Education Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law Advanced Superannuation

Student Spotlight: Understanding the facts and the client’s ultimate goals with Helen Cameron


This month we talked to Helen Cameron, Accountant & Tax Adviser at Ulton, and the Dux of Advanced Superannuation in study period 2, 2020. She shares the most valuable aspect of studying this subject in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law program.

Please provide a brief background of your career in tax?

After teaching high school in Far North Queensland for two years, I worked as an accountant for Drake & Murphy in Brisbane, then spent six months in London before taking on the role of manager at Moore Stephens HF in Melbourne. After returning to Brisbane, I ran my own accounting practice for nearly 15 years before joining Ulton’s new Brisbane office in July 2018

What have you taken away as the most valuable aspect of studying Advanced Superannuation?

The importance of understanding both the facts and what the clients’ ultimate goals are. If one fact changes, this can change the whole advice. Also, there is usually more than one way to achieve what the client wants; it is about finding the best way for their specific circumstances.

What are your areas of new confidence?

My areas of new confidence include how to research and reference legislation and cases properly, and how to structure a letter of advice to a client.

Why did you undertake this specific subject?

I have always had an interest in superannuation, so it was great to have this subject as an option to fill the gaps in my knowledge.

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

I have two more subjects left to complete as part of the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law (GDATL), then hopefully it will be on to the home renovations.

Do you have any tips for managing study and work?

I think the main challenge everyone faces when juggling work, study and home life is a lack of time. However, as my mother always says, “you have all the time there is”, which is absolutely true — the main thing is how you manage the time you have. In terms of study, my tip is to start early and work consistently through the program. The Tax Institute provides plenty of resources, so definitely take advantage of these.

What advice do you have for other tax professionals considering the GDATL program?

Do it! The program does take a lot of time and effort but will be worth it in the long run.

Australia’s super industry is the 3rd largest private pension fund market in the world. As it continues to grow, so will the need for experienced, skilled advisers. Advanced Superannuation is an elective subject in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law.

Ready to continue your education in tax? Find out more here.