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Founding chair of mid-tier passes away at 73


The founding chair of Moore Stephens Australia has passed away, with fellow professionals recognising his drive in advancing the network and the “indelible mark” he left on the profession.

By Jotham Lian 9 minute read

John Barbour, 73, the first chair of Moore Stephens Australia, passed away on Sunday night with his family by his side.

Mr Barbour began his career at 16 in 1961, growing the Priestley & Morris accounting network, before seeing the group affiliated with Moore Stephens International, and the establishment of Moore Stephens Victoria.

He then became the Australian representative on the Moore Stephens International Policy Committee and created the federated model, introducing new firms from Sydney and Brisbane, and becoming the first chair of Moore Stephens Australia, at the age of 48.

Having retired as managing partner at 60, Mr Barbour continued to manage a portfolio of client groups as a senior consultant for ShineWing, after the firm acquired the Moore Stephens Melbourne office in 2015.

Mr Barbour was also active outside the accounting field, serving for 27 years as a director of the Fight Cancer Foundation, including roles as treasurer and chair.

Speaking to Accountants Daily, Moore Stephens Australia chair Peter Antonius offered his condolences, while recognising Mr Barbour’s long association with the network.

“Mr Barbour was instrumental in developing the network in the very early days and there is no doubt that his contribution left an indelible mark on Moore Stephens member firms,” said Mr Antonius.

ShineWing managing partner Danny Armstrong expressed great sadness at the news of Mr Barbour’s passing and noted his accomplishments in the accounting industry.

“On behalf of the partners and staff, past and present, we stand in admiration for his contribution to our firm, his support for the community, and his commitment, passion and pride,” said Mr Armstrong.

Mr Barbour is survived by his wife Julie and his four daughters, Debbie, Susan, Jenni, and Kate.

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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian


Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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