Celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2023, The Tax Institute is glad to celebrate members who represent the peak of professional excellence and collaboration
SYDNEY, 7 September 2023: The Tax Institute is thrilled to congratulate the recipients of its Community Achievement Awards 2023, who exemplify the generosity of spirit and commitment to community excellence that characterises not only The Tax Institute’s membership, but the tax profession in general.
“Congratulations to the Award recipients. We are proud of the community at the Institute and especially proud to count these wonderful individuals,” says The Tax Institute’s President, Marg Marshall, CTA.
“When you work in tax, collaborating with colleagues, sharing ideas and being part of a knowledgeable community is such an important part of doing your best work and building your career. At The Tax Institute, we work hard to ensure our community has plenty of opportunity to get involved and connect with each other.”
“Our volunteer community drives our work – they provide expertise, contribute resources and assist in planning our events. They are also powerful voices in our advocacy work. We are grateful and proud of the contributions they make.”
In 2023, The Tax Institute celebrates 80 years of serving the tax profession and held the Community Achievement Awards to honour those members who enrich its community.
Clint Harding, CTA
Mariana von Lucken, CTA
Steven Lutz, CTA, FCA
Bernard Walrut, CTA
Nick Heggart, CTA
Lucinda Mills, CTA
Claire Thornett, CTA
Clint has been a member of The Tax Institute for 18 years. He regularly presents at events; and more recently stood in last minute for the Federal Budget member-only webinar presented in May this year. Overall, he has written and presented 21 presentations.
His willingness to stand up and help The Tax Institute whenever called upon, demonstrates how he consistently embraces the spirit of the Community Champion award.
Clint has also been part of various committees including, Tax Practitioners Committee from 2021-2023, the Large Business and International Technical Committee from 2014 to July 2023, which extended to being Chair from 2021-2023, and has been a vital key contributor to a variety of submissions produced by the Institute, including Case for Change and various roundtable discussions on tax reform over the years. Clint is also on the Law Council Tax Committee, which is an open collaboration between TTI and LCA, and a Law Council representative on ATO’s National Tax Liaison Group for 2 years.
Mariana von Lucken, CTA, is a Tax Partner with HLB Mann Judd, and joined The Tax Institute in 2003. She advises a wide range of clients on a wide range of tax topics, including R&D, early-stage innovation companies, employee shares/options for start-ups and FBT.
In her commitment to give back to the tax profession, Mariana is involved with a wide range of events with The Tax Institute including various speaking and committee opportunities. A few of these events include The Tax Summit, NSW Tax Forum, Women in Tax Congress, Women in Tax New South Wales, Not-for-Profit Tax Intensive, International Masterclass, and Noosa Tax Convention. She has also sat on the PD Committee which includes being appointed Chair and is currently on the Engagement Committee.
Simon Tisher, CTA has been a barrister at the Victorian Bar since 2003. He studied a combined Arts and Law degree and has been a member of the Tax Institute since 1998.
Simon practices in federal and state taxation and matters related to taxation, including superannuation and insolvency. He has appeared and provided advice to both taxpayers and the ATO. Simon also has an interest in professional negligence claims, typically involving tax advice. Simon has been included in Doyles Guide “Leading Tax Barristers – Victoria” every year since 2017 and in Best Lawyers since 2021.
Simon has spoken at Tax Institute seminars and conferences for many years including Breakfast Club, Victorian Tax Forum and the National Superannuation Conference. He chaired the Tax Institute’s State Taxes Committee from 2016-2020 and is still a committee member.
Simon has also served on the Victorian State Council from 2016 to 2022 and has been on the Victorian Professional Development Committee. He’s also been an active member in discussion groups which includes chairing Discussion Group (No 4) from 2015 to 2022 and is now in a committee position to remain an active member for the community.
Steve Lutz, CTA studied his degree in Queensland and worked for two international accounting firms before starting his own business 26 years ago. He became involved as a member with The Tax Institute in 1998. Steve specialises in taxation advice and transactions, profit improvement strategies, business planning and cash-flow management.
