Tax Partner: invest early in your career

Geoff Stein, CTA, Partner at Brown
Wright Stein Lawyers, shares why he values professional development events –
including the recent Women in Tax Special 
Budget Edition Lunch in
Sydney – why practitioners need to get on top of change and advice he’s followed
from the early stages of his career.
Geoff has worked as
a lawyer in Sydney for over 20 years, specialising in commercial and tax law.
He advises clients on tax, commercial, trust, estate planning, wealth
management and ancillary legal issues.
“Today was a great
lunch for Women in Tax,” he says.
“We really got down
to some hard tax issues, and it was great to see that from not just a female
perspective, but to talk about the general issues and to have female voices
Investing in your
own community
The Tax
Institute CPD events
 are fantastic, and I encourage all of our
staff to attend as many as we can,” he says.
“They are pitched
at various different levels, and it means that there's usually something for
“I'm a regular at the National Convention,
and also go regularly to the 
Noosa Tax
. I find there’s a little bit of a step up in intensity, as you would
expect at Noosa, and more focused on the particular problems in SME space.
“For our staff, the
networking and mentoring that’s available is invaluable, and the fact that
you’re investing in your own community. Generally, as a firm, we try and
support The Tax Institute because it's about what we can do for each other, and
it's a member based, member focused organisation. The more we together put into
it, the more collectively we get out of it,” he explains.
Invest early and
“One of the very
first tips I got as a very, very young lawyer was to study a proper course of
taxation and do hard subjects.
“When I was young
the Institute course wasn’t available and I did my structured education through
the university doing a Master’s course specialising in tax subjects.
“It has been the
most valuable thing for my career and I tell others ‘invest early in your
career and prosper’.”
Opportunities to
develop your tax career
Geoff says being a member of The Tax Institute has played a
key role in his career development.
“Some of the
opportunities that The Tax Institute has helped me with in developing my career
have included the opportunity to speak and present, lead workshops at Noosa,
and generally to be part of a community that enables me to have access to
information and peers,” he says.
Chartered Tax
 (CTAs), what it means is an emblem representing a quality of
excellence and a dedication to a career in tax.” 
 Renew your membership today!

Why tax
practitioners need to get on top of change
Geoff says
technological disruption and change is difficult for tax people to understand.
“Most of us like
routine, and most of us like the way things have always been done, but it's
very important, like any other sector of the community, that we get on top of
it,” he explains.
“I find,
particularly, that it's challenging because I'm a bit of a dinosaur, perhaps an
anachronism in my own lifetime.
“One of the
advantages that I have is having younger staff teach me, almost a reverse
mentoring, how to apply the technology that's available and make the best use
of it,” he says.
And his advice for
new professionals?
“Learn as much as you can, as quickly
as you can, and 
join The Tax
,” he says.


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