Date posted: 31/08/2021 5 min read

Lets hear from NSW Councillor Joanna Balcomb FCA

Let’s hear from NSW Council Member Joanna Balcomb FCA about her work, views and what she has been up to recently.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand has regional councils across Australia and leadership committees around New Zealand to ensure members have their say in the organisation’s strategy and directions.  

Following on from our feature on NSW David Watkins CA, hear from Joanna Balcomb FCA, who joined the New South Wales Council in 2019.  

1. Please give us a brief introduction of yourself 

My name is Jo Balcomb, I currently work part-time as Chief Risk Officer for First Choice Credit Union in Orange. This will be my second year on the NSW Regional Council and approaching three years on the NSW Western Regional Committee.

My husband and I have a mixed farming enterprise of broadacre grain and oil seed cropping, black angus cattle and merinos. I’m a jack of all trades but master of none. I pay the bills, do the Xero data entry and bank recs, negotiate the interest rates with the bank manager, manage cash flow and be the gatekeeper when someone wants to buy a new sprayer – I don’t have much luck there!

On the farm, I take meals out during harvest, escort gear, shift sheep and cattle and run into town to buy chemical and parts.  

We have two boys Sam, 12 and Nick, 9. The boys make our world tick. One wants to start his own Supercar company after getting his training with Ferrari and the other wants to be a park ranger in the NT.

On top of everything, over the past 18 months I have also been a member of the NSW Rural Assistance Authority’s Bushfire and Flood Grant Appeals Panel. 

2. How does the council communicate the board’s strategy to the members and capture their input?

The Council formally communicates the board’s strategy at member sessions. This is to ensure the strategy is promoted, supported and implemented.

At least one Councillor attends each of the CA ANZ NSW member advisory panel meetings, such as the Regional Country Chairs Committee and YCA Panel. This provides an opportunity for Council to capture the diversity of member opinions, ideas and where they would like to see the membership head. 

Personally, I enjoy impromptu chats with members. Often these members are not actively involved with CA ANZ but their feedback is essential. I recently found out after eight months of knowing a mum at school that we were both CAs. I like that connection.  

3. What events does the Council get involved in? 

The most rewarding contribution in my opinion, is attending functions to celebrate members achievements through anniversary, fellowship and certificate ceremony presentations where were welcome new CAs to the CA ANZ family.

Council’s involvement varies by attending charity and social events including golf days, charity balls and sailing regattas. We also attend and Chair workshops, webinars, and various events, both online and face to face.  

The most rewarding contribution, in my opinion, is attending functions to celebrate members achievements through anniversary, fellowship and certificate presentation ceremonies where we welcome new CAs to the CA ANZ family. 

Earlier this year, I attended the anniversary celebration and caught up with my accounting lecturer and met a fellow who had held onto the list of members who graduated from the Professional Year (the old CA Program) 40 years before.  

4. What’s a piece of advice you could give to our NSW members?

I am currently reading The Kindness Revolution by Hugh Mackay (also available on audiobook).  

One of the four themes is kindness to listen. Hugh explains how effective and genuine listening can be and shows another that you respect and value them. I have started to keenly monitor my own listening skills, which during times of stress or deadlines can sorely diminish. I have found, however, that when I genuinely listen with no room for other thoughts, people know I value them. The added bonus I wasn’t expecting is that it makes me feel good. 

My advice is to keep an eye on one’s listening and one other chestnut… you don’t need to like someone to be kind to them. 

5. How have you coped with COVID-19? 

Lowering my expectations, attempting to maintain routines regarding sleep, meal patterns, exercise, and attire – believe me I still have a lot of active wear days.

Also, sometimes we can relax and afford to get pre-made meals like lasagne as a night off treat to ourselves.

My biggest one, however, is to make sure that on the dry days, your feet touch the grass even if this means taking your shoes off in the local park.  Sounds crazy and hippie as my family would call it, but you’ll know what I mean if you do.

6. Have you picked up a new skill or hobby during lockdown?

My new hobby has been developing an indoor garden of a kind throughout the house.  It makes me happy!

Read more NSW News

Find out what's happening in the New South Wales Region

Read more