During his tenure with the Institute, Steve has served on many committees including QLD Tax Forum, Private Business Tax Retreat, QLD PD, and various specialist technical days. He also served on the Queensland State Council for 6 years. Steve’s other volunteer services include lecturing at both QUT and Bond Universities in the MBA stream.
Bernie initially practiced as a commercial solicitor from the mid-70s to the late 80s and was primarily advising small to medium enterprises on all aspects of taxation. He joined the Independent Bar in 2007 and practices from Murray Chambers in Adelaide. He holds, in addition to his law degree, and Masters in Aquaculture (MAq), Information Technology (MIT), Tax (MTax) and Law (LLM) plus holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia.
He joined The Tax Institute in 1975 and became an active community member presenting at monthly discussion groups both in Adelaide and North Queensland. He was a member of the SA legislative and technical committee in the 1980s and The Tax Institute’s initial representative on the SA State Taxes Liaison Committee. He has also presented at numerous events including State Conventions, seminars and local discussion groups, which he both participated in and lead. Bernie has also provided submissions on various legislation, circulars rulings, State Parliamentarians, Parliamentary committees and State Government reviews on State taxation and valuation matters. Bernie has also authored various articles.
On joining the Independent Bar in 2007 Bernie returned to advising on and now appearing in taxation and valuation matters in the Supreme Court, Federal Court and the Administrative Appeal Tribunal.
Nick Heggart, CTA is a Partner in the Perth office of Herbert Smith Freehills and holds a LLB and BSc competed at UWA and a Masters of Tax undertaken remotely with UNSW. Nick has worked exclusively as a tax lawyer in private practice having commenced in December 1997 at Norton & Smailes. He became a member of The Tax Institute in 1998.
Nick has a wide ranging practice covering most areas of tax law with a focus on corporate taxpayers, mergers and acquisitions and the energy and resources sector.
Nick’s involvement with The Tax Institute has evolved alongside his career. Initially he was a regular attendee at CPD events and then in the early to mid-2000s Nick started presenting himself. This then evolved into various committees including the WA State Conference committee, the WA Education committee, the National Education committee, the WA State Council, the National Resources Tax Conference, including Chairing the conference, and more recently is a member of the WA State Taxes committee.
Lucinda Mills CA, CTA has been working in the accounting profession for over 20 years. She is one of the founders and a director of Bellevue Advisors, that provides taxation, business advisory, and consulting services to a diverse range of clients.
Lucinda has been actively involved with The Tax Institute since 2007, when she lectured for the postgraduate tax course now known as CTA2A Advanced & CTA2B Advanced. She served as a local and distance lecturer, and in the exam process.
Lucinda joined the Tasmanian State Council in 2007 for a 10-year period, two of which she served as Chair. She has also been an active member of several subcommittees, chaired and presented at numerous state conventions and the 2017 Women in Tax National Congress. She is also the co-founder of the Inspiring Women initiative in Launceston.
Lucinda’s achievements have also been recognised outside the profession. In 2012, she won the Telstra Business Women’s Award for Tasmania in the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector category, as well as the overall Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year.
Rose is a taxation lawyer whose practice includes a mix of advisory work and tax litigation, acting for clients ranging from small to medium-sized businesses to high-net-wealth individuals. Rose predominantly practices in income tax and capital gains tax, superannuation, GST and NSW state taxes and has been a member of The Tax Institute since 2020.
Rose is an editor of the Brown Wright Stein Tax Update that is provided to The Tax Institute and distributed as a free resource to members each month. She also presents monthly in-person and online tax training sessions to accounting firms across New South Wales.
Regularly presenting at Local Tax Clubs for both the tax update and special topic presentations, she also chairs sessions for colleagues.
Adam Dimac started working at Hall & Wilcox in 2016 and was encouraged by mentors to grow his involvement with The Tax Institute, where he has been an active member since 2019.
Specialising in tax and related commercial matters, Adam works predominantly in tax controversy and dispute matters, trusts, Division 7A, CGT, rollovers and restructures, cryptocurrency taxation, SMSF’s, small business CGT concessions and professional firm structures.
