- Relaunched this year, the President’s Prize recognises CA ANZ members aged under 35 who have made an outstanding commitment to the accounting profession and their local community.
- 2018 winner, Wesfarmers’ Meagan Hamblin CA, has spearheaded innovations to help young CAs develop essential skills, and volunteered with groups in the wider community.
- A A$1000 donation will be made to a charity of her choice.
By Ben Hurley
Accountants usually aren’t ones for fanfare, but CA ANZ believes the indispensable contribution chartered accountants make to the business world should be recognised and celebrated.
In this spirit, 2018 CA ANZ President Jane Stanton relaunched the annual President’s Prize, which pays tribute to young chartered accountants who go above and beyond in using their skills to serve their communities.
Stanton says it made her day when she called this year’s winner – Perth-based Meagan Hamblin CA – a financial accountant with ASX-listed conglomerate Wesfarmers.
“The leaders I admire most have this remarkable combination of strength and humanity,” Stanton told Acuity. “And when I met this amazing lady, she’s got that.
“For a young woman who’s building her career in Australia in a very male-dominated industry, to have such a sense of self… I wanted to acknowledge those traits that I think are so important in a leader.”
“The leaders I admire most have this remarkable combination of strength and humanity. And when I met this amazing lady, she’s got that.”
Mentoring CAs and helping others
The prize recognises CA ANZ members aged under 35 who have made an outstanding commitment to the accounting profession and used their skills in service of the local community.
Hamblin has served on a number of panels that help shape the role of CAs in the business community, including the Young CAs (YCA) Panel for Western Australia and the CAs in Business Panel.
In 2018, she spearheaded the pilot YCA Not-for-profit Experience Program that mentored members of the not-for-profit sector, helping brainstorm the idea and seeking out mentors and mentees.
She was also instrumental in launching the YCA Strategies for Success: Learning Bites series, which was devised to equip young CAs with essential soft skills such as negotiation, meeting and presentation techniques.
She is honorary treasurer of Girl Guides WA, and is part of the Wesfarmers Community Involvement Committee that aims to boost connections between Wesfarmers’ Perth corporate team and local charities.
Hamblin was unable to comment for this article as she was resting after giving birth. But after receiving her initial nomination she said the CA ANZ Perth team had an enthusiasm and passion that was infectious, and that she planned to assist in ensuring the CA ANZ Perth office maintained connections with working parents and mothers while she was on maternity leave.
Adam Sofoulis FCA, general manager of group accounting at Wesfarmers, said the company couldn’t take any credit for Hamblin’s award as she was motivated and inspired to achieve, and that was an inherent part of her character.
“She is always able to articulate her position on matters in a balanced and measured way, taking into account pure technical and commercial views,” Sofoulis said in an email. “She has established herself as a key mentor across the team.”
“She has established herself as a key mentor across the team.”
The return of the President’s Prize
Accountants know very well how complex mergers can be, and unfortunately the President’s Prize had slipped through the cracks during the recent merger of the Australian and New Zealand chartered accountants’ organisations.
Stanton was awarded the President’s Prize more than a decade ago and remembers how it galvanised her to continue with her accounting role. She reinstated the prize this year, hoping it would give the same encouragement to other rising stars.
“It was very important for me as the President to reinstate that prize so that we’d have a way of recognising younger members who are already having an impact on their profession,” she said.
Hamblin is one of 12 Young Regional Advocates named in December from regions in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the UK, who vied for the President’s Prize.
Her achievement will be recognised by a A$1000 donation to a charity of her choice.