18 December 2020

As we approach the end of what has been a challenging year for everyone, the Board would like to pay tribute to our members who have worked to support businesses, clients and employers in the recovery effort. 

This year, like no other, has highlighted the value of innovation, adaptability and working towards a common objective and CPA Australia members have demonstrated tremendous resilience and resolve. 

CPA Australia is committed to supporting members throughout this period by delivering value and providing continuity of service. 

CPA Australia's Board of Directors met this week and would like to provide an update on the topics discussed at the meeting. 

  1. Appointment of Michaela Browning to the Board of CPA Australia
  2. CPA Virtual Congress
  3. CPA Member Connect
  4. CPA Australia Releases Value of Advice Report
  5. Divisional Council Office Bearer Elections
  6. Member Engagement Survey
  7. INTHEBLACK Mental Health and Wellbeing edition

1. Appointment of Michaela Browning to the Board of CPA Australia

CPA Australia is pleased to announce that Ms Michaela Browning has been appointed to the CPA Australia Board of Directors. Michaela is a long-standing senior executive of the Australian Diplomatic corps and brings to the Board a deep understanding of industry and international relations in regions where CPA Australia operates. She is currently CEO of the National Foundation for Australia China Relations, prior to which she served as Australia's Consul-General in Hong Kong from 2017 until early 2020. 

The Appointments Council, which comprises members elected from CPA Australia's Divisional Councils, made the appointment in accordance with CPA Australia's Constitution as part of the selection process it undertook during 2020. This appointment brings the number of directors on the Board to the maximum of ten permitted by the Constitution. Michaela's term as a director commences on 31 December 2020 and runs until October 2023. As and while an Australian public servant, Michaela has asked to perform the role on a pro bono basis. Michaela's full biography is available on CPA Australia's website.

2. CPA Virtual Congress

More than 8300 accounting and finance professionals tuned into CPA Australia's first Virtual Congress. Due to the impact of COVID-19, CPA Virtual Congress was held as an interactive, global online event over three days in November, with business leaders and renowned speakers sharing their expertise on strategy, innovation, change leadership and finance transformation. The theme 'Taking Care of Business' acknowledged the important contribution finance and business professionals are making to assist organisations in recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

3. CPA Member Connect

Our new member engagement platform CPA Member Connect continues to gain momentum since being launched in September, with more than 6050 members now registered on the platform. In a year where people could not come together in person, CPA Member Connect provides members with another way to engage with their peers and professional networks. It offers a safe and private environment where members can discuss industry topics, seek career advice or share experiences.

4. CPA Australia Releases Value of Advice Report

CPA Australia released the Value of Advice Report on 25 November 2020. The report, which follows on from our Regulatory Burden Report in 2019, contains comprehensive research and analysis that advocates for regulatory reform by measuring the value of professional advice provided to consumers, small business and the community. The research findings show that the more people who use professional advice, the greater the advantage to individuals, businesses and society as a whole.

5. Divisional Council Office Bearer Elections 

The Divisional Councils have now elected their Office Bearers for 2021. The Board sincerely thanks the members who volunteered their time and energy on Divisional Councils and those who took on the roles of President and Deputy President in their respective councils during 2020. We look forward to working with the incoming office bearers and Divisional Councillors in 2021. Details of Councillors and office bearers for each Division will be available on the website in the new year. 

6. Member Engagement Survey

CPA Australia places great importance on the views of members and we thank all the members who provided feedback via our annual Member Engagement Survey. This year more than 10,000 members responded to the survey. The results of the survey are an important benchmark in the way CPA Australia measures performance and help us improve the service and value we deliver to members. The Board is encouraged by the results which show continued improvement across key performance areas, including member satisfaction. Further results will be reported to members in the 2020 Integrated Report.  

7. INTHEBLACK Mental Health and Wellbeing edition

COVID-19 has affected each of us in different ways and has made us all change the way we live and work. Understandably, this has caused uncertainty for many people. To coincide with Mental Health month in October, CPA Australia published a special edition of INTHEBLACK in addition to our normal monthly magazine. The special edition focussed on strategies to assist members in bolstering their mental wellbeing, bringing together a curated collection of articles, podcasts, videos and other resources to assist CPA Australia members to navigate through these challenging times. This is the first special edition of INTHEBLACK and we are planning to produce further themed publications in 2021.

Finally, on behalf of the Board I would like to wish you and your families all the best for the festive season and a safe and happy New Year..

Merran Kelsall FCPA
President and Chairman
On behalf of CPA Australia's Board of Directors


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