During his career, he has watched his mentors speaking at events, and is now a presenter himself, and writes numerous articles for The Tax Institute.
His contributions to The Tax Institute community include presenting at various Local Tax Clubs and at the highly popular, now past, signature event, ‘In Division 7A, We Trust’. Adam has also presented at the Tasmanian State Convention and both the 2022 and 2023 VIC Tax Forums.
Liz is Special Counsel at Macpherson Kelley’s tax practice. She graduated from university in 2013 and is currently completing a Master of Laws (Taxation). She joined The Tax Institute in 2017 and currently works in front end income tax advisory work, with a predominant focus on small to medium sized businesses.
Her advisory work ranges from structuring, in particular the use of capital gains tax rollovers and small business concessions and the use of consolidation in structuring for SMEs, to the drafting and implementation of employee incentivisation schemes. In addition to advisory work, she still maintains dispute practice, assisting clients with all phases of ATO engagement from pre-lodgement agreements to audit and objection through to court proceedings.
Her recent contribution towards The Tax Institute Community includes working closely with the Noosa Tax Convention Committee and being a workshop leader at this year’s November event, speaking at the Queensland Tax Forum, Private Business Tax Retreat in 2023 and The Tax Summit 2022, and participating in both Brisbane’s Emerging Leaders and Local Tax Club throughout the year.
Fiona Stapleton is a Senior Associate in the tax team at Thomson Geer Lawyers. She holds a Masters of Management (Business and Finance) from Harvard University Extension School and Bachelors of Laws and Commerce (Honours) from the University of Adelaide. Fiona has experience in providing taxation and commercial advice to a wide variety of clients including private and listed companies, high net worth individuals and private equity funds and enjoys working closely with clients to understand their commercial issues and objectives to deliver better outcomes.
Fiona has been a member of The Tax Institute since 2016 and is actively involved with The Tax Institute in South Australia. She is a member of the South Australian Women in Tax and Engagement Committee, has hosted the South Australian Emerging Leaders program and presented at various Tax Institute events, such as the SA Tax Intensive and Barossa Convention.
Tracey Dunn is as Director with EY, Private – Tax in Perth. Tracey has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), a Graduate Certificate in Commercial Law, a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and was admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2022 and joined The Tax Institute in 2018.
Tracey’s expertise lies in advising high-wealth, high-net worth individuals and private family groups, small and medium-sized businesses, and corporate entities. She has significant experience in advising on the taxation of trusts, FBT and Division 7A. She writes extensively on the interpretation of tax legislation for businesses, and has been published in a number of publications, including the Australian Financial Review, ABC News, Accountants Daily, and Thompson Reuters’ Weekly Tax Bulletin.
Tracey’s volunteer involvement with The Tax Institute spans many years through speaking engagements and by researching and authoring technical papers. Some of her involvement in recent years includes speaking at Women in Tax, WA Tax Forum, Local Tax Club, Noosa Tax Convention, Private Business Tax Retreat, Death & Taxes Conference and being a guest on the TaxVibe podcast.
Claire Thornett, CTA, is a Tax Specialist based in Hobart and has been a member of The Tax Institute since 2014. Claire has consistently demonstrated expertise and dedication in her professional journey. Claire is a Director at WLF Accounting & Advisory, where she has made significant contributions.
With a focus on SMEs, Claire is incredibly committed to sharing her extensive knowledge with her clients, as well as her team, to provide the most benefit to Hobart and the broader Tasmanian business community. Claire advises on a range of specialist tax issues and has a particular interest in not-for-profit and charities law; CGT small business concessions; and fringe benefits tax.
Beyond her professional endeavours, Claire has an impressive list of achievements and notable contributions supporting local not-for-profits, with a strong network in this area.
Over the past few years Claire has presented several times at Tax Institute events. In 2018 Claire was recognised by The Taxation Institute of Australia as the Dux of the Chartered Tax Advisor course specialising in capital gains tax concessions for small business.