About Us

Our Vision: Care as I would like it

Sapphire Care was founded in 2003, with the objective of changing the way in which the Aged Care industry was viewed and operated. Starting with just one residence the company has now grown into one of the most successful and highly regarded Aged Care operators in Victoria.

Sapphire is focussed on delivering exceptional Care, Lifestyle and Surroundings. Our promise is to listen and put residents first, offering a complete range of care needs across our residences.

We enjoy an excellent reputation as a leading provider of Aged Care services. All Sapphire residences meet industry accreditation and certification requirements and are designed to specialised architectural standards.

With an ageing population and a changing regulatory environment, Sapphire’s strong leadership, management and service delivery means it is well positioned to help our residents thrive in their golden years.

This is the Sapphire Care Difference.

Our Values

Our “Spirit” Values are key to who we are and reflect our culture and traditions.

Our Values

- Service
- Performance
- Integrity
- Respect
- Innovation
- Teamwork

The general meaning of each of our values are as follows:


To be an effective Employee at Sapphire Care you are strongly customer focussed and take pride and pleasure in being able to positively respond to requests (either internal or external) and nothing seems to be ‘too much of a hassle’. Your work load is geared towards providing an effective service and allows you to be flexible and timely in all responses. You have a high level of initiative, you go out of your way to identify methods of improving your current job and will always make the effort to do that little bit extra.


To be an effective Employee at Sapphire Care you have a solid technical/clinical and general knowledge base, you fully understand the technical nature of your position and can readily apply your expertise in dealing with any given task or problem.


You always exhibit honesty and compliance in all facets of the workplace and at all times are sensitive to the needs of others. Your honest and open approach commands the respect of your peers, who are in no doubt as to the sincerity of your comments or actions.


You always display a genuine interest in what people have to say, and actively listen and learn from others. You always treat everyone as equal and are you are perceived to be fair and trustworthy.


You always show a strong degree or initiative in making decisions in order to complete tasks (within limits of authority) and are very adaptable and cope well with the introduction of change such as new systems or technology. You always stay calm in pressure situations and are able to take unforeseen matters into your stride and despite the existence of any adversity, will perform to the required standard.


You always demonstrate co-operation with other team members and supervisors or to complete any tasks at hand and willingly share knowledge and enjoy the experience of assisting others to discover a new skill or idea.

Stories from our Residents

One of the joys of being in the Aged Care industry is meeting wonderful people who have led amazing lives.

In their lifetimes, they have seen the world move in a way that we can only reference in historical books; from a life where so many technologies were still new and had only just started to change lives; where movies that had sound had become a global phenomenon; and space travel was still a distant dream.

And as with all of us, they have had their fair share of ordeals and hardship, but their lives have also been filled with successes, many magical moments and highlights. These precious reminiscences that our residents have shared are a glimpse into our history. At Sapphire, we felt that it was important that these stories did not go untold and so we have taken the liberty of recording some of their recollections for you read.

This book contains five individual stories, from six of our wonderful residents. We hope that you enjoy these stories and come to understand why we enjoy being part of our residents’ lives so much.

Warmest regards, Ernest Medina.

Managing Director, Sapphire Care

Click here to see some amazing stories from our residents >

Sapphire Care Leadership

The Sapphire Care Leadership team consists of strong management and expertise from industry experienced staff with proven backgrounds.

Alan Lilly
Chief Executive

Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly joined BlueCross as Chief Executive Officer in September 2016. Prior to this, Alan had held senior management and executive roles across a number of Health Services in Victoria and most recently, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Health.

Immigrating to Australia in 1986, Alan is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse by background with post-graduate qualifications in General Nursing, Health Services Management and a Master of Business in Health Administration. In June 2016, Alan was appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Australian Catholic University. He is an Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Alan’s professional interests are in leadership, culture, safety, quality and the resident/client experience.

Jo Gatehouse
Executive General Manager - Clinical Governance, Risk & Innovation

Jo joined Blue Cross in October 2017. She has an extensive background in clinical governance, improvement and risk management. She was most recently the Director of Quality, Planning & Innovation at Eastern Health. Jo has been involved in building and leading clinical governance systems across both Alfred Health and Eastern Health over the past 10 years.

Jo is an Occupational Therapist by background. She worked clinically principally in Aged Persons Mental Health services and holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Monash University. At Eastern Health, Jo worked tirelessly with her team and achieved national recognition for work in understanding and responding to patient experience. Reflecting this commitment, in 2017, Eastern Health was named the most outstanding Health Service in Australia by the Australian Patients Association. Jo is also a regular presenter on Clinical Governance and Patient Experience Conference

Robert Putamorsi
Executive General Manager - Business Development, Property & Infrastructure

Robert joined BlueCross in October 2017. He was previously the General Manager – Retirement Communities at Australian Unity Retirement Living and comes to BlueCross with more than 20 years of experience in number of roles at Australian Unity including finance, commercial, operations and business development. Robert holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Deakin University and he is both a Licensed Real Estate Agent and a Certified Practising Accountant. Over many years in the industry, he has developed an extensive knowledge of both the aged care and retirement village living sectors and this will be very well utilised in our achieving our growth and expansion plans into the future.

Valeria Camara
Executive General Manager – Human Resources

Valeria was appointed to her role in January 2018. She has held roles as General Manager-Human Resources, People and Culture Operations Manager, National Operations Manager- Human Resources, Human Resources Business Partner and Industrial Relations Advisor working across defence, manufacturing, disability, finance and aged care sectors. She has worked in strategic and operational HR, recruitment and selection, change management and learning and development roles, managing high-performing teams with a strong emphasis on leadership and employee engagement. Valeria has worked in Argentina, the USA, the UK, Switzerland and Australia. Her experience and professional acumen have provided her with insight into effective Human Resources Management, with a strong sensitivity to the needs of staff and employers alike.

