Farewell 'JOD'

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Leading the Mater team has been an incredible honour.
I will always be proud to say ‘I was CEO of Mater’”
Dr John O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer, Mater (2001 to 2015)

In 2001, after the newly created Mater Health Services’ Board chose
Dr John O’Donnell (fondly known as JOD) to become Mater’s next Chief Executive Officer, the Sisters of Mercy, in officially appointing him to his position, presented him with a lighted candle. It was a symbol.

A symbol of a tradition of Mercy for which Mater was renowned. A symbol of keeping the Mater ‘flame’ alive. A symbol of a future in which Mater would prosper in its delivery of its Mission to provide compassionate care to those who need it most.


Fourteen years later, on Wednesday 29 July 2015, Dr O’Donnell once again held this candle—this time, a symbol of the transmission of leadership responsibility—as he officially ended his tenure as Chief Executive Officer.

More than 200 people, each with their own special ‘JOD’ memories, gathered to witness this emotional farewell, as Dr O’Donnell recounted the enjoyable, challenging and rewarding privilege of being Mater’s Chief Executive Officer.

“There have been some notable milestones throughout my journey as CEO, which are unified by one element—Mater People, working together—without whom the provision of exceptional care would simply not be possible.”

Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation Leader, Sr Catherine Reuter and Chairman of the Mater Group Board, Mr Brian Flannery also paid tribute to Dr O’Donnell, highlighting the many milestones achieved by the organisation under his leadership.

“During Dr O’Donnell’s 14 years as our leader, Mater has celebrated a number of key achievements.

“We have expanded our Mission and regained a sense of optimism and purpose as an organisation, maintained our enviable status in patient and staff safety, and built a strong foundation to further the integration of health, education and research,” Mr Flannery said.

Dr O’Donnell continues to hold the position of Chair of Mercy Super and is also Chair of Mercy Community Services.