JUDGES

Judges
Claire Bibby

Senior Lawyer & Professional Coach

Claire is a senior lawyer and professional coach, based in Sydney, Australia. Claire has over 30 years of experience gained through senior management appointments with some of the world’s largest companies and at top-tier law firms.

As well as practising law, Claire is an internationally qualified life coach (ACC) and in 2018 she founded a global professional coaching practice in which she coaches private and corporate clients, specialising in lawyers and executives, to empower them to move their career and leadership dreams into active, actionable, pursuits. As a member of both the International Coaching Federation and The Institute of Coaching McLean/Harvard Medical School, Claire is passionate about helping lawyers and executives rewrite the rules, whether they be craving clarity on what a dream career by design looks like, want to finally move that great business idea off the back burner and into reality, or how to get that next promotion or a new job.

Outside of her executive life, Claire is a non-executive director of multiple ASX listed companies and is an Industry/Professional Fellow with the University of Technology Sydney, School of Law. In addition, Claire is an honorary member of the New South Wales executive of the Australian Association of Corporate Counsel and a committee member of the New South Wales Law Society Futures Committee.

Claire has been recognised as one of Australia’s best lawyers and female executives, including having been awarded the “Excellence Award for Women in Law”, “General Counsel of the Year”, “Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia & New Zealand”, “Mentor of the Year” and was featured in SmartCompany's International Women's Day Showcase.

Part and parcel with her passion for coaching, Claire is an active public speaker on issues of innovation, diversity and inclusion, psychological wellness, developing high performing teams and women’s leadership. Claire is also a mentor for 7 x World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley AO's "Aim for the Stars" Foundation.

Judges
Dr Vincent Bicudo de Castro

Senior Lecturer in Accounting
Deakin University

Dr Vincent Bicudo de Castro is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting in 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 in 2014. 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. Furthermore, he has authored and co-authored a number of research papers. While in Monash, he was the recipient of the Monash Graduate Research and Faculty of Business and Economics scholarships. After his move to Deakin to become a lecturer, 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 in 2015. In 2016, Vincent was a finalist for the Victorian International Alumnus of the Year.

Judges
Grant Bloxham

CA CEO and Founder of
Bstar

Grant is considered an industry thought leader on how accountants can grow their advisory services revenue and attract ‘ideal’ SME clients to their practice.

Grant is passionate about professional advisers offering more value-adding services to their SME clients and is co-author of Bstar’s bi-annual Accountants and SME research reports.

Grant provides ongoing advice and support to professional advisers on how to grow their practice by implementing the Value Improvement Benchmarking Advice (viba) advisory process.

Judges
Drew Browne

Founder and Financial Adviser
Sapience Financial & Investment Services

Drew's an award-winning provocative writer, speaker, financial advisor and diversity and inclusion
ambassador. He specialises in working with entrepreneurs, small business owners and their families
helping them better manage known key risks.
A straight-talking financial advisor who believes life is not about money, he runs a purpose aligned
company, Sapience Financial & Investment, along with separate specialty brands using business
solutions to solve key social problems.
He’s a founding writer for successful small business owners and entrepreneurs at Smallville.com.au a
Mentor with The Pinnacle Foundation and in 2017 he received the Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow
Award.

Judges
Lielette Calleja

Director
All That Counts

Lielette Calleja is highly regarded in the accounting and bookkeeping industry, with a long history of advocating for the profession.

She is the founder and director of All That Counts, a leading and multi-award-winning firm with over 25 years of budgeting, financial management, accounting, and bookkeeping experience.

Before starting up her own business in 2004, Lielette held senior finance positions in the commercial private sector, primarily in the entertainment and music industry.

Lielette recently joined The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA Group) in the newly created role of AAT Chief Accounting Technician, where her focus is primarily around advocacy and technical professional development programs for accounting technicians, and development of the Accounting Technician brand.

Judges
Jeremy Danon

Director
Ariel & Associates Pty Ltd

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.

