About Lutheran
Homes Group

Lutheran Homes Group is a not-for-profit organisation
supported by the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Our History

In 2022, when realising they shared the same values and commitment to high-quality care, LHI Retirement Services and Fullarton Lutheran Homes became one: Lutheran Homes Group.

This was our beginning and now we provide services for approximately 1,600 South Australians and have a dedicated team of close to 1,000 staff and volunteers.

Our new organisational structure enables the sustainable continuation of Lutheran aged care across South Australia. In the future, Lutheran Homes Group will continue to set new aged care standards.

Fullarton Lutheran Homes

Fullarton Lutheran Homes was established in 1928 by a group of Lutheran men and women dedicated to providing Christian care for elderly people.

With a vision born of Christian faith and love, these men and women pioneered the concept of Christian care for the elderly. At the time, Fullarton Lutheran Homes became the first Lutheran home dedicated to the care of the elderly.

The main complex is bounded by Fisher, Frew, Watson and Darby Streets, with several smaller properties nearby.

Over the years, Fullarton Lutheran Homes also began providing management support for the Residential Living Units at Para Vista, which are conveniently located next to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

LHI Retirement Services

LHI Retirement Services was founded in 1957, inspired by the vision of Mr and Mrs A B Schulze. Their dream was to provide quality aged care in a Christian environment.

Over the years, the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Schulze enabled the village at Glynde to grow. By the mid-1980s, it consisted of approximately 300 Retirement Living Units, a Residential Care Home, various community support facilities and a purpose-built church.

Demand for the LHI quality of care quickly grew, and 1982 saw 13 hectares of land purchased, resulting in the establishment of the LHI Hope Valley.

Board of Directors

Mel Blondell

Board Chair
Member, Governance Committee
Member, Merger Integration Committee

Mel brings over 20 years of experience in human resources, leadership, and governance across diverse industry sectors, including construction, mining, and not-for-profit organisations in Australia and the UK.

Outside of her role as Board Chair, Mel is the Managing Director of Red Seed Productivity Strategists, a consultancy business providing human resources, strategy, and governance services, as well as at Humanology Recruitment. Mel is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons) from Flinders University, along with a Bachelor of Management from the University of South Australia.

Andrew Cannon

Deputy Chair
Chair, Merger Integration Committee
Member, Finance & Audit Committee

Andrew has extensive experience as a company director and has previously held positions as Vice Chairperson and Chair of the Finance Committee at Concordia College and was a Non-Executive Director and Councillor at the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME).

Andrew is currently a Regional Operations Manager at Viterra, and has had a successful executive career spanning various sectors, including agribusiness, manufacturing and mining, with a particular focus on sales, strategy, business development, operations and supply chain management.

Andrew is a Graduate of the AICD and holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration (Merit) from the University of Newcastle.

Debra Bryant

Board Member
Member, Clinical Governance & Customer Experience Committee

Debra began her career teaching in Lutheran schools before transitioning into the hospitality and retail sectors. Over a span of 12 years, Debra held various managerial positions at the Richmond Hotel, Hyatt Regency Adelaide, and Myer Grace Bros.

Debra has a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Business from the University of South Australia.

Colleen Fitzpatrick

Board Member
Chair, Clinical Governance & Customer Experience Committee

Colleen has extensive board experience, including roles on the South Australian Council of Social Services and as a Director on the board of the SA Energy Industry Ombudsman. Currently, she chairs the Board of Advice for the Dame Roma Mitchell Trust Funds, which provide grants for children and young people who are or have been under the Guardianship of the Minister for Child Protection.

Outside of board roles, Colleen has led a career dedicated to community and social work. She was previously Director of Lutheran Community Care and also held a senior management role at Families SA. Colleen remains actively involved in the Lutheran Church of Australia and serves on the Committee for Care Ministries, the Governance Enhancement Committee for Lutheran Aged Care and Community Services and chairs the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand’s Standing Committee on Nominations. Colleen holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Flinders University.

Emily Haar

Board Member
Chair, Governance Committee

Emily is actively involved in various boards, including as Deputy Chair of Lutheran Education South Australia, Northern Territory, and Western Australia Inc.

Outside of her board commitments, Emily is a Partner at Piper Alderman, where she specialises in employment law, providing legal advice throughout the employment lifecycle, from hiring to managing the workforce, and resolving disputes. She has been recognised by Doyle’s Guide as a ‘Rising Star for Employment & WHS – Australia’ in 2018, 2020, and 2021, and as a Leading Employment Lawyer (Employer Representation) in South Australia in 2023.

Emily holds Bachelor Degrees in Law and Media from the University of Adelaide, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She is also a Graduate (Order of Merit) of the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Company Directors Course.

Dr Kathryn Materne

Board Member
Member, Clinical Governance & Customer Experience Committee

With a career spanning over several decades, Kathryn serves as a General Practitioner, working in a private general practice since 1995. Kathryn continues to care for her older patients by providing medical care when they move to aged care facilities. In addition to her work in private general practice, Kathryn also works as a surgical assistant. Currently, she holds a position on the CEIH Statewide Surgical & Perioperative Care Clinical Network Steering Committee, where she actively contributes her insights and expertise.

Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma of Obstetrics, and Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Kathryn is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tony Materne

Board Member
Chair, Property Committee
Member, Governance Committee

With extensive experience as an architect in the private and public sectors, Tony is currently a partner at MPH Architects. Prior to establishing MPH, Tony was a partner of an international architecture firm where he was responsible for national leadership and management of the Adelaide office.

