We were delighted to announce the winners of the Tax Adviser of the Year Awards 2021 at The Tax Summit: Challenge Accepted this year, celebrating practitioners who have demonstrated professional excellence and gone above and beyond over the past 12 months.
“The Tax Adviser of the Year Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the best and brightest in our community. We have been astounded by the determination and resilience of tax advisors around the country this year, as they steered businesses through the financial minefield of COVID-19. Recognising that vital work is perhaps more important this year than ever before,” said The Tax Institute’s President, Peter Godber, CTA.
“The Tax Adviser RESPECT Awards were introduced this year especially to recognise those who went above and beyond during unprecedented challenges posed by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Awards recognise talent and achievement in across a number of categories and attracted a record number of applications. Congratulations to all our winners, finalists and all those who were nominated.
And without further ado, the winners are…
Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year Award
Winner: Aldrin De Zilva, CTA, White & Case LLP
“It's an individual award but really a testament to the wonderful people I'm truly blessed to be surrounded by, and to whom I owe a sincere debt of gratitude," Aldrin said.
"The tax fraternity is a small fraternity but its made up of so many amazing people, and I feel privileged and honoured and blessed just to be part of it. But to then come along and be nominated by my clients for something like this and to actually win it, and to be amongst those that have won this award before, it is truly a humbling experience and something I didn't ever expect."
Aldrin leads the Australian taxation practice of global law firm White & Case LLP. Aldrin is the lead taxation advisor to several foreign and Australian entities, having advised on some of Australia’s largest and most complex multi-billion transactions over the years and represented clients in respect of several high-profile tax investigations and disputes, including representing clients in the High Court of Australia.
Aldrin has assisted the Taxation Institute of Australia, Board of Taxation and other organisations with various taxation policy reviews and investigations over the years and is a Senior Fellow at the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne, having lectured in the Masters of Taxation program for more than 20 years.
“Aldrin has consistently demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit, strategic business expertise and innovative ideas we were looking for in the Award criteria. He is a wonderful representation of the best of our profession,” Peter said.
Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year Award Finalists:
Manuel Makas, CTA, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills
James Massie-Taylor, CTA, BDO
Emerging Tax Star Award
Winner: Helena Papapostolou, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills
Helena is a Senior Associate at Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney. Helena specialises in providing high value indirect tax advice to clients in various industry sectors in relation to corporate and M&A transactions, real estate transactions and investment, complex due diligence and post implementation steps.
Helena holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales, where she has also completed a Master of Laws (specialising in Corporate, Commercial and Taxation Law).
Helena was the winner of the 2020 Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Award for Taxation, recognising technical expertise and innovation in the profession and area of practice of which she is passionate.
"Thank you to The Tax Institute for being such a wonderful platform for young practitioners to learn, access its highest quality resources and share insights with peers, and to all involved in the organisation and running of this year's very successful Summit and Awards event this evening. I'm looking forward to accepting new challenges and innovating in this profession that I am passionate about," Helena said.
“Young tax professionals keep our community vibrant and bring fresh ideas, approaches and enthusiasm to the challenges we face – both new and old. Helena is a rising star who brings these things to her practice in spades,” Peter said.
Emerging Tax Star Award Finalists:
Amy Liu, CTA, from HWL Ebsworth
Daniel Marateo, Cowell Clarke Pty Ltd
The Tax Adviser RESPECT Award – Corporate: Professional Adviser
Winner: Brady Dever, ATI, PwC
Brady is a Tax Partner at PwC with a specialist focus in tax technology. He works closely with clients to automate compliance processes across the APAC region and implement tax determination and calculation systems, including PwC’s indirect tax compliance reporting solutions. Brady also leads the APAC component of several of PwC's global compliance engagements for US and EU multinationals.
More recently, Brady has been appointed to the Joint Australia and New Zealand Government Peppole-invoice adoption working group responsible for the trans-Tasman localisation of the Peppole framework and has recently completed a successful Peppole-invoicing deployment project with a major State Government department.
Brady played a key role within PwC’s JobKeeper practice during COVID-19 pandemic and worked collaboratively with his clients and the ATO to navigate this complex piece of legislation. He has also been involved in building out PwC’s Payment Times Reporting capabilities and technology solution to assist our clients to comply with this new reporting measure.
“I'm really, really humbled first and foremost to be recognised in this way,” Brady said. "To see our clients adapt to really challenging circumstances, over the last 18 months, to try new things, particularly in tax technology and automation at a time when there's a whole heap of change happening her and overseas, it's just been a joy watching and a pleasure to work together."
The Tax Adviser RESPECT Award – Corporate: Academia
Winner: Annette Morgan, CTA, Curtin Tax Clinic
Annette has extensive experience in the taxation profession and currently she is a taxation academic at the Curtin Law School at Curtin University. In addition to her academic role, she is the course lead for taxation at Curtin and runs the Taxation Study Tour programme and clinical exchanges.
Annette is the inaugural TaxClinic Director and Registered Tax Agent of the Curtin Tax Clinic (CTC) which is the first pro-bono taxation clinic in Australia co-founded by herself. The concept has been expanded across Australia by the Federal Government’s willingness to embrace the programme nationally based on the success of the CTC.
