Date posted: 25/10/2021

Use the CA community, urges Alison Flemming FCA

NSW Council member Alison Flemming FCA talks about her work, views and what she has been up to recently.

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. 

There are so many truly outstanding CA’s in our communities. It’s inspiring to read their stories, have the opportunity to meet some of the recipients, and play a small role in making sure they are recognised for their contribution.

Here we talk to one of our NSW Regional Councillors, Alison Flemming FCA.

1) Tell us about yourself 

I’m Alison Flemming, current Chair of NSW Regional Council. I’m General Manager of Retail Design & Delivery for Scentre Group (owner and operator of Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand). I first joined council in 2019 and was Vice Chair in 2020. 

2) What is your passion?

I’m passionate about creating commercial value and developing teams of people. I’ve worked in purely financial and commercial roles for 15 years and in the last 12 years I’ve also worked in a number of operational roles leading cross-functional and remote teams in centre management, marketing, facilities, security, retail design, retail delivery, architecture and strategy. Once you find what you’re passionate about, the passion and skills are really transferrable.  

3) What are the objectives of the Council?

The Council’s overall objective is to advocate for members’ needs and the CA designation. Regional Council is a key part of the governance structure for CA ANZ and represents members interests to the Board and vice versa. Council also looks for ways to recognise the outstanding achievements of the CA community through Fellowship or other prestigious awards. Reviewing the fellowship nominations has been one of the most rewarding processes for me, as there are so many truly outstanding CA’s in our communities. It’s inspiring to read their stories, have the opportunity to meet some of the recipients, and play a small role in making sure they are recognised for their contribution. 

4) How does the Council communicate the Board’s strategy to members and capture their input?

The Council plans to maximise opportunities to interact with members. We review the CA ANZ calendar and try to have Council representation at as many events as possible. COVID-19 has really disrupted our plans there, but we also attend many advisory group discussions and do our best to stay connected through those forums. 

5) What’s a piece of advice you could give NSW members?

I think NSW members should take a bow and recognise if they can get through the last 24 months of fires, then floods, and then a pandemic they can get through anything. I think we could all do more to leverage the support of the CA community, so no one should feel like they have to manage everything alone. All members have access to support and should also feel free to contact myself or anyone on Council directly if there is more that we can assist with.

6) How have you managed with COVID-19 and have you picked up a new skill or hobby during lockdown? 

It’s all very cliché! Last year I joined everyone in the banana bread, sourdough and Kombucha craze… but it didn’t last. This year I’ve taken on some study and bought a kayak! I got so tired of booking activities and them being cancelled, I shifted my interests to things that are difficult to cancel. There are so many amazing places to kayak in the harbour I think I’ll stick with that as a hobby for a lot longer than the baking lasted.

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