Judges
Jamie Davison

Co-Founder
Carbon Group

Prior to launching Carbon Group, Jamie ran a successful bookkeeping firm, Fortuna Bravado. As a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA), Jamie has an advantage over other bookkeepers and could offer a different service.

Jamie now heads up the Carbon Bookkeeping & CFO services team nationally, a complete change from when he started as one-man band working from a spare room at home.

Jamie spends his time as a board member for multiple tech start-ups, an international F&B business and an emerging pharmaceutical business, and is a board member for Perth Angel Investors.

Judges
Michael Drage

Founder
Re-Imagined Habitat

With over 25 years in the financial planning and investment industry, Michael now blends this with two of his other passions- Building Design and Sustainability.
He established reimagined Habitat to provide design and construction advice to clients wishing to create sustainable, energy efficient houses. Using his financial planning background, the service not only takes into account the design and needs of clients, but also investigates the investment return on both the asset and the running costs through sustainable design, building techniques and technology and also looks at flexibility of usage over time. reimagined Habitat helps advisers’ work with clients to make more informed investment decisions related to the family home or their investment properties.

Judges
Nicole Hatherley

Founder and Director
Brand True North

As a leading Brand and Leadership Strategist, international keynote speaker, facilitator, published writer, Nicole Hatherly offers 26 years’ experience delivering cutting edge leadership strategies for international organisations. Nicole works with financial services leaders and teams, academics, actuaries, government departments, organisations, and business leaders to create effective processes and influence for impact.

Judges
Kerry Humphreys

Associate Professor, Academic Mentoring Coordinator | School of Accounting, Auditing and Taxation
UNSW Business School

Kerry Humphreys (PhD, CA) is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of School (Accounting) at UNSW Sydney. She researches and teaches in behavioural management accounting, and supervises research students in the Honours and PhD programs. Kerry’s research investigates when managers make effective decisions incorporating strategic and performance information, and how new managers can learn to make better decisions using this information. She has published in leading academic journals, and received international award recognition and grant funding. Her teaching and curricula development have been recognised with university, disciplinary and national teaching awards, including the Pearson Education Accounting/Finance Lecturer of the Year award.

Judges
Melissa Meagher

Owner
Talking Money

Melissa has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, working previously as a financial planner, stockbroker and seminar delivery specialist. Melissa has worked with a variety of different employers – from large financial institutions such as Sunsuper, Suncorp and Westpac to small boutique financial planning firms.
With a passion for finance and making a difference in people’s lives, Melissa was naturally drawn into financial planning. But while working in the industry she realised there was a strong need to educate and coach people around managing their money.
Melissa consolidated all her knowledge around finances and her love of working with people and created her own Money Mindset and Success Coaching business called Talking Money.
Talking Money is about changing people’s lives; by providing the tools, support and framework to empower them to have clarity, awareness and efficiency around their money.
Melissa creates a safe space to have a real conversation about money and is passionate about uncovering how our relationship with money impacts our motivations and behaviour every…single…day!
Melissa has spoken extensively as a Guest Speaker and has also been a contributor in numerous magazines and newspapers including Marie Claire Australia.
Melissa has been member of the Financial Planning Association since 1997.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance), Diploma of Financial Planning, and is a Certified Financial Planner (non-practicing)
Melissa likes to keep fit and healthy and enjoys spending time with her two children Olivia and Lachlan. Good company, food and wine are essential!

Judges
Sascha Moore

Director
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.

Judges
Sarah Murray

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 to maintain their licences through ongoing compliance processes and procedures and the development of compliance programs. She also has oversight of all AUSTRAC registrations and development of Anti-Money Laundering / Counter-Terrorism Financing programs on behalf of clients.

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 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.

Judges
Kim Payne

Managing Director
9Rok

    Kim is a maths, stats, and numbers nerd who loves making complex stuff easy to understand. After nearly 30 years in financial services, she knows complicated does not have to be confusing.  

She believes that being a technical genius is not enough for sustained success. It’s about mastering how to catch and keep valuable clients and become an indispensable player in their lives.

