Meet the CA turned reform specialist: Terina Brierley FCA
The government reform specialist recalls some of the amazing places being a CA has taken her.
- Terina Brierley FCA did a degree in business and marketing at the University of Western Sydney and her professional year at PwC in Penrith in 1982.
- A stint with the Department of Defence in the mid 1990s propelled Brierley into her own business in government financial management reform.
- She has consulted to government departments from Sudan and Zambia to Jordan.
After graduating from the University of Western Sydney with a degree in business and marketing, I joined PwC’s Penrith office and completed my ’professional year’ training as a chartered accountant.
I relocated to Darwin in 1987. There was a great outdoors life and lots of opportunity, especially for women. I married, had a daughter, and became owner of a plane chartering business. I was 26 when I was appointed CFO at the Northern Territory Credit Society (pictured with daughter Cathleen at the office Christmas Party).
I moved to Alice Springs and joined an Aboriginal organisation associated with the Central Land Council. Working with Aboriginal leaders, including Pat Dodson, was a great experience. I became CFO of the Hotel complex in Lasseters Casino. Later, I worked for the Commonwealth government’s Asset Services business, sparking my interest in government reform.
In 1995, I moved to Canberra as the first CA employed by the Department of Defence, to work on the transition to accrual accounting. A memorable task was revaluing the Navy fleet. Participating in the Senior Women In Management (SWIM) program was a career turning point. I left the public service and eventually started my own business in government financial management reform (in 1999).
After my youngest turned 21, I was employed by Deloitte US for 18 months working in Doha, advising the Qatari government on budget and treasury reform.
My next post was to support the newly independent South Sudanese government, working with passionate and committed local people. I left the country for my birthday and Christmas celebrations in 2013, and civil war broke out. It wasn’t safe to return immediately, so I worked remotely from Uganda for six months. I later returned to South Sudan, but finally left in March 2015 as the civil war made working conditions untenable.
Last year, I had two stints in Lusaka working with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Zambia on updating their accreditation program, and consulting to Zambia’s government on budget and treasury reform.
I’ve spent most of 2019 in Amman, Jordan, providing training in accrual accounting and internal audit. I love helping people understand how strategic planning connects with budgeting, which helps countries achieve an improved standard of living.
“I love helping people understand how strategic planning connects with budgeting, which helps countries achieve an improved standard of living.”
Counselling and support to CAs
Terina Brierley FCA is a committee member of the Chartered Accountants Advisory Group which provides counselling and support to CAs facing ethical dilemmas or weighing career decisions.Find out more
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