Volunteering: How to get involved in our committees

One thing that sets The Tax Institute apart from other professional associations is that we rely very heavily on volunteers to organise our professional education programs and for speakers. To outsiders, it might seem strange that individuals would volunteer to provide their time and efforts for free, but volunteering — whether it be to assist in organising a conference or seminar, to deliver a paper, or to join one of The Tax Institute’s standing committees — is very rewarding.

I thought it might be worth explaining how you could become involved in one of the standing committees, if you think it might interest you. The starting point for most volunteers is to join one of the state education committees or technical committees. The education committees are responsible for organising CPD events in each state. If you contact your local state manager, she can put your name forward to the local education committee. The technical committees are being revamped but there are a number of technical committees devoted to specialist areas (such as GST, FBT and large business), which correspond to the stewardship consultative committees that the ATO has established. In addition, there is a technical resource committee, which covers SME issues and any issues not covered by the specialist committees, and which has members in each state who meet regularly. If you wish to join one of the technical committees, please contact Robert Jeremenko or one of his team.

In addition to the education and technical committees, some states have a membership committee which is designed to promote the Institute to members and organise social events.

Each state also has a State Council which oversees the standing committees, represents the Institute in its home state, and nominates members to sit on National Council. National Council is the board of directors of the Institute and has the ultimate responsibility for governing all of the Institute’s activities.

Tasmania differs from the other states in that it does not have any standing committees except State Council, which also organises its education events.

The gateway to State Council is involvement in the education, technical or membership committees, so if you are interested in stepping up your involvement, contact your local state manager or someone you know who is already on a Tax Institute committee and let them know that you are interested in becoming involved.

If you would prefer not to join a standing committee, there are still opportunities to become involved on a one-off basis, for example, by helping to organise a seminar or conference on a topic that interests you. I encourage you to contact one of the members on your local education committee or your state manager if you would like to become involved in this way.

Michael Flynn CTA is President of the National Council at The Tax Institute.

The Tax Institute is 
Australia's leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.

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