Date posted: 28/01/2021 5 min read

2020 was our finest hour

In his final message as CA ANZ President, Peter Rupp FCA reflects on what was truly great in a very bad 2020.

In Brief

  • CA ANZ members have risen to the challenge in a year that started with the Black Summer bushfires then rolled into the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CAs showed their compassion, resilience and dedication in difficult circumstances.
  • The new generation of CAs who completed the CA Program during lockdown displayed incredible perseverance.

Summarising the year 2020 and the impact on our membership for this, my final President’s letter, is a daunting task. When I started the year as your President, my focus was on how we could further support the future of the profession and navigate digital transformation.

And while I could have never predicted the disruption that would come, it brought to the forefront the true qualities of our members during what many are calling ‘our finest hour’ as a profession.

Compassion and resilience marked 2020

The first quality that struck me was the compassion of members, particularly during the Australian bushfires at the beginning of the year. As your professional body focused on providing relevant resources, support and guidance, our members offered to volunteer their time and skills to make a difference as part of our new program to help affected regional and rural businesses.

Then as the impacts of the pandemic were felt throughout communities and businesses, members rose to the challenge and illustrated their resilience. I frequently saw how members were on the front line upskilling themselves and delving into complex, rapidly changing stimulus measures so they could, in turn, advise, manage and guide businesses through the maze.

“As the impacts of the pandemic were felt throughout communities and businesses, members rose to the challenge and illustrated their resilience.”
Peter Rupp FCA

We set out to keep pace with our members’ resilience and be with them every step of the way with resources and wellbeing support. I would like to acknowledge the Chartered Accountants ANZ Council and Regional Council representatives who provided a range of insights into the challenges the membership was facing.

The true grit of Gen CA

Lastly, what all members have, regardless of location or experience, is dedication. The significant commitment and rigorous training to gain the chartered accountant designation is a great accomplishment at the best of times; for those who succeeded amid the upheavals of 2020, it is a special feat.

I continually hear about the perseverance of our younger chartered accountants through my Gen CA podcast series, meetings and events with Young CA groups and, more recently, during our global new members’ ceremony that we held for the first time in November.

Another shining example of dedication is our winner of the 2020 President’s Prize, Ryan Hanson CA, who has enthusiastically represented younger chartered accountants, led a range of initiatives and contributed his time and skills to the profession.

It has been a priority of mine to ensure that the next generation of chartered accountants has a voice in the shaping of its own future. One of the ways we will be doing this is by providing Ryan with the opportunity to become a shadow councillor on our Chartered Accountants ANZ Council for 2021 as part of the prize.

As their collective voice becomes stronger, I am extremely hopeful their future will, too.

Read more:

Young CAs – their challenge and our opportunity

The coronavirus pandemic is being felt particularly by young CAs, says CA ANZ President Peter Rupp FCA.

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Meet the 2020 President’s Prize winner

Ryan Hanson CA didn’t set out to be an accountant, but now the President’s Prize winner tells others to aim for the CA.

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