & Culture team at United Synergies in the position of Human Resources Advisor in July 2016, and since August 2017 has taken on the role of Acting People & Culture Manager covering two maternity leave contracts.

Prior to joining United Synergies, Melissa worked for a global organisation as a Human Resources Business Partner for 5 years in which she provided extensive hands-on support and guidance to managers and employees in all facets of the employee life cycle, and on employment law matters.

Melissa has 13 years of generalist human resources experience which includes leading HR initiatives, change management, employee relations and employment law matters, performance management, talent acquisition and talent management, training and development, policy design, employee benefits and wellbeing, worker’s compensation and compliance. She has experience working in both the not-for-profit and commercial sectors.

Darce Foley

General Manager Homelessness

Darce joined United Synergies in 2018 and leads the Homelessness Team to support young people and families at risk of homelessness to achieve sustainable accommodation outcomes through goal setting and addressing complex needs.

Having worked extensively in Government and non-Government areas of homelessness and housing, offender reintegration, disability, and employment across rural, city and coastal areas of Queensland, Darce has an in-depth understanding of the deliverables required to tackle the intricacies in ending homelessness in our local area.

Darce is compelled by the belief that each person has the right to secure and stable accommodation and is driven by this belief to empower young people to meet the challenges of their lives within a supportive and safe home environment.

Rachel Bunn

General Manager Licensed Care Services

Rachel joined United Synergies in 2018 and leads our Licensed Care services.

Commencing in aged care supporting clients through the end of life phase, then adults 30-60 years in social and community housing, and recently youth homelessness and child protection field, Rachel has over 15 years’ experience in the community welfare industry and holds a Bachelor of Social Science.

Rachel’s strong passion for social order, acceptance, change and social evolution attracted her to work in child protection where she believes the change we need to see in the world, starts in our children who will become the adults of tomorrow.

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