Valeria holds a Postgraduate Qualification in Human Resources, an Associate Degree in Science, a Swiss Hotel Association Diploma in Hotel Management. She is an accredited Conflict Resolution Coach and is currently a candidate for the Women in Leadership Australia-Advanced Executive Leadership Program.

Fabio Maya
Executive General Manager - Operations (COO)

Fabio was appointed to his role in December 2017 and has a 25 year history in aged care and nursing, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Sapphire Care between 2011-2015 and then assuming the role of Chief Executive in 2015. Fabio is a Registered Nurse by background and he has held general manager positions at large community aged care groups including Mercy Health and Vasey RSL as well as having managed aged care residences.

Colin Holland
Executive General Manager - Finance & Corporate Services (CFO)

Colin joined BlueCross in September 2016. He has responsibility for the Group’s finance and information technology functions including statutory accounting, finance, taxation, treasury, accounts and payroll management and company secretarial.

Colin has over 30 years’ experience in financial management, with the most recent 9 years in public health, as CFO for Melbourne Health, CFO for South Metropolitan Health in Perth, Interim CFO for Northern Health in Melbourne, and Interim CFO for Barwon Health in Geelong. Previously from a predominantly manufacturing background, Colin had five years’ collective experience as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary for ASX listed hospitality group National Leisure & Gaming and for agri-food business Select Harvests; 13 in a variety of senior financial and commercial roles within South Pacific Tyres; and three years as Divisional Financial Controller for the automotive division of Nylex.

Colin holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), a Master of Business Administration, and a Graduate Diploma of CSP. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia, a member of Governance Institute of Australia, and a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sapphire Care Board Members

The Board of Sapphire Care has considerable experience across a range of sectors relevant to manage a fast-growing business.

Tony Battle

Tony Battle has considerable finance and Board experience. He has spent most of his career in corporate banking including Partnership Pacific as an Executive Director, Credit Lyonnais as General Manager Structured and Corporate Finance, and most recently as Director of Infigen Energy Ltd. Tony was appointed to the Sapphire Care Board in 2011 and is also Chairman.

Ernest Medina
Managing Director

Ernest Medina has considerable experience in finance and business development. He spent 15 years at Credit Lyonnais in the capacity of Director Project Finance involved in large scale financings. Since 2003, Ernest has been Managing Director of Sapphire Holdings Group since 2003 and a Director of the Blue Cross Aged Care Group since 2006.

Carol Allen
CEO Sapphire International

Carol has worked as a CEO in the community sector for over 20 years and been a Director of aged care services both residential and community since 2003. Carol has been a Sapphire Director since 2003. Carol was CEO of Blue Cross aged care from 2006 to 2014. Carol is a Director and Board member of Blue Cross and is currently the CEO of Sapphire International.

Carol is a Board Member of the peak body for aged services, Leading Aged Services Australia. Carol is also the Chairperson of StarBright learning Exchange that provides a cross-cultural exchange between Australian and South African early childhood educators.

Colin Edmondstone
Board Member

Colin has been a senior accountant and executive for over 30 years. Colin has been a Director of the Sapphire Group since 2003 and currently serves as the Finance Director for Sapphire.

Danielle Murray
Board Member

Danielle Murray is a Division 1 Registered Nurse with extensive health service management expertise gained in over 25 years in the acute hospital sector. She has considerable experience in the management of quality projects, clinical governance frameworks and lean business improvement methods. Danielle is currently employed as the manager of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre’s business improvement program. Danielle was appointed to the Sapphire Care Board as a Non Executive Director in November 2013. She has Dip App Sci, BN and a Master of Health Services Management.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

BlueCross and Sapphire Care are set to merge with immediate effect.

Collectively, Sapphire Care and BlueCross have been providing high quality community and residential care services for almost forty years and throughout this time, they have built trusted brands and respected reputations within the communities which they serve. Following a period of review and consideration, the Boards of both organisations believe that the merger provides a strategic platform to leverage growth and market opportunities to meet the needs of ageing Australians.

BlueCross and Sapphire Care currently own and operate thirty-five existing residential services across metropolitan Melbourne, Phillip Island and Kilmore. With more than 2630 residential care beds, a pipeline of more than 500 new beds to become active in the next two years and a HomeCare service delivering care to more than 1000 community clients, the company is committed to being a leading provider in the sector.

Current BlueCross Chief Executive, Alan Lilly, will lead the newly merged company. “I am delighted to be leading this great company which is very focused on providing high quality care and service, with the highest standard of accommodation to meet the changing needs of our communities,” he said.

Alan joined BlueCross in September 2016 and has extensive experience in the leadership and management of health and aged care services. He is Registered Psychiatric Nurse by background with post graduate qualifications in general nursing and health service management. He also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor with Australian Catholic University.

Whilst the merger is effective immediately, the companies will combine business operations in the coming months with an anticipated completion later this year, subject to due formalities.

David Eccles
Blue Cross

Tony Battle
Sapphire Care

Media Enquiries to: Suzannah Aivatoglou on 0417 066 828 or 9828 1277

Letter for residences and clients of Sapphire Care

What our residents say:

"My father, Dallas Crook, lived at the Gables in Camberwell. He was treated very well and with respect and kindness. All of the staff, were wonderful to him. I ate with him a number of times at the Gables and was impressed with the food. The staff went out of their way to help him and supported him in joining in with the activities. You did a wonderful job."

Sue Crook

"My family and I are so grateful to your team for the wonderful manner in which they have cared for mum and dad. My parents were treated with a constant level of respect and good humour which has made the transition into care so much easier both for them and the rest of the family. You should be proud of your team and the culture at Hilltop.”

Frank Viola