30 Under 30 Accountants Daily winners


10th December, 2020

Winners react: 30 Under 30 Accountants Daily awards

Last week, Accountants Daily announced their 30 Under 30 award winners in partnership with MYOB. This week, we’re sharing some of the winners’ reactions.

In a live-broadcast event, the second-annual 30 Under 30 Accountants Daily took place — albeit in a slightly different setting than last year’s proceedings.

On the night, 30 accounting professionals across 15 categories were recognised as winners, and Accountants Daily has since published this list in full here.

According to Accountants Daily, these awards recognise ‘a distinct group of talent and personalities that are forming under the age of 30 … designed to shine the spotlight on these emerging stars’.

MYOB chief executive Greg Ellis congratulated each winner and finalist, and thanked the profession for their hard work through the “toughest year on record”.

“Well done to each of the winners and nominees on your achievements this year,” Ellis said.

“It has been a big year for the industry, with more opportunity than ever to demonstrate the value of your counsel.”

Each of the winners are recognised as exemplars in their field, which in turn has a significant influence on the health of local businesses, as well as the economy.

It’s the dedication to such vital work that makes the winners of these awards stand out.

“MYOB research found 14 percent of small businesses engaged an accountant for the first time in 2020 and 43 percent said their relationship with their accountant is now stronger,” explained Ellis.

“This is testament to the work you undertook to support your clients through the toughest year on record and you should be proud of all you have accomplished.”

Reflections on a long year

Olivia Palfreyman, administration manager at Palfreyman Chartered Accountants, won the Wellness Advocacy category in 2019, returned for a second consecutive win this year.

More than just being excited by the victory, Palfreyman offered further context on what meaning such a win offers young professionals like her.

“It’s not the satisfaction of winning, but a celebration of the work each finalist or winner has put into improving the industry and what we can offer as a collective to clients and team members,” she said.

“For me personally, being a two-time winner says this improvement has continued to have an impact on the industry over a substantial period of time now, and I’m very excited about that.”

Her work in the wellness space also provides a unique perspective on how accountants and the organisations they work for can continue looking for better health outcomes.

“This to me is especially crucial for the accounting industry, as it is one where mental health and unrealistic working hours is considered a consequence of becoming ‘successful’,” explained Palfreyman.

“As we’re motivated by looking after our clients, it’s also easy to forget to look after ourselves. What these awards do is encourage businesses to implement wellbeing measures, as they give them the chance to be recognised for good practice.

“I also believe they showcase ways in which professionals can be supported to achieve better overall wellbeing which is great when it is still a relatively new and unknown concept.”

For Shaunie Huzzey, cloud accounting consultant at Mazars Australia, it may be her first time being nominated for the 30 Under 30, but she managed to secure a final place in three categories, going on to win two over all: Tech Innovator and Business Advisory.

Similar to Palfreyman, Huzzey sees the awards as testament to her ability to make a difference for her clients, while also better enabling her to inspire others to be passionate about the profession.

“I love working so closely with clients and having the opportunity to see the day-to-day impacts that my advice can have.

“My passion for process improvement also allows me to help my colleagues and peers, both nationally and internationally, to improve their processes, so that they can better serve their clients and achieve a better work-life balance through efficiency gains.”

Charl Van Den Berg, corporate tax manager for Grant Thornton was also a first-time winner at the event in the Tax and Compliance category, who sees the awards as proof positive that he’s “doing the right things for the profession and am chasing the right career”.

“It also further supports the amazing work the tax team I work with at Grant Thornton Australia does on a daily basis.

“I also hope this inspires the students I tutor at the University of Queensland to chase a profession in tax (as we all know, tax accountants are the Bees Knees!).

And, like so many others in the accounting field, Van Den Berg is passionate about the impact his work can have — and making a strong case for the resilience of the Australian business community.

“So many businesses are creating incredibly innovative and exciting products, services and business models which can and will likely shape the way in which the world operates in the future,” he said.

“To be helping these businesses access funding and investment and be structured appropriately to reach their next growth goal, is my favourite thing about working in the accounting field.”