INTHEBLACK December 2020 - Magazine - Page 64
F E AT U R E
// C O M P L E M E N TA RY S K I L L S
Above: Nada Matijevic CPA is a career development and transition consultant,
and is founder and CEO of Elevate Me.
“it’s through self-evolution that we can
elevate and empower ourselves and help
shape the future we want.”
Above: Gillian Vesty CPA combines her work as a
professor at RMIT University’s School of Accounting
with accounting research in public healthcare.
NADA MATIJEVIC CPA, ELEVATE ME
“worldly experience helps you
see life in a very different way.”
Above: Johnny Lam CPA enjoys
running and boxing, and coaches
the Hong Kong Football Club’s
GILLIAN VESTY CPA, RMIT UNIVERSITY
BENEFITS OF GIVING BACK
Those who spend their spare time giving back to the
community can reap great benefits for their career.
This is true for Will Goh CPA, senior internal auditor
with Simplot Australia, who has volunteered at his
Melbourne church as ministry chair and treasurer
for the past nine years.
The role includes supporting the community
group’s management team on a wide variety of
matters, from property and investments to caregiving
and conflict resolution.
“You need to be an effective communicator and
collaborator, because you work with a wide variety of
stakeholders, from church and community members
to city council, state and federal government services,”
says Goh, 35.
He is also treasurer of Southern Cross Kids’ Camps
Knox for kids suffering from abuse or neglect.
“I started volunteering there when I was still studying
for my CPA and, when you go on one camp, you
love it and want to go back,” he explains. “I have a
buddy/mentor role at the camps and have helped with
64 ITB December 2020
fundraising, including organising a trivia night that
Volunteering has helped Goh improve many soft
skills, he says.
“It motivates me to continually enrol for different
training courses, such as operational leadership
programs, at work.
“I’m not an accountant anymore. I’m a communicator.”
COMPASSION AS A SKILL
Gillian Vesty CPA, associate professor with the School
of Accounting at Melbourne’s RMIT University,
agrees that accounting graduates need more diverse
soft skills, especially when clients are grappling with
challenges such as a recession or a pandemic.
“Most of what we do in accounting is about wealth
creation and managing the finances of a client,”
For that reason, Vesty, who is also an accounting
researcher in public healthcare, has assisted in the
development of a master of financial planning course
that includes an elective on financial counselling.
IVAN AU FCPA,
PWC HONG KONG
She co-teaches the course with a colleague from the
“I see it as a way to build more resilient practitioners,”
says Vesty, who completed a PhD in Sociology and
Accounting in 2011.
“Financial professionals do have an opportunity to
help clients cope and move forward.”
The 58-year-old accounting lecturer began her career
as a nurse, training at Royal Melbourne Hospital and
working in that profession for 20 years.
“At one stage, I was in charge of an oncology unit,
and that background helped me bring compassion to
accounting,” she says.
“Worldly experience helps you see life in a very
VARIETY IS KEY
“The world is always changing, and the need to upskill
with agility is essential to stay relevant and win in
the technology-driven world,” says Ivan Au FCPA,
partner at PwC Hong Kong and CPA Australia’s 2017
Divisional President for Greater China.
Variety has been a hallmark of Au’s career path –
in addition to client services, he has been a people
partner (human resources), an audit methodology
partner, transformation and digital partner, and a
learning and development partner.
He has also led many audit and assurance projects,
worked for PwC in the UK and, while acquiring
his master of commerce in Australia, was associate
lecturer and head tutor in accounting.
Au’s hobbies reflect a similar craving for variety.
The 43-year-old is a competitive tennis player, who
spends two to three hours on the court four times
a week. He also enjoys body building, has tried his
hand at guitar and drums, sails motorboats, and, five
years ago, took up playing piano.
“My priority is to always learn broadly, so I would not
claim to be an expert on any of my hobbies,” Au says.
“In my career, I also try to embrace a very broad
spectrum of knowledge and roles.
“Looking at things differently and from different
angles is achieved by doing different things. But my
current priority is always what I am focusing on.”
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