Tony has successfully delivered many award-winning and significant projects, including renowned international projects in the United Kingdom, USA, Qatar, and South Africa.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Australia, and he is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Philip Riquier

Board Member
Chair, Finance & Audit Committee
Member, Property Committee

Philip holds directorships at Capital Prudential, Credit Union SA, and MyVenue. He was previously a director of the Risk Management Association of Australia and worked as a Group Executive at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank for 24 years. Philip has extensive experience in governance, finance, and property development. Philip was responsible for all of Bendigo Bank’s Aged Care and Retirement Division which incorporated direct development and direct ownership of a large portfolio of Retirement and Aged Care facilities across Australia.

Philip holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of South Australia and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Adelaide. He is a Fellow of the Society of Certified Practicing Accountants, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and a Chartered Banker with the Chartered Banker Institute of the United Kingdom.

Executive Team

Tim Chia


Tim joined Lutheran Homes Group as the Chief Executive Officer in December 2021, having held senior executive roles within the aged care, retirement living, and disability sectors both in the not-for-profit and listed environments.

Tim holds qualifications in Commerce (Accounting & Corporate Finance) and Property Valuation and spent the early stages of his career in professional services, having worked in assurance for a large mid-tier accounting firm and in asset portfolio management for large, international property and infrastructure company.

Beyond his primary role, Tim actively contributes to the community by serving on the Boards of Lincoln College and End Homelessness SA. He also volunteers as an Executive Mentor at Saint Ignatius’ College.

With his extensive experience in leading organisations through periods of growth and change, Tim believes in fostering a strong sense of community and connectedness to the residents Lutheran Homes Group serves.

Kristian Roocke


Kristian joined Lutheran Homes Group in February 2022 as Executive Manager, Property & Projects and has since transitioned to the role of Chief Operating Officer after assuming responsibility for a wider portfolio, which now includes property, procurement, IT, hotel services and retirement living. He brings extensive experience in healthcare, particularly in aged care, retirement living and home care.

Kristian holds qualifications in property, having undertaken studies at the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) and the University of South Australia.

His career encompasses senior management and leadership positions, where he has been responsible for a diverse range of functions such as property development, facilities management, landscaping, procurement, IT, and rostering/workforce planning. Additionally, his involvement in numerous mergers and acquisitions transactions positions him well to contribute to Lutheran Homes Group’s future development and growth.

Darren Styler


Darren joined Lutheran Homes Group in March 2023 as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, bringing extensive experience from executive roles within government, not-for-profit, legal and commercial sectors, both overseas and within Australia. 

Throughout his career, Darren has lead teams in corporate service functions including finance, procurement, people and culture, information technology, and marketing and events.

As an innovative and outcomes focused leader, Darren is known for building and motivating teams that exceed business expectations.

Darren’s proven track record and extensive experience make him an invaluable asset to Lutheran Homes Group.

Marie Wittwer


Marie joined Lutheran Homes Group in April 2023, bringing with her over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse. Throughout her career, Marie has worked in various healthcare settings, including metro tertiary hospitals, rural community hospitals, and not-for-profit aged care organisations. With over 20 years in management roles, she has excelled in areas such as Quality Assurance and Executive Management. Marie has successfully supported organisations in regaining accreditation status, achieving financial sustainability, and developing sustainable workforces.

In addition to her management expertise, Marie has also worked as an advocate for older people with ARAS (Aged Rights Advocacy Service). Marie holds formal qualifications and credentials as a Registered Nurse, with a Bachelor’s degree in Gerontology.

Marie has actively participated in research working groups focusing on areas such as Medication Safety for people living with Dementia. Furthermore, she has contributed to the development of an Advocacy Standard of care as part of a Standards Australia group, which serves as a benchmark for accredited organisations.

Scott Vassal


Scott joined Lutheran Homes Group in September 2023, bringing an impressive 18-year career in Human Resources and workforce strategy. Throughout his career, he has worked across various government departments and agencies, where he has excelled in guiding organisations through complex change, spanning from organisational design to cultural transformation.

With his extensive experience, Scott passionately champions a people-focused approach, fostering cultures where individuals drive continuous improvement and innovation, leveraging unique expertise and diverse perspectives.

With a career defined by his commitment to empowering people and organisations, Scott is an invaluable asset to Lutheran Homes Group.

Spiritual Well-being

Lutheran Homes Group is concerned not only for the physical needs of residents, but also their spiritual well-being. We know how important this becomes, especially as we age.

Spirituality is about a sense of purpose or meaning. It’s also about particular connections in our life, such as with others, creativity, nature, and a sense of something bigger or beyond ourselves. It can also be through faith or a belief system.

For those whose care includes religious care and support, Lutheran Homes Group is supported by the Lutheran Church of Australia. All of our locations either have an on-site or adjoining Church. We also offer spiritual care through our onsite Pastors and Chaplains.

Support our Work

What began as the generosity of individuals almost 100 years ago, is now an organisation with more than 800 staff and volunteers, supporting approximately 1,600 South Australians.

That tradition of generosity is the lifeblood of Lutheran Homes Group.

Today’s members of our community are the beneficiaries of those who cared in the past. Tomorrow’s residents will benefit from the generosity of those who care today.

Remembering Lutheran Homes Group in your will, or by making a donation, is a positive way of giving thanks for this organisation’s loving care to so many.

To find out more, contact 1300 320 505 or send an enquiry