2023 judges

With a judging panel including academics, business executives, entrepreneurs and innovators, the Australian Accounting Awards is peer-reviewed recognition of your capabilities in accounting and passion for driving the industry forward.

Dr Vincent Bicudo De Castro
Dr Vincent Bicudo De Castro
Senior Lecturer,
Deakin Business School

Dr Vincent Bicudo de Castro is a Senior Lecturer at Deakin Business School. Vincent started his academic career in his native Brazil, earning two bachelor degrees and a master by research before gaining his PhD in Accounting at Monash University. Whilst studying, he also held accounting positions with KPMG, PwC and Gávea Investimentos and lecturing appointments at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Monash and Deakin University. At Deakin University, Vincent was recognised with the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Partnerships and the Faculty Staff Award for Effectiveness, Excellence and Exemplar Practice in Research.

Drew Browne
Drew Browne
CEO & Senior Financial Adviser,
Sapience Financial

Drew is an award-winning Writer, Speaker, Financial Advisor, Writer, Speaker & Family Small Business Advocate. He specialises in helping modern small business owners and their families, better protect themselves - from their own businesses.
His company’s speciality brand, Unusual Risks Insured, is the first Trauma Informed Organisation (TIO) working in Australian Financial Services. In his free time Drew writes for small business leadership, volunteers as a Mentor, and repeatedly burns things on the BBQ to the dismay of his long-suffering friends and family.
He’s been recognised and awarded by non-industry bodies for his use of technology to connect people and markets and his call for greater diversity and inclusion across the Australian Financial Services community.

Sarah Chapman
Sarah Chapman
Head of Licensing,
Sophie Grace

As the Head of Licensing, Sarah has oversight and responsibility for all AFS and credit licence applications ensuring they fulfil the legal and regulatory guidelines set by ASIC. Sarah also assists clients maintain their licences through ongoing compliance processes and procedures. She also has oversight of all AUSTRAC registrations.

Her work also involves collaborating with senior lawyers in drafting legal agreements in relation to a range of licensees, as well as assisting in legal matters where required, including licence transactions and court matters. As a senior team member having worked for Sophie Grace since 2014, Sarah provides support, guidance and advice while working closely with our junior staff.

Sarah has a Diploma of Law from the Legal Profession Admission Board and a Bachelor of Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Sydney. She is admitted as a solicitor in NSW.

Jeremy Danon
Jeremy Danon
Ariel & Associates

Jeremy Danon has undertaken compliance work in a variety of businesses and industries – futures and securities broking, market regulatory, market making, foreign exchange, accounting, banking, insurance, managed investment schemes, Registered Schemes and remittance dealing. Jeremy Danon has gained an extensive insight in providing compliance expertise to a wide cross section of clients in the financial services industry, by virtue of his experience with boards, committees and management.

With formal qualifications in business, accounting and corporate governance, Jeremy Danon has maintained his competencies with memberships of the following industry bodies:

Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.
Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Master Member of the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association.

Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch
Client Relationship Manager,

Peter Lynch is a leader in Professional Indemnity Insurance in the real estate, valuation and management right industry sectors.

He boasts over 30 years’ experience with Aon Risk Solutions and as the Client Manager is responsible for developing new business within the real estate sector including the identification of business opportunities with franchise groups and other stakeholders.

He took a significant role in providing advice and support to introduce a Real Estate specific indemnity insurance scheme and is responsible for the highly successful REIQ/REINT schemes which he coordinated with the assistance of industry, lawyers, underwriters and claims staff.

Peter has a strong interest in promoting safe and quality business practices in real estate and has been a regular contributor to course materials, presentations and editorial submissions. He has been called upon to be a guest speaker at training forums for the REIQ, REIA, REINT, REIWA and various franchise groups.

Peter also provides individual Risk Management training to a number of his Franchise Group clients.

Isha	Miglani
Isha Miglani
Senior Risk Consultant,
Grant Thornton Australia

Isha Miglani

  • Senior Risk Consultant, Grant Thornton Australia
  • Accountant (Boutique Firm) for the Year, Accountants 30 Under 30 Awards 2021
  • Rising Star of the Year, Australian Accounting Awards 2021]

Isha Miglani is a Chartered Accountant and a Senior Risk Consultant at Grant Thornton Australia. She won the Accountant of the Year (Boutique Firm) and Rising Star of the Year awards in 2021. Isha is also a passionate advocate of social causes and actively volunteers at Blackdog Institute and Opera Australia, and is currently helping women in her community build financial independence.

Sascha Moore
Sascha Moore
Create Design & Marketing

Sascha Moore is a marketing specialist, who focuses on providing highly strategic, creative solutions – predominantly to the financial services and legal industries. Sascha has extensive experience in Australia and the United States with developing effective integrated marketing programs, and directing their implementation. She is now the Director of Create Design & Marketing, a boutique marketing communications agency that fuses solid strategy and powerful designs that directly resonates with a clients’ end markets. This approach creates a true connection: and connection drives results, deepens brand equity and furthers relationships. In addition to her professional obligations, Sascha is actively committed to educating brokers on how to enhance their business through incorporating smart marketing practices.

Rahat Munir
Rahat Munir
Head Accounting and Corporate Governance,
Macquarie University

Dr Rahat Munir is a Professor and Head of Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance, Macquarie University. He is FCA, FCPA and PhD. For over 30 years Professor Munir has been at the forefront of initiatives that have positioned organisations to support significant development and change. He is internationally renowned for curriculum development, pioneering innovative learning and teaching (L&T) practices, Micro Credentials and academic standards (including TEQSA and Australian Qualification Framework), Accreditation (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, Professional Accounting Bodies), student experience and research. He has played a pivotal role in creation of research and teaching collaborations with professional accounting bodies, Universities in China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Europe. He has served on the panel for Faculty/Course Reviews of various Universities in Australia and New Zealand.

