Member stories

John Kenley FCPA

John Kenley FCPAJohn Kenley was the first accountant to operate a kerosene-powered lighthouse in World War II. It was in the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia, the southernmost point of Japanese bombing raids, and Kenley worked for the military in radar. As a young man Kenley wanted to be a dentist, but found himself pushed into commerce. After a few years in business he took a chance to join the public service as he has seen first-hand the devastation of long-term unemployment. The young accountant gained a masters degree and a PhD and after nearly 20 years left the public service to become the first technical officer of the Australian Society of Accountants (now CPA Australia), later winning a Churchill Fellowship to study in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa. In 1966, Kenley moved onto a full-time role with the Australian Accounting Research Foundation, which was set up jointly by CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

Derrick Docherty FCPA

Derrick Docherty FCPAAt the age of 33 Derrick Docherty was made CFO of IBM Australia and New Zealand “I was a bit wet around the ears, but we survived,” Docherty says. Docherty started his career as a 15-year-old junior clerk with the Sydney Water Board and earned his stripes attending night school at Sydney Technical College. After a stint in New York, Docherty was called back to Australia where he remained with IBM and became the first national president of the Group of 100 – an association of senior finance executives. In the early 1980s Docherty received a surprise call asking him to go to Canberra, to receive the first CPA Certificate from the then prime minister, Bob Hawke. Docherty says of the experience, ”it was quite a buzz. Bob Hawke really can turn the charm on”. Docherty retired at 55 and became the Chairman of Legal and General, Hannover Life Re and the Rice Marketing Board for the State of New South Wales.

Jon Masters FCPA

Jon Masters FCPAAs a youngster Jon Masters found himself drafted into two armies. After national service in Australia, he moved to the United States at age 20 and joined the elite 101st Airborne Division. He was on guard in 1957 when the first black students attended a school in Little Rock, Arkansas, a celebrated moment in civil rights. Years later, when Masters retired, the keen surf lifesaver and former first-grade rugby player volunteered more of his time with CPA Australia. Masters started Centres of Excellence, chaired the Investigations Committee and served as a divisional councillor, state president and national board member, “I got a lot of personal satisfaction out of the work”, says Masters.

Joycelyn Morton FCPA

Joycelyn Morton FCPAJoycelyn Morton spent her childhood years in Zambia until the age of seven and though Africa remained close to her heart, as she neared her senior years at a suburban Sydney high school in the mid-1970s, Morton realised the landlocked nation could not offer her the same opportunities as Australia. In 2000, Morton became CPA Australia’s second national female president. She is now Australia’s representative on the Board of the International Federation of Accountants and will step down at the end of the year after serving the maximum term. An FCPA and life member of CPA Australia, Morton graduated with an economics degree from Sydney University. She applied to the then Big Eight accounting firms and received offers from all of them. Morton worked at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) and she says “I was advised I would get excellent experience and training from them which I did”. Morton worked in audit and tax eventually moving into a general management role with Shell in the Netherlands. She is now a non-executive director of fashion retailer Noni-B, wealth manager Count Financial and industrial products maker Crane Group. Her advice to young professionals – especially women: “Find a good mentor and never stop learning”.

Chris Thompson CPA

Chris Thompson CPAChris Thompson packs a lot into his day at Coca-Cola Amatil – he spends his days managing the commercial side of procurement for the food and drink giant. The Sydneysider joined Coca-Cola Amatil as a trainee after graduating with a Bachelor of Accounting at the University of Technology, Sydney. He started his CPA training at the same time. “I used the CPA Program to learn about the areas I was in,” says Thompson. “The reason I chose the CPA Program was because of the broad range of subject choices.” The 26-year-old is keen to spend some time overseas, but for now he’s focused on moving “around the organisation and getting experience and exposure to different parts of the business”. Chris is also a face of a CPA Australia advertising campaign.

Loh Hoon Sun FCPA

Loh Hoon Sun FCPAAt 72, Loh Hoon Sun has no plans to step down as managing director of Singapore’s global stockbroking house, Phillip Securities. After 20 years in the job, the CPA Australia Fellow and life member says he plans to continue working. ‘The retirement age has become fairly flexible and as long as I’m healthy and as long as I still find the job interesting – and, of course, my company still finds me contributing – then I think I’ll just carry on’, Loh says. Born in China and raised in Malaysia, Loh has been a tireless giver to the Singapore division of CPA Australia where he served as president from 1997 to 2005. Loh graduated with a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Queensland and began his career in unit trust management and moved about the industry. His involvement in CPA Australia has been a two-way street and he has been rewarded with a welcome payback: ‘It has been good business networking for me’.

William Crellin FCPA

William Crellin FCPAWilliam Crellin was born in the south of England in 1821. He arrived in Australia in 1852 on one of the first steam ships, the S S Australasian. Mr Crellin audited the Melbourne branch of the Royal Mint during the late 1870s and was on the committee that sent the invitations for the inaugural Incorporated Institute of Accountants Victoria (IIAV) meeting held on 12 April 1886. Mr Crellin was the first President of the IIAV (now known as CPA Australia), holding the office from 1886–92. In May 1887 Mr Crellin, upon hearing that two fellow councillors were going to England, suggested they bring back books to begin a technical library for the IIAV. During his presidency Crellin oversaw the preparation and adoption of the memorandum and articles of association; the registration of the IIAV as a company; the appointment of an Examining Committee; and the setting up of a library.He remained on the IIAV council until 1894.

Malcolm Irving FCPA

Malcolm Irving FCPAIn the 1950s, Malcolm Irving set sail for a career in London and Canada with accounting qualifications firmly under his belt. His career took him into merchant banking and he joined the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in 1978. He stayed with the CIBC Australia until 1990 when he retired after 12 years as managing director. Irving has had a career spanning great heights, including heading several government bodies, being a director of Telstra and chairman of Caltex for six years. But the FCPA has never forgotten his training. “I’ve always been quite proud to be an accountant, and I think if you’re a serious accountant you should be a member of your industry association”, says Irving. Until last year Irving was deputy chancellor of Macquarie University. Among other board commitments, he remains chair of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and is a director of Macquarie University Hospital.