Date posted: 06/12/2023

Meet our 2023 Young CA Regional Award winners

These awards celebrate members who have made significant contributions to both the profession and the community. This year’s winners embody what it means to be a difference maker through their outstanding work with CA ANZ, and the broader impact they make every day.

Hayden Walsh – Waikato, NZ

An unwavering determination in the face of adversity.

Hayden WalshHayden’s journey has been one of resilience, determination and a passion for innovation. After a major head injury forced him to leave university, Hayden faced the daunting task of relearning basic skills. Despite being told that his dreams of pursuing a university degree were over, Hayden refused to give up. Through sheer determination, he obtained his degree and Chartered Accountant qualification, embracing new opportunities and driving the adoption of cloud technology within the CA community. Hayden’s commitment to giving back is evident through his mentorship of students at Hamilton Boys High School, where he inspires young minds to the opportunities that come with a CA qualification. Hayden’s success serves as a testament to the transformative power of becoming a CA.

Elise Stewart – NSW, Australia

Reminds us of the importance of lifelong learning.

Elise StewartElise has been instrumental in planning and driving the implementation of various networking, social and learning events for members in the Albury and Wodonga region, to assist with building greater connection across the CA community. As well as being an active voice for young CA members, Elise is a representative for local members, often providing feedback and insights to the NSW Council on issues from within the region and community. While completing a Masters in Taxation and UNSW, Elise has remained a central volunteer on the YCA NSW Panel, empowering young professionals to develop their skills and knowledge.

Thanh Thu (Ella) Tran – ACT, Australia

Committed to engaging future students with profession.

Ella TranAfter a career in television, Ella studied accounting, weaving two career paths into an unwavering drive to share her skillset and get involved with the community. Actively engaged in YCA events with CA ANZ, Ella has represented the voice of early career professionals in the ACT. Ella is committed to attracting future students to the profession in her dedication to organising professional development workshops, most notably, the 2023 Women in Accounting Forum. Dedicated not only to supporting high school students in their transition to university, Ella is mentor to aspiring accounting professionals.

Nghia (Neil) Trung Nguyen – Malaysia

An international champion for CA ANZ and the accounting profession.

Neil NguyenAn extensive global network has provided Neil the unique opportunity to become a champion for CA ANZ and the profession across various countries outside of Australia. Committed to the representing the voice of international CAs, Neil has been part of the CA ANZ regional council in both Malaysia and Singapore. With a passion empowering young professionals, Neil was responsible for interviewing Entrepreneur of the Year Award (EOY) nominees for the purpose of identifying and recognising an entrepreneur who has contributed significantly to the community with their business and innovation. Neil was also the honorary auditor for the Junior Chamber International Malaysia (JCI) Creative Young Entrepreneur award in 2022 and 2023.

Matthew Dodds – QLD, Australia

Building a community of young Chartered Accountants in the Gold Coast.

Matthew DoddsMatthew set out tobuild a strong community of CAs on the Gold Coast, especially amongst the young members. Since then, the landscape has been transformed with multiple young CA events, sharing knowledge sessions and award ceremonies being held, as well as the formation of the CA ANZ Regional Gold Coast Committee. As a member of the CA ANZ Speaker Program, Matthew regularly dedicates his time to speaking regularly at professional, networking and student events, where he is inspiring the next generation of CAs to discover career pathways within the profession.

Kevin Wei – Hong Kong

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Kevin WeiEver since first arriving in Hong Kong, Kevin has been an active member of the CA ANZ Hong Kong Chapter. Six years in, Kevin now leads the Young Chartered Accountants subcommittee, hosting energising events through tea-tasting, trivia and volunteering at ImpactHK, a charity that focusses on helping the homeless in Hong Kong. As a passionate champion for inclusion in the profession, Kevin conducted bilingual property tax seminars in New Zealand, empowering the real estate industry with his professional knowledge.

Andrew Mahoney – Wellington, New Zealand

An advocate for ethics remaining at the heart of the accounting profession.

Andrew MahoneyAndrew has been an active member on several committees in New Zealand, mentoring emerging leaders, finding new opportunities to engage with members and advocating on behalf of new and provisional members. As a passionate volunteer, Andrew has contributed his professional skills to raising funds for Wellington Children’s Hospital, successfully achieving their $400,000 target in the first year, as well as providing logistical and administration support to the One Million Mask programme aimed at providing respiratory masks to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Andrew has also supported the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University of Wellington by providing lectures on ethics.

Meena Shrestha – NT, Australia

Driving diversity, equity and inclusion in the NT accounting community.

Meena ShresthaWith a unique focus on recruitment in the Northern Territory, Meena is a passionate advocate for the representation of the NT in the wider accounting profession, including acting as a panel member for the Youthworx NT Connect Diverse Ability Networking event. Committed to supporting her local community, Meena works as a mentor and volunteer for local community bodies, often offering pro-bono reporting and accounting advice for events running in the Katherine Region. Having established an office in the Katherine, Meena is able to continue promoting CA ANZ membership in the region, encouraging more young professionals to join the CA Program.

Daniella Biagi – SA, Australia

Advocate for equal opportunity in the profession.

Daniella BiagiIn broadening the consideration of diversity matters of interest for members in the South Australia region, Daniella has been an effective representative for the diversity needs of Chartered Accountants. As panel member for the SA/NT Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel, Daniella assisted in identifying new and innovative products and services to address diversity trends for CAs. As an advocate for equal opportunity, Daniella was involved in fundraisers for the Friends of Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation, speaking at the CA ANZ Women in Business Conference 2023, and supported the WE’RE EQUAL campaign led by the Office of the Commissioner for equal opportunity in South Australia.

Lydia Sia – VIC, Australia

Leading the way both in-person and online.

Lydia SiaLydia is a dedicated, committed and passionate young CA. An engaging and experienced public speaker, Lydia successfully facilitated panels and presentations and events and conferences within the profession. Lydia built and grew the Melbourne chapter of the Harvard Business School online community during the Covid-19 pandemic, and has subsequently grown the in-person community. More recently, Lydia led the partnership between the Melbourne and Sydney chapters to win the Harvard Business School online global business challenge.

Nik Trajcevski – WA, Australia

Passionate about ensuring the voice of young CAs is represented.

Nik TrajcevskiNik has been an outstanding member on the Western Australia Young Chartered Accountants Panel from 2019 to present, and is the current Panel Chair. As part of this Nik oversees a number of volunteering initiatives aimed at ensuring YCA involvement, including Disabled Surfing, Relay for Life and Ronald McDonald House. However, Nik’s passion lies in networking and devising opportunities for reluctant members to devote extra time to develop their skills.

YCA Panel

See what the next generation of Difference Makers are championing the profession.

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