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Accountant steps up in Melbourne Bourke St tragedy

Accountant steps up in Melbourne Bourke St tragedy

An accounting firm has stepped up to help manage the funds raised by the general public for the Melbournian man who helped confront the Bourke Street attacker with a shopping trolley last week.

Business Jotham Lian 15 November 2018
— 2 minute read

Michael Rogers, who is believed to be homeless, attempted to help police officers by confronting the knife-wielding attacker with a shopping trolley during last week’s Bourke Street incident.

A GoFundMe page, set up by the managing director of not-for-profit organisation National Homeless Collective, Donna Stolzenberg, has now raised over $140,000 for Mr Rogers, despite the fundraiser initially set up to help fund a new phone after it was destroyed in the incident.

Accounting firm One Ledger, who have offices in both Melbourne and Perth, have now stepped in to help manage the funds pro bono.

Speaking to Accountants Daily, One Ledger director Hai Trang said the firm was kept in the loop by Ms Stolzenberg, due to their work with the National Homeless Collective.

While Ms Stolzenberg has pledged that all funds raised for Mr Rogers will go to him, Mr Trang said the firm will be looking to help mentor and guide Mr Rogers on his financial responsibilities.

“The legalities and admin side is still to be discussed but I believe that the plan is it is going to be held in trust because first and foremost we need to ensure the wellbeing of Michael through the traumatic experience and we want to assist him with all the guidance he requires with this sum of money,” said Mr Trang.

“At the end of the day the fund is 100 per cent Michael's and we just want to oversee that the funds raised by the general public has been spent accordingly so we're thinking of creating two bank accounts- one obviously held in trust and the other one which is going to be day to day transactional which will give Michael the freedom to spend on whatever he wishes to spend the money on but we will obviously monitor the majority of the funds there to ensure that they are being spent accordingly.

“We're not financial planners so we are careful in what we do advise Michael and we're currently in talks with financial advisers to assist him in this space. As with our other CFO managed clients, we'll be assisting Michael with the budgeting, cash flow, and mentoring of his financial position as well as just coach him through the financial responsibility of the sum of money.”

Accountants Daily understands that the firm will be meeting up with Mr Rogers next week, where they will take him through an action plan.

“He's been through a traumatic experience and we want to ensure that he is not overwhelmed with this sum of money,” said Mr Trang.

“We're in talks with government agencies such as Centrelink just to make sure that this doesn't impact on any of his benefits but our first priority is making sure that Michael is ok and helping him get back on his feet with regards to accommodation and shelter.”

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Accountant steps up in Melbourne Bourke St tragedy
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