- Christopher Chan CA followed in his father’s footsteps and became an accountant, but put his unique spin on the role.
- Chan is also an athlete and was a semi-finalist in the Australian Ninja Warrior 2020.
- His advice to new CAs is to work hard now for a bigger pay-off later.
1989 – 1999
My father was an accountant and his career took us to Africa. I spent my early childhood in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. I grew up learning French, Arabic and English, as well as Chinese at home. It was a very different childhood to what most Australians experience.
Picture: As a child in Lagos, Nigeria.
1999 – 2006
My family moved to Brisbane when I was in grade five and I fell in love with Australia right away. I enjoyed the sunshine and the active outdoor culture. I played all sorts of sports growing up but was never particularly good at any! I studied accounting later in high school and always knew it would be my career calling.
Picture: Starting grade five in Brisbane.
2007 – 2009
I studied for a Bachelor of Business, majoring in accounting, at QUT. During my university years, I was also a professional hip-hop dancer, part-time bartender and played for the QUT basketball team.
Picture: University hijinks in Japan.
2010 – 2014
After I graduated, I was given the opportunity to work for Virgin Australia (VA) in its finance graduate program. As part of the program, we had to work at the airport for three months. Through doing that, I found I enjoyed the people aspect of professional life as much as the technical aspects. I completed my CA Program studies during my tenure at VA. Before I left the airline, I looked after pricing for the “golden triangle” markets: Brisbane to Sydney, Sydney to Melbourne, and Brisbane to Melbourne.
2014 – 2020
Continuing my travel adventure, I joined Flight Centre in 2014 as a business analyst and began to grow my technical skills in the data space and also in leadership.
As part of my role with Flight Centre, I had the opportunity to travel worldwide, including to Europe, the US and Asia.
While growing my career, I decided to become a semi-professional athlete as a Ninja Warrior. I was a semi-finalist in season two of Australian Ninja Warrior, which aired in 2020.
Picture: A Ninja Warrior in 2020.
2020 – Present
I now work as the financial controller at Fitstop gyms, which combines my professional career with my passion for health and fitness. I want to make a difference, not just professionally as a CA but also as a leader in the community. I hope that by sharing my experiences in different arenas I can help empower future generations to reach whatever goals they would like to achieve.
My advice for new CAs is to keep putting in the hard work and discipline. You may not see the fruits now but it’ll pay off in the long run.
Picture: Combining fitness and accountancy as financial controller at Fitstop.
Australian Ninja Warrior competitor Christopher Chan CA is on a mission to help children get fitter and stronger.Read more