Student Spotlight: From Royal Artillery to accounting professional

Written by: The Tax Institute

Published: 15 May 2023


Renae Wilson

Robyn Anderson, Accountant at Coho Resources, QLD and dux of CommLaw 1 Australian Legal Systems for Study Period 2 2022, shares her passion for learning and how she made the leap into accounting.


Could you give us a brief background of your tax career?

I started my career in the British Army in the Royal Artillery in 2011 and studied accounting and finance in 2015. I have proudly completed an Honours Degree in Accounting at Oxford Brooks University by distance learning and my Chartered Accountant qualification with ACCA in the UK. I moved to Australia in 2017 and worked as an Accounts Officer for a family-run business in Queensland. From there, I worked through positions as an Assistant Accountant and Company Accountant in various industries, including logistics, franchising and oil and gas. I have also worked for a small tax accounting practice preparing returns for individuals and small businesses based on the Gold Coast.

Why did you choose The Tax Institute Higher Education? 

I wanted to complete postgraduate studies in Australian tax to develop my knowledge of tax laws and be able to apply this knowledge for the benefit of my employers. I liked that the learning was delivered online and specific to tax. 

Why did you choose to study CommLaw1 Australian Legal Systems?

CommLaw1 was the third subject I studied with The Tax Institute Higher Education and is part of the Graduate Diploma in Applied Tax Law, which I have since completed.

What skill or knowledge areas have you gained by undertaking the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law?

The qualification built my confidence from a corporate perspective. I became more efficient; I knew where to source information and could do my own calculations. 

What part of CommLaw1 did you find most interesting?

I found the Law of Torts the most interesting part of the CommLaw1 subject however, the Contracts module provided the most benefit to me professionally. 

Do you have any tips for others on managing the workload?

It can be difficult at times to juggle the study workload with full-time work commitments. I have been actively studying whilst working for almost a decade so I feel familiarity and routine helped me the most. I have created a reference index to use and have all the module notes saved for easy access during the exam. I find repeating practice exams are the best way to feel prepared for the real thing.

Where to now for you when it comes to continuing tax education?

Now that I have completed the Graduate Diploma in Applied Tax Law, my focus is on the final exam in the CPA Program. The qualification I did with ACCA in the UK is not well known in Australia. I am also considering completing a board-approved course to register as a tax agent with the TPB, which I believe may only be one subject away based on my prior learning. 

What advice do you have for other tax professionals considering the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law?

Do it! The program is informative, comprehensive and well-delivered. Whether you are a professional in business or practice, the Graduate Diploma is an advantageous qualification that is well-regarded by employers and will instil a strong knowledge of the taxation laws governing Australia. 


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