- Long-standing interest in governance
- A volunteer for environmental causes
- Enjoys the diversity of her career as CA
Jacqueline d'Ath is chair of the Lower North Island Local Committee. It's a large committee, comprising fellow members Fiona Stockdill, Peter Scholtens, Phil Major, Rachel Simmers, Zaryab Hyder, Jamie Cattell, along with non-committee attendees Darren Stafford and Punsara Sommerville. Regional councillors Julia Fink, Sara Wood and Rehan Badar are also regular attendees.
For Jacqueline, weekends are often filled with clean-ups at local beaches around her Wellington home, and she sees a growing link between her volunteer work and her job as a Chartered Accountant.
A CA since 2010, d'Ath says that over her decade in the profession the scope of the CA's remit has continued to change and develop, with environmental issues now to the fore.
"Who would have thought sustainability, climate change and disruption would be familiar terms in the CA lexicon," says d'Ath, a senior policy adviser at Inland Revenue NZ.
Once a fortnight, she puts on her gardening gloves and can be found volunteering in organised clean-ups at beaches and waterways around Wellington.
"I find it quite soothing to be out in nature doing something that doesn't require any thought or concentration," says d'Ath.
"I actually enjoy picking up rubbish from beaches – the process, not that it's there in the first place."
While most of her volunteering work is hands-on, she says her "accounting background comes in handy" in organising events.
"On the social side, I meet a wide range of remarkable people at these events," she says.
d'Ath switched from originally studying psychology to accountancy because her younger self was daunted by the idea of training for 10 years to become a professional psychology, but says that ultimately it also took 10 years to become a CA.
"I'm very happy about my choice to change disciplines as it's given me a broad grounding for a variety of work," she says.
"And the psychology papers I'd already completed have come in handy for the soft skills side of the accountancy."
On being a CA, she says the "two little letters" of the accreditation have not only provided her with a knowledge and skills base but are a signpost to others of her professionalism.
"Being a CA gives you a grounding that opens up amazing opportunities."
She has worked as a financial accountant in public practice, as investigator and forensic accountant in government, and also as a policy adviser to government.
There hasn't been any single career highlight, she says, rather the versatility and ability to move around and try new things to learn and enjoy is an ongoing highlight.
d'Ath enjoys her involvement with CA ANZ, and her local committee which meets every five weeks. "We discuss what we're seeing in our areas of the CA community, and CA ANZ staff get feedback from us on matters the Institute is considering," she says.
"And we laugh. A lot."
Governance, and the interface between members and the Institute, has always been an area of interest.
"At governance level, you get to participate in some very interesting work that's in the formative stage," says d'Ath.
"It's a way to learn about how issues are considered and decisions are made."
She urges other CA members who may be interested in getting involved in a Local Committee to start by sitting in on a meeting.
"CA ANZ staff are always keen to show members what the institute does for them," says d'Ath.
"On the Wellington/Lower North Island Committee we're always keen to get the perspectives of a broad range of members, so even if you don't want to be a committee member, you’re welcome to talk with us about how the Institute works."
Local Committees (LCs) are groups representing New Zealand members in 15 local areas around the country.Find out more