INTHEBLACK July 2020 - Page 69



GIVING BACK
// C O R R I N N E KO N G C PA
Bupa Australia
Corporate health
cover that keeps
giving you more.
STORY KATIE LANGMORE
BUILDING A
FOUNDATION
OF HOPE
Bupa have partnered with CPA Australia
to bring you great value corporate
health cover that gives you more including wellness programs, loyalty
rewards and a range of offers exclusive
to members.
FINDING INSPIRATION IN AN ARTICLE
LED CORRINNE KONG CPA TO TAKE ON
ACCOUNTING IN A WAR ZONE.
I
f the pages of this magazine have broadened the
world of accounting for you – as we hope they
might – you’re not alone. Seven years ago, Corrinne
Kong CPA read an INTHEBLACK article that changed
the course of her professional life.
“There was a feature about a guy who had volunteered
for MSF [Médecins Sans Frontières], and it really sparked
my interest,” recalls Kong.
“I’ve known about MSF for a long time. I think their
work is quite meaningful, and I’ve donated to them at
times. When I saw that you can use your accountancy
skills to volunteer, I was interested.”
By 2014, Kong had applied and been accepted into
the volunteer program. She quit her job and travelled
to Pakistan, where MSF had several hospitals to support
internally displaced people, including Afghan refugees.
At the end of her first year, Kong was offered a paid
position, and over the next four years went on three
further assignments, with breaks in between.
“I needed to decompress between assignments –
they encourage you to take a two to three-month
break before you jump into another one.”
Listening to Kong describe the assignments, the need
to take time out between postings becomes evident.
A month before she was due to fly to South Sudan for
her second assignment, the civil war reached the capital
where she would be based. She was given the choice of
cancelling her trip, but she decided to take the position.
“The first night I was there, we were all sent to the
compound bunker. It was a false alarm, but it was really
scary,” she explains.
“Most of the time you don’t feel too unsafe, as there
are very strict protocols and curfews, and movement
is heavily restricted, but being in a country where
everyone is so on edge impacts you.”
Kong stayed for four months in South Sudan, and
took a long break afterwards. Her next assignments took
her to Nigeria and Malaysia, where she was involved in
74 ITB July 2020
When you join Bupa as a CPA Australia
member you’ll get four weeks free
cover if you join by 31st December
2020*. Bupa also offers CPA Australia
members an ongoing 3% discount**.
Above: Corrinne Kong CPA. Top right: Médecins Sans Frontières is best known
for its projects in conflict zones and countries affected by endemic diseases.
Médecins Sans Frontières
(Doctors Without Borders)
is an international medical
humanitarian organisation
that delivers emergency
aid to people affected by
war, epidemics, healthcare
exclusion and natural or
man-made disasters. In
addition to medical
personnel, it requires
volunteer engineers,
human resource managers,
financial administrators
and other support staff.
msf.org.au
MEMBER
RESOURCE
Find tools, templates
and resources to support
you when performing
voluntary or pro bono
accounting services:
cpaaustralia.com.au/
volunteering
establishing a new program aimed at providing support
to Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
Kong says witnessing the work her colleagues
undertake in the hospitals and clinics is confronting, but
it is balanced with the smiles of appreciation from those
they support.
“Witnessing the resilience of the people is also
incredibly inspiring and humbling,” she says. “As finance
coordinator, I always managed a team, and I remember
one day in South Sudan a local man in my team was
really quiet.
“When I asked him what was wrong, he explained that
men from the army had robbed him the night before,
and had taken everything. He had begged them to leave
his shoes, so he could keep working. I couldn’t believe
he’d come in, but he said he was grateful to have a job
and wanted to do the work.”
Kong reveals there are strict protocols when balancing
the books in an organisation that relies on donations, as
there is so much accountability. However, she says she
loves the challenges and structure of accounting.
“I’m from a family of accountants,” she laughs. “At first
it probably wasn’t my first choice, but now I love it.”
After five years, Kong has decided to take a break
from such high-intensity work.
“Eventually, I would like to look into working with a
local NGO [non-governmental organisation] – perhaps
on women’s rights, the environment or refugees. For
now, I would also be open to going back into the private
sector – to gain more skills and top up my bank account
for a while.”
To find out more about joining your company's health plan
134 135
and quote ID 2112225
bupa.com.au/
call-me-back
Only for new customers on new hospital and extras cover policies issued by Bupa HI Pty Ltd ABN 81 000 057 590, paying by direct debit or payroll deduction (if available) before. Second month free
after initial payment. Not with other offers. Please note that Reciprocal Health Cover - Basic and Lite Hospital - Bronze Plus cover (both standalone or combined with an Extras product) are ineligible for
any discounting, waivers or retail offers. **Any excess or co-payments related to your level of cover will still apply, not available in all areas. +Discount is reviewed periodically by Bupa and your Company
and is subject to change. Must pay by direct debit or payroll deduction (if available). Bupa HI Pty Ltd ABN 81 000 057 590. Bupa HI Pty Ltd ABN 81 000 057 590. Bupa HI Pty Ltd ABN 81 000 057 590.

CPA Australia

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