Sr Joan joined the Mercy Health Board in 2011. Sr Joan trained as a primary school teacher, and has taught and held the position of Principal of parish primary schools across Victoria over a 30-year period. As Deputy Chair, School Services, of the Catholic Education Office of Melbourne she was responsible for selecting and appointing principals and orientating and mentoring new principals. Sr Joan maintains her involvement with Catholic education as a member of several school and education-related boards and committees. Sr Joan managed the Convent of Mercy Hostel from 2007 to 2010 and continues to care for a number of Sisters of Mercy in aged care. In 2014 she celebrated her golden jubilee as a Sister of Mercy.
Sr Joan's governance roles have spanned various Mercy ministries. She was a member of the Sisters of Mercy Melbourne Congregation leadership team from 2000 to 2005, and was a member of Mercy Secondary Education Inc and MacKillop Family Services.