Whether she’s delivering inspiring keynotes, running group workshops, or coaching ambitious advisers, her focus is on helping professionals communicate the value of advice.

Nail this and they can earn more money, make a bigger impact, and grow a business that makes them proud.

Kim spent the first part of her career (almost 20 years) in the corporate world across stockbroking, relationship management, financial advising, training and consulting.

In 2010 she jumped ship and became a business owner, running multiple financial services businesses.

Her formal credentials include a Bachelor of Economics, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, and an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

Judges
Guy Pearson

CEO/Chairman/Angel Investor
PracticeIgnition/InteractiveAccounting/8+fintechstartups

Guy Pearson is a Chartered Accountant, a Tax agent with 15 years experience in public practice (8 as a Director) and a self confessed geek as a lover of numbers and technology.
His mantra is “Utilitarianism” - the greatest good for the greatest number, or in short, to get the right information to the right people to make the right decision. His journey from cloud accounting firm founder to tech company CEO follows this path.
A multi award winning entrepreneur, a keynote speaker and accounting industry stalwart (especially in the cloud discussion). Guy shares knowledge to help step change the industry and wants to help his fellow men and women get better advice to their clients, faster. Lastly, putting the gains where his mouth is, Guy has made numerous investments in startup fintech + business tech platforms around the globe and sits on a 12+ advisory boards.

Judges
Alicia Pevely

General Manager
Sophie Grace Pty Ltd

An integral member of the Sophie Grace team since 2012, 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, 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.

Judges
Dr Maryam Safari

Lecturer
School of Accounting - RMIT University

Dr Maryam Safari is a lecturer in Accounting in the School of Accounting at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Maryam's PhD research focused on the Australian corporate governance, and financial reporting quality. Maryam’s current research focuses on corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and social and human capital. She has a particular interest in these issues in corporate governance contexts. Maryam's teaching experience spans a range of subjects in financial accounting at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Judges
Tanya Sale

CEO
Outsource Financial

Tanya Sale brings over 25 years experience in the banking and finance industry to her role as Founder/Chief Executive Officer of outsource financial pty ltd. Feeling inhibited by the restraints of working for other people and with a desire to change the lending landscape in Australia, armed with a set of business models she had created over 12 years earlier, in 2010 Tanya launched outsource financial. The company is now one of largest independently owned Aggregators in Australia.

Initially Tanya held Senior Executive positions in Third Party Banking prior to moving from the Banks to the private sector where she accepted a role with National Aggregator group Lawfund where she eventually held the position of Chief Executive Officer. The group won many awards under her reign of five years.

Tanya moved on to accept a challenge from one of the largest independent Wealth Dealer groups (at that time) to build a National Aggregation Group from the ground up. With Tanya as General Manager within 3 years of its launch Finconnect won Wholesale Aggregator/Originator of the Year in 2009 in the MFAA Awards.

Prior to and since outsources inception many of the existing aggregators were bought either wholly or partially by the big banks.

It is a credit to Tanya that the company has grown organically and not via acquisition or mergers which makes her success even more outstanding.

Under Tanya’s leadership outsource financial won the Australian Broking Awards Boutique Aggregator of the Year in 2012, was finalist in the Boutique Aggregator of the year in 2013, 2014, 2016, Best Training & Education in 2013, 2014, won Highly Commended in the Australian Mortgage Awards Aggregator of the Year < 500 Brokers 2016, was finalist for Best Mortgage Aggregator in the Australian Lending Awards 2017 & won Aggregator of the Year < 500 brokers in the Australian Mortgage Awards 2017.

It should also be noted that Tanya operates in an arena that is dominated by males and today she is the only female CEO and Founder /Owner of a National Aggregator. Not only that, she is very much respected in the finance industry and her comments on industry intel are constantly in the media.

For many years Tanya has been and was named in the mortgage industry hotshot list as one of Australia's top movers and shakers within the banking and finance industry.

During her career Tanya has also sat on various boards in the Technology, Financial Planning and Compliance industries.