His research is across management accounting and controls and related subjects. He supervises Master of Research and Ph.D. students. His research interests include from management accounting systems, performance measurement systems, CSR, corporate governance, and management control systems. He has published in leading international journals as well as presented at international conferences in many parts of the world. He is affiliated with several professional bodies including the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, Professional Risk Managers International Association, USA, American Accounting Association and European Accounting Association.

Professor Munir serves on various high-level Committees and Advisory Boards. Professor Munir has also served on the TAFE NSW Higher Education Academic Board. He has served as guest editor and referee/scientific program committee of various international journals, and organised conferences & workshops. He has been invited for Keynote lectures and Policy presentations in international conferences and public sector institutions. With his strong engagement with industry, he leads CFO Forum, Industry Academic Series, Thought Leadership and Business Leaders Roundtables.

Professor Munir’s sustained excellence in teaching and research has been recognised through international and national awards, including:

2 x Macquarie University Vice Chancellor’s awards for developing programs and outstanding contributions to student learning,
Dean’s teaching excellence award,
2 x CPA Australia’s award for achievement in academia, and
Business/Higher Education Roundtable Award for excellence in accounting teaching collaborations.
Professor Munir's contribution has also been acknowledged for his projects in 2015 and 2021 for the Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards at the University of Pennsylvania in the Nurturing Employability Award category for the most innovative pedagogical approach to learning and teaching. He has served on the judging panel of the Momentum Media and Accountants Daily’s Australian Accounting and Australian Digital Technology and 30 Under 30 Awards. Professor Munir's case study - The Ethics of Profit in the Australian Retail Industry was amongst the top 4 teaching cases globally by the Decision Sciences Institute, Washington DC for the ‘Best Teaching Case Studies Award’ competition.

Guy	Pearson
Guy Pearson
Co-Founder and CEO,

The co-founder and CEO of Ignition, the world’s first client engagement and commerce platform for professional services.
Prior to Ignition, Guy founded Scendar (formerly Interactive Accounting), a cloud-based online accounting firm, and has more than a decades’ experience in successfully building and scaling software companies.
Guy is a Chartered Accountant by trade, angel investor and entrepreneur, who is passionate about fusing technology and accounting to solve small business problems and growing Australia’s startup ecosystem.

Alicia Pevely
Alicia Pevely
General Manager,
Sophie Grace

Alicia has extensive experience in relation to financial services law, consumer credit law, regulatory matters and ASIC investigations.
Working closely with her clients, Alicia has maintained a significant emphasis on AFS and credit licensing and liaising with ASIC. As General Manager of Sophie Grace, Alicia has oversight of all licence applications and provides advice and support in relation to more complex applications. She assists clients maintain their licences via the implementation of compliance procedures and works to develop new documentation in response to changes to the regulatory regime. Her work also involves drafting and advising on a range of legal agreements and disclosure documentation for a variety of financial services and credit licensees. As a senior member of the Sophie Grace team, Alicia provides invaluable mentoring and guidance to her colleagues.

Steve Prendeville
Steve Prendeville
Forte Asset Solutions

Is the founder and Managing Director of Forte Asset Solutions, Forte Licensing Solutions and Forte Consulting Solutions. Forte’s Asset Solutions core activity is selling financial services businesses. Forte Licensing Solutions assist practices to find the right Dealer group or become self- licenced. Forte Consulting Solutions assists business to grow.

Steve has enjoyed a successful 30 plus year career in financial services.

Steve was a Partner in Deloitte and CEO of DFS Financial Services a HNW Advisory Group. After selling DFS Steve created Australia’s first specialist financial services M&A group.

Steve is a member of the International Association of Consultants, Valuators and Analysts.

Maryam Safari
Maryam Safari
RMIT University

Dr. Maryam Safari is a senior lecturer at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. She has published in multiple high-quality outlets on a wide range of topics in the domain of corporate governance and accountability. Maryam has led multiple projects in collaboration with industry partners over the past decades and has been awarded several research grants and awards. Maryam's teaching experience spans a range of subjects in accounting at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Michael Drage
Michael Drage
Reimagined Habitat

After 25 years in the financial services sector, Michael now runs a group of companies operating in the energy efficient home sector. With National Awards across Design, Sustainable Housing and Documentation the group is a leading voice in the move to building energy efficient, healthy homes. He also uses his financial background to lead Research and Development programs in the sector.

Lielette Calleja
Lielette Calleja
business DEPOT

Lielette is well-respected in the business world as an influential leader with a genuine interest in her clients' success.

Lielette has a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of a business including operations, sales, marketing, and finance. When consulting, she applies her experience in corporate as well as her strategic thinking and analytical prowess to ask business owners a series of probing questions designed to draw out their thoughts on a wide range of issues.

Over the years, Lielette has worked with start-ups and small enterprises in a wide variety of fields, transforming them into big players.

She is well-known for her precision, expertise, promptness and calm demeanour, and clients trust Lielette to provide them with the clarity they need to make informed business decisions.
Lielette worked with the Institute of Public Accountants to develop the Certified Accounting Technician program and represented BAS Agents on several advisory roles with the Australian Taxation office.

For 18 years, Lielette lead the award-winning cloud accounting bookkeeping firm All That Counts before joining businessDEPOT. According to Lielette, it's imperative for business owners to have someone who can serve as both an industry and business thought leader.