- Fellowships are not necessarily awarded for seniority. They recognise work in niche areas of the profession, mentoring and volunteer work
- The benefits of Fellowship include acknowledgement of community service, credibility in the broader community and boosting self-esteem
- Fellowships salute the many accountants who do the books pro bono for their local clubs, charities or religious organisations
There is barely a not-for-profit, service organisation, school committee, sports club or charity that wouldn’t love “a bit of help with the books”. Pro bono, of course.
Right across the globe there are CAs beavering away at night and on weekends on projects that take a considerable amount of time and for which they are rarely acknowledged and mostly, unpaid.
The annual advancement of Fellows at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) is the profession’s chance to salute all this behind-the-scenes activity, as well as CAs’ more obvious contributions to the workplace.
It takes just two full members to nominate a prospective Fellow and this year’s nominations close on 2 August 2021.
From the perspective of existing Fellows, the benefits of Fellowship are many. Top of the list is the morale boost of recognition.
Wellington-based Donna Kennedy FCA says receiving the award for her volunteer work for New Zealand Riding for the Disabled (NZRDA), the organisation of which she is now Chief Executive, was much appreciated acknowledgement of the countless hours she has devoted to NZRDA since she started as a teenager.
“I’m nothing flash, I’ve been an accountant for years,” she says. “So, it was nice when two of my colleagues took the trouble to nominate me last year.
“I do believe having those letters after your name signals credibility to the broader community and indicates that the organisation is well managed. These days, when every not-for-profit is battling for funds, it’s important to be able to prove good stewardship. It also shows that CA ANZ is serious about diversity and inclusivity.”
Peter Fromont FCA is Chief Financial Officer of Entity Solutions and Chair of the Victorian Council of CA ANZ. Speaking from his Melbourne office, he says becoming a Fellow in 2013 prompted him to be more confident in his opinions.
“I’m a New Zealander and we tend to be a bit introverted,” he explains. “We have a bit of a big brother attitude to Australia and we tend to stand back and observe rather than speak up.
“However, receiving Fellowship, gave me the nudge to voice my opinions and enter into robust debate. You mightn’t end up with your position but it usually means you get the best outcome for the group because you’ve had a full and frank discussion.”
Fromont adds that the Fellowship also acknowledged his long service as coach and treasurer for local athletic clubs. “There wouldn’t many accountants who haven’t been asked to help out with their community organisations,” he says. “Some of them even save these groups or charities from financial troubles.”
He encourages his peers to think beyond the obvious contenders when it comes to nominating colleagues for Fellowship.
“It shouldn’t just be about seniority,” he says. “Look out for people who mentor generously or have done something significant in a niche area of our profession. For example, some young CAs have done outstanding work into digital currencies and that deserves recognition.”
Deloitte Australia Director Tinashe Kamangira FCA says he was surprised and honoured when his colleagues on the WA Council of CA ANZ nominated him for Fellowship in 2018.
For the Zimbabwean-born CA, the award was recognition for many years of volunteer work for charities, which began when he was a new graduate and saw a call-out in his church newsletter for people to deliver food parcels for the St Vincent de Paul Society in WA.
Since then, he has devoted countless after-work hours to the charity and now serves as its WA state treasurer.
Through his church, Kamangira also volunteers for a Kolkata-based charity called Uthana Mission, which delivers meals to destitute people sheltering in Sealdah Railway Station, provides teacher training scholarships for young Indian women and supports pre-school education for the rural village of Joihoripur.
“It’s amazing how far the A$20,000 we raise each year can go,” he says. “Any sacrifice on my part is more than rewarded when I hear success stories. One of the graduates of the pre-school has just become eligible for a teaching scholarship, so the wheel has gone the full circle.”
Kamangira adds that being recognised for doing his bit has encouraged him to do more. “Becoming a Fellow has meant that I’m also more conscious of nominating others,” he says. “Accountants do so much work at community and club level and it’s great to recognise achievements that otherwise go unnoticed. I encourage my colleagues to nominate anyone they think worthy.”
Fellowships, Meritorious Service Awards and Life Memberships
CA ANZ recognises and celebrates the outstanding professional achievements and distinguished service of our members. All you need to know from tips for nominating, guidelines and nomination form.Find out more