It is to Tanya’s credit that still today she makes a point of meeting every new outsource member. This is rare for a CEO.

The company has never advertised or marketed as their reputation and credibility within the professional services sector drives their recruitment which is evidenced by the number of professionals within the company’s database.

Tanya has changed the way lending is driven in Australia.

Judges
Liz Stamford

Interim Head of Advocacy and Professional Standards
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Liz has more than three decades experience in the professional services industry, having held a number of executive positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, New York and Sydney.

During her time as Audit & Assurance Leader at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Liz drove and influenced regulatory and policy debates in reporting, assurance and insolvency areas and led the development of practical and technical resources to assist members with their regulatory, policy and ethical obligations.

In her current role as General Manager Australian Regions, Liz continues to enhance member experience throughout Australia and support meaningful engagement through our regional council governance system.

Liz is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. She is also a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Judges
Roman Zacynski

Director
Accountancy Insurance

Roman Kaczynski (CPA) started his public practice career in 1984, working in small and mid-sized practices before starting Halifax Business Consulting in 1998. It was during his time at Halifax that he was introduced to Accountancy Insurance, initially as their external accountants in 2004 in the early stages of operation, and later as a user and advisor on their tax audit insurance product, Audit Shield.

Roman’s understanding of tax audit insurance and Audit Shield saw him assist and train claims staff at Vero (one of Australia’s largest insurance companies), and in 2006 he was appointed by Vero to review and recommend all claims over $2,000.

Roman has a combined strength of accounting practice experience and claims expertise. He has provided input into the ongoing development of Accountancy Insurance’s tax audit insurance product, Audit Shield.

Roman was an adviser on the Accountancy Insurance Board until 2009 when he became a Director. He manages the underwriting agency side of Accountancy Insurance.

Judges
Cathy Dimarchos

CEO
Solutions 2 You

Cathy Dimarchos is an International Business Advisor, Speaker and award-winning Mentor who is passionate about helping people leave a lasting imprint and creating paths that enable people to lead the lives that they deserve. As a professional advisor, consultant and motivational voice, Cathy dedicates her time to perfecting a combination of people, business and situational skills, delivering tangible business toolkits and solutions to clients from every imaginable background.
Working across international borders, cultures and different perspectives highlighted the importance of embracing her professional lives holistically. Her values took centre stage and business became honest and expressive. She believes that knowledge exchange leads to effective and sustainable outcomes.
Her calling is to support others realise their unspoken ambitions and step outside the comfort zones that regularly hold them back. Through empathy, strategic positioning and old-fashioned business skills, Cathy empowers people to establish healthy professional boundaries, think limitlessly and challenge norms, while rediscovering a curiosity of knowledge.
Cathy works with large corporates, SMEs, teams, CEOs and individuals to support them through change. Developing people to stretch their boundaries and deliver optimum outcomes is how growth is achieved in business. Her vision is to lift the baseline of where people live their life across the Globe and is committed to lifting the baseline in underprivileged and underdeveloped countries so that they too may live the life that they deserve.
Through her upcoming book "Same People, Different Vision" which will be released in the second half of 2021, Cathy Dimarchos is adding yet another key element to her purpose of lifting the baseline across the world and developing the leaders of tomorrow.

Judges
Vicki Stylianou

Group Executive, Advocacy & Policy
Institute of Public Accountants

Vicki is currently employed by the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), which is one of the professional accounting bodies in Australia, with over 35,000 members in 65 countries worldwide. The IPA has offices across Australia, in London, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Two-thirds of the IPA’s members work in or with small business or SMEs. Further information can be found at, www.publicaccountants.org.au.

Vicki came to the IPA in 2007 from the Australian Federal Treasury, where she worked in business tax policy, prudential regulation of the banking sector, financial literacy and in the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Prior to this, Vicki was a practicing lawyer specialising in commercial litigation, working in Australia and overseas. Vicki holds a BJuris, LLB, BA, MBA (international business) and DFP.