Anglican Deaconess Ministries is proud to continue our heritage of exceptional leadership with the appointment of Clare Steele as the new Chief of Operations (COO), as long-serving Director of Operations Ken Breakspear steps down from this role.  

“I’m ready to pass on the primary responsibility for the operations baton to Clare and to the rest of our exceptional team at ADM,” says Ken, who will continue to work as Company Secretary part time. Noting the wealth of experience that Clare brings to the position, he says, “Clare’s engineering and systems/ project management experience is a great asset to ADM in ensuring things get done on time and within budget.”

ADM's new Chief of Operations, Clare Steele (left) and Ken Breakspear (right), who has stepped down from the role of Director of Operations.

ADM's new Chief of Operations, Clare Steele (left) and Ken Breakspear (right), who has stepped down from the role of Director of Operations.

Clare began her career as a consultant at Accenture and then moved into project management at Macquarie Bank. She has since worked as a project manager and team leader across a number of different industries. She holds a degree in mechatronics engineering and a Master of Divinity, and has worked in ministry alongside her husband, Matt, who now serves as Assistant Minister at St Alban’s, Five Dock. Clare first began at ADM in 2016 as Special Projects Officer, driving a major review of ADM’s IT systems. In this role she worked closely with Ken, especially when he served as Acting CEO from February to July 2017, during CEO Dr Kate Harrison Brennan’s maternity leave.

According to Clare, the generous mentoring Ken provided has helped prepare her to tackle the role of COO. She says, “Ken has taught me to ask questions – to evaluate the risks and the needs of each situation. He also continues to inspire me to be prayerful about my work, to understand that we are stewards of the resources that God has given ADM for future generations.”

Ken has played a pivotal role in ADM since he was appointed in 2005. He spearheaded the sale of Hope Healthcare to Hammondcare, a project involving three public hospitals with 400 staff and $30M in annual subsidy funding. In 2007 he became Company Secretary, supporting the ADM Board in the appointment of Dr Karin Sowada as the first CEO in 2009 and in the appointment of Dr Kate Harrison Brennan as CEO in 2015.

Ken reflects, “Looking back over the past 13 years and even further back in ADM's remarkable 127 years, I clearly see God's hand at work in the lives of so many servants of the Servant. The long life of our organisation is a blessing of the Lord, as it means that we have remained faithful to our core gospel beliefs while adapting to the contemporary context and fresh opportunities arising.”

Both Ken and Clare are excited about the plans that God has in store for the future. As Clare shares, “ADM is in an exciting phase of developing. I love the passion that the team has for seeing women come to know Jesus and then to flourish as they spend their lives serving him. I am looking forward to working with Kate and the ADM team, as we build the future of ADM and serve the women who interact with us in all our different programs.”

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