Annette, along with students under her supervision, provide taxation assistance to a wide variety of the community including the homeless, incarcerated members of the community, financial vulnerable taxpayers as well as unrepresented taxpayers in the community who wish to be educated about their taxation affairs.
As well as the pro-bono and academic aspects of her career, Annette also runs an SME accounting practice with a large and varied client base.
She is a Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA)with The Tax Institute, Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA) and the current President of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association.
“Thank you very much to The Tax Institute and the judges for recognising the work undertaken by myself and the incredible team who make up the Curtin Tax Clinic,” Annette said. "I'd like to dedicate this award to my dad, who suddenly passed away in June. It was him who instilled the work ethic in me, and the need to always help those less fortunate than ourselves and who need our hidden tax talents, as he used to tell me, being an accountant himself."
The Tax Adviser RESPECT Award – Corporate Finalists:
Len Hertzman, CTA, ATO
Stephen Southon, ATI, National Australia Bank Limited.
The Tax Adviser RESPECT Award – SME: 1-4 Partners
Winner: Alison Stevenson, CTA, Matrix Norwest
Alison has over 20 years industry experience working in taxation roles, with a primary focus on small business entities and succession planning and has a passion for assisting clients achieve their goals.
The CEO of Matrix Norwest, an integrated accounting, taxation and financial planning business, Alison leads a team of qualified professionals in delivering excellence through advice, incorporating strategy and compliance.
Alison believes in quality, integrated advice underpinned by strong relationships with clients and professional partners.
Alison is a Fellow of The Tax Institute and is the current Deputy Chair of the NSW State Council.
“I'm very humbled and privileged to accept this award. Congratulations to all the other finalists and nominees,” Alison said. "The RESPECT Category was introduced to recognise those going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic and I certainly feel our entire profession has done that in the past year. Reflecting on the year, I feel a combined sense of satisfaction, gratitude, and a little bit of relief as we're hopefully coming towards the end of the COVID pandemic here in Australia and around the world."
The Tax Adviser RESPECT Award – SME: 5-15 Partners
Winner: Marg Marshall, CTA, WLF Accounting & Advisory
Marg Marshall, CTA, is a Partner at WLF Accounting & Advisory in Hobart. She has over 25 years experience in tax advisory at a technical level. Marg advises clients of all types from individuals to large, listed entities, specialising particularly in transaction and structuring advice, capital gains tax, not-for-profit tax concessions and deceased estates. She has been a member of the Tasmanian State Council since 2013.
Marg is on The Tax Institute’s National Council and is also chair of The Tax Summit Program Committee. She is also a member and past Tasmanian regional councillor of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. She regularly participates in tax law consultations and often presents for The Tax Institute.
“The past 18-24 months have presented challenges for so many businesses across so many sectors. as well as in the not-for-profit sector and its been heartbreaking to see people struggling. I've also been proud, so proud, of the way the tax profession has met these challenges, and being able to provide support and solutions for our clients,” Marg said.
The Tax Adviser RESPECT Award – SME: 15+ Partners
Philip Shepherd, CTA, KPMG
Phil is a CTA and a Director at KPMG working primarily with middle market corporates and high net worth family groups.
With over 14 years of experience providing technical tax advice, Phil has a passion for seeing global businesses thrive in his home state of South Australia.
Phil’s recent experience includes working with an iconic South Australian business on their sale to private equity, developing estate planning strategies for family groups and assisting clients with formulation of a tax governance framework.
Phil has supported his clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with technical advice and advocacy on stimulus measures including Jobkeeper and the Cash Flow Boost.
"What an honour to be considered in these awards, especially in a year when the role of a tax advisor has been pushed to new limits," Philip said. "To our clients, who backed us and put your trust in us to get the right result, particularly in the last 4 months where it's been a bit of a whirlwind. So thank you for your patience, your resilience. Here's to hoping that 2022 has a few more long lunches than we had in 2021."
Linda Tapiolas, CTA, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers
Linda is a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s commercial team and specialises in providing tailored advice and support services to accountants, financial planners and other professional advisers.
Linda provides technical advice on complex tax, capital gains tax (CGT) and Division 7A issues, and acting on business sales and acquisitions to ensure clients achieve commercial and tax effective outcomes.
Prior to joining Cooper Grace Ward, Linda worked as an accountant for 18 years, advising clients on capital gains, business acquisitions, and restructuring, providing her with a unique insight into her current clients’ business environment.
"I'd like to thank The Tax Institute for putting this category on and recognising advisers. I'm talking to advisers quite often and I do appreciate what accountants and lawyers in this space are going through, dealing with their own staffing issues but also trying to understand exactly what their clients are going through and providing that support to clients. Congratulations to the whole profession for making it through what's been a terrible two years trying to help our clients and also manage our staff," Linda said.
The Tax Adviser RESPECT Award – SME Finalists:
Benjamin Johnston CTA, Johnston Advisory
Teddy Kosasih, CTA, Pitt Martin
Jeni Wilcock, CTA, Sullivan Dewing Chartered Accountants & Business Builders
Terrence Brauer, CTA, Marsh & Partners QLD Pty Ltd
Congratulations again to all our winners!
The Tax Adviser of the Year Awards are judged by an independent expert panel that comprises leading members of the tax profession. See the full judging criteria at thetaxsummit.com.au