Date posted: 17/08/2022

A walk back in time: NSW Taxation Discussion Group celebrating 50 years

Commencing in 1972, Taxation Discussion Group 2 of 72 remains as committed to improving the tax agenda as they did 50 years ago.

In Brief

  • Taxation Discussion Group 2 of 72 celebrates 50 years of operation
  • Roger Woodward FCA receives National Emergency Medal
  • Congratulations on these significant milestones

In 1972, a year when William McMahon was the Prime minister of Australia and Dom Mclean’s American Pie sat at the top of the music charts, the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia formed Taxation Discussion Group 2 of 72. Exactly fifty years on, the group remains strong, hosting monthly meetings with 25 to 30 members discussing all things taxation.

Taxation Group 2 of 72 celebrating their 50th Anniversary with NSW Regional Chair, Peter Woodley FCA

Taxation Group 2 of 72 celebrating their 50th Anniversary with NSW Regional Chair, Peter Woodley FCA

Due to the large number of applications to join a taxation discussion group, a letter was sent in 1972 to members, notifying them of a new taxation group to be formed with a purpose to provide active members with an opportunity to take part in its formation and direction. This letter is dated 28 July 1972 from a Mr J.R Lancaster, State Registrar (original copy below). The inaugural meeting took place on 21 August 1972 to iron out finer details as to committee members including chairperson, secretary, liaison officer and paper committee.

Original letter sent to members in regards to the Taxation 2 of 72 Group Formation

Original letter sent to members in regards to the Taxation 2 of 72 Group Formation

A key feature of the group is that, a member presents a paper on a tax-related matter each month. Longstanding members of the group, Ron Brown FCA and Alan Puttock FCA mentioned that the first paper presented on 7 September 1972 by John Walsh FCA centred on “concessional deductions”, a phrase very dear to every taxpayer’s heart at the time. Puttock believes this phrase no longer exists in the taxation lexicon.

A newer member of the group, Jonathan Papalia CA (joining in 2018) along with Puttock and Brown mentioned the group centres around quality, commitment, community and contribution with all members expected to take a turn sharing a paper in the cycle as well as filling committee roles for 6-month terms. In summary, participation is key.

“The group centres around quality, commitment, community and contribution”
Puttock, Brown & Papalia

When asking both Puttock and Brown what has changed in the last fifty years, they said both a lot and a little has changed. Puttock originally joined the group when he commenced practice in a small, chartered accounting firm. The group allowed him to interact with colleagues, a concept the group still values today, and has contributed to his professional development. He has found it to be a positive experience throughout his professional life. Both Brown and Puttock said that the focus of the group has remained steadfast with taxation still being at the heart of the attendees and their commitment.

Long term member Alan Puttock FCA with NSW Regional Chair, Peter Woodley FCA

Long term member Alan Puttock FCA with NSW Regional Chair, Peter Woodley FCA

Another notable achievement from this group occurred earlier this year. Long-term member of Taxation Discussion Group 2 of 72, Roger Woodward FCA was awarded a National Emergency Medal for his service during the 2019-2020 bushfires. Woodward volunteers with the NSW Rural Fire Service as a firefighter and first aid officer, and had helped those in his community as well as far beyond including Coffs Harbour and Singleton during the bushfires. Woodward said while he hopes such a tragedy never occurs again, people must step up and help.

Roger Woodward FCA Service Medal

Roger Woodward FCA Service Medal

Congratulations to the Taxation Discussion Group 2 of 72 for their long-standing commitment and Roger Woodward on his service to the community.