A year for us to make a difference

Tracey Rens CTA

written by Tracey Rens *


I am incredibly honoured to serve as president for 2018 and I extend my thanks to the National Council, the dedicated Institute team, and our members for your support.

This year, we continue to focus on providing our best education programs, events and information to support all tax professionals in their day-to-day activities, as well as our advocacy work in improving the tax system now and in the future.

The National Councillors for 2018 are:
  • Tim Neilson (vice president)
  • David Earl
  • Stuart Glasgow
  • Peter Godber
  • Len Hertzman
  • Marg Marshall
  • Tim Sandow;
  • Jerome Tse
  • Todd Want.
I joined the Institute in 1995 at the beginning of my tax career because it was “the thing to do”, and I was encouraged to volunteer and become a more active member by senior members and my mentors. My involvement in volunteering began with participating on the NSW Education Committee, which I ultimately chaired. I then served on the NSW State Council and eventually National Council.

The experience opened my eyes to what others in the tax profession do. Through the Institute, I’ve met many people I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered, and I have enjoyed working with them — different kinds of people from different backgrounds and different practices. It’s given me an understanding of how diverse and impressive the tax profession is.

As I reflect on my journey and the opportunities and support that The Tax Institute has provided me, I ask you to reflect on what lies ahead for you in 2018. If you haven’t volunteered with us before, I encourage you this year to seek out such opportunities. All contributions are welcome, no matter how small they may seem to you, as together we will make a difference.

The role of president 

Now, as president, I see my role as representing the Institute and our members in a variety of forums. The appointment provides an opportunity to talk with many people and to present the Institute’s position on a range of issues.

It also involves listening to members and finding out how we might represent you in an even more meaningful and effective way, reflecting a diversity of practitioners and members of the tax profession.

At the same time, I will not lose sight of my responsibilities in terms of governance, strategy and finance — ensuring that the Institute continues to provide value to members, that we continue to meet members’ specific needs, and that we provide stability for the future.

National Council’s first significant step for this year will be the appointment of a new permanent CEO of the Institute. I take this opportunity to also formally thank Noel Rowland, our previous CEO, for his contribution to the Institute over many years.

The influence of The Tax Institute 

The Tax Institute is primed to play an important role in shaping the future of the tax profession in Australia. By extension, we will also continue having a positive impact on the development of the Australian tax system.

No one can describe the tax system as perfect, and it’s up to us to promote its ongoing improvement for the benefit of everyone. Our members, more than anyone, have the relevant expertise and perspectives to provide knowledgeable suggestions for improving the tax system and how it is administered in this country.

Finally, I take this opportunity to thank Matthew Pawson for his extraordinary efforts and leadership as the immediate past president. His passion and his dedication to the Institute, and his tireless efforts and commitment in overseeing our strategic review, will serve us well into the future. I am sure Matthew will continue his involvement with the Institute for many years to come.

I look forward to meeting many members, and working with them to represent the position and interests of the Institute as far and wide as possible.

Wishing you every success for the year ahead.


* Tracey Rens CTA is The Tax Institute’s President. This article was first published in the February 2018 issue of the Institute’s member-only journal, Taxation in Australia.

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