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Accounting is about more than just financial opportunity - just ask Briannah Pearson. According to the proud Gamilaraay woman, Graduate Accountant at Lumina Chartered Accountants and provisional CA, her accounting skills are key to contributing to closing the gap for Indigenous Australians.
"Some of the big accounting firms are working really hard on behalf of the Indigenous community liaising with the government and other organisations to bridge the gap. I think being an accountant and having those skills and relationships across industries is beneficial," says Briannah.
"Probably the most valuable thing is that it can put you in the right place at the right time."
Briannah is a recent graduate from Macquarie University who studied a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Professional Accounting and she hopes to bridge the gap between Australia and the Indigenous community as an accountant.
Although she studied accounting during high school, she says that the decision to pursue accounting was in her own words, a bit of a random decision.
"I liked economics at school, enjoyed studying math and was passionate about geography. Although these subjects may seem unrelated, I was able to see how they all overlapped and fit under the accounting umbrella," says Briannah.
"I think that accounting is a rewarding career path as regardless of whether we help people save money, make money, or communicate to them what's going on in the market, we are always adding value through our work."
"I definitely want to grow in my career, continue learning and make a difference wherever I am. With the CA designation, I'll have the skills and knowledge to follow my long-term goal of becoming a partner in a firm or a CEO of a commercial company, and help my Indigenous community manage their resources and create a sustainable world for future generations."
In the first year of her degree, Briannah applied for and was awarded a three-year scholarship with Transport New South Wales. She says that applying for this scholarship provided her with the opportunity to kick-start her accounting career while studying.
"Coming out of school, I applied for this scholarship and had the opportunity to gain relevant industry experience and study at the same time. As much as I understand the technical aspect of accounting, my work with Transport New South Wales allowed me to marry up my technical knowledge with practical skills which I still use to this day," says Briannah.
Not only did Briannah benefit from gaining practical experience, she says that learning to balance work and full-time study has taught her how to better manage her time. She says that this prepared her for the transition from a university graduate into the workforce.
"Going into the workforce, I don't think that many graduates are best prepared to manage the amount of responsibility that they get given. I was lucky that while completing my degree, I was able to get a glimpse into what the world of business looked like in my role at Transport New South Wales," says Briannah.
"Learning how to juggle my work and study early in my career has helped me to manage my time more effectively. I have learnt to communicate when I am struggling at work or at university with meeting deadlines, and get the support I need to succeed."
Briannah currently works as a Graduate Accountant at Lumina Chartered Accountants and plans to continue to grow and develop in her career. By undertaking the CA Program, Briannah hopes to develop her technical skills and then continue making a difference through her role as an accountant.
"I definitely want to grow in my career, continue learning and make a difference wherever I am. With the CA designation, I'll have the skills and knowledge to follow my long-term goal of becoming a partner in a firm or a CEO of a commercial company, and help my Indigenous community manage their resources and create a sustainable world for future generations," says Briannah.
"Being a CA will allow me to continue making a difference in delivering results for clients and organisations, but will also help me make a difference for the community."
Walking in both worlds as an Indigenous Australian and CA student representative
Sharyn Delacour is in the second year of university and is proud to be a CA student representative. We speak to Sharyn about how she engages with her fellow students, their lecturers and Chartered Accountants ANZ, and how being a CA student rep is opening doors for her.