14 Mar 2017: Indigenous Accountants Australia hosted a networking night at the MCG on Tuesday 14 March 2017. This was a chance for Indigenous business students and graduates to gather in an iconic venue and connect with accounting professionals and members from diverse areas of the business community.
The night kicked off with a short tour of the MCG conducted by James Aiken CA, who works as a Financial Business Analyst at the Melbourne Cricket Club. Delegates visited the Members pavilion and sections of the inner sanctum, including the player change rooms and the private coaching room where Luke Beveridge addressed the Bulldogs players ahead of their 2016 Grand Final triumph. They also followed in the steps of the players and walked up the race and onto the hallowed turf, or at least the Astro turf around its perimeter.
Guests then gathered in a function room overlooking the famous field. After a Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri elder, Aunty Irene Morris from the Aboriginal Advancement League, delegates shared their own stories and experiences and listened as guest speakers, including James Aiken from the MCC, Ben Abbatangelo from AIME and Liam Ketchup from Thoughtworks recounted their personal journeys and the professional pathways they have taken in their careers.
Representatives from CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand were on hand to talk about the value of studying towards a professional designation.
Among the themes that emerged from the discussion was the value of making connections at each stage of your career and the very real inspiration that students glean from seeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders working in roles they might not otherwise have considered possible. Overriding this was the privilege people can draw from living as part of one of the world’s most beautiful cultures.