The value of any membership depends not only on the services and benefits offered but how connected a member feels and how the organisation responds and represents them.
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.
Here we talk to one of our NSW Regional Councillors, Camille Woods CA.
1. Please give us a brief introduction
I'm Camille Woods and have been a member of the NSW Council for three years. For work, I am a corporate trainer at my own company, Monday Mind, and an accounting academic at UTS. The corporate training I do is lead yoga and meditation classes and mental health training. Day to day, I train yoga teachers through online platforms and teach audit at night. Many of the students are in their 20s and I am inspired by them every day. There is nothing better than talking, stretching and learning together. The work I do is about sharing. The students share insights, technology finesse and experiences so we can all learn together. The hours can be unusual due to time zones and yoga classes are always on during meal times (morning yoga, lunch break yoga, evening yoga) so you end up eating at strange times. After a night time accounting class, I am buzzing with energy because I have been hyper-responsive and I find it takes about three hours after a class until I begin to fall asleep.
Each councillor brings different experiences to the table. The council's objectives are to support members in their role as Chartered Accountants and to provide a sounding board to the organisation for new initiatives.
2. Who is the council and what do they do?
NSW Council talks to CA ANZ members to give input to the organisation on member issues. In our NSW Council meetings, we talk with the organisation about new challenges CAs are facing and what support they would like. Each councillor brings different experiences to the table and we listen to each other's views. Our council team is caring and we talk through what members have been requesting from CA ANZ.
3. What are the objectives of the council and what do you hope to achieve?
The council's objectives are to support members in their role as Chartered Accountants and to provide a sounding board to the organisation for new initiatives. Being a CA means a lot to me and I would like to make a difference by supporting CAs who want to get the most out of their membership. In our meetings, I get passionate about mental health for accountants, providing value for money and opening up opportunities for members from diverse backgrounds. What I hope to achieve is contributing towards better user experience and making sure opportunities are available for a diverse range of members.
4. What do you do outside of work and council?
I enjoy going for walks with my friends. We go to Barangaroo, over the Harbour Bridge and the Botanic Gardens. It is lovely seeing new additions to the Botanic Gardens; the trial garden is my favourite. I like the element of experimentation in that garden. It is refreshing to enjoy a walk with a friend and when you get home, your bank account is the same!
5. Have you picked up a new skill or hobby during lockdown?
I think I am the only one who dropped a hobby during lockdown. I was learning French before in the classroom but when it went online, I found it didn’t work for me. For the past few months I have been learning how to draw yoga poses so that I can draw practices for my clients. Art is not a talent of mine, but it is fun to try something new.
6. What is your current DIY lockdown project?
My current DIY lockdown project is adding some safety to the home like making the desk set up more ergonomic. I am making adjustments to protect my back, wrists and neck. I also realised I didn't own a fire blanket and extinguisher so have ordered them in case I decide to cook popcorn again. Safety hazards start adding up when you spend all your time indoors, so I am sorting out cable tangles and hopefully the aesthetics will improve, too.