Newcastle’s business and accounting community have come together to enhance education pathways for young people in the region at the annual Bean Counters Ball, raising more than $120,000 since it was established in 2011.
The Bean Counters Ball is a joint initiative between local members of the Certified Practicing Accountants Australia (CPA) and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) to raise funds for the Hunter TAFE Foundation and Samaritans.
In 2016 the Ball raised $22,500 which will go towards programs supporting young people currently studying through the two local charitable organisations.
More than 260 people from the region’s accounting and business community attended the black-tie event hosted by Australian comedian, Tom Ballard at the Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre (NEX) on Friday 28 October.
In its sixth year, the ball is an important reminder of the importance of education for young people.
Bean Counters Ball Chairperson, Cassandra Sharp said the partnership with Samaritans and Hunter TAFE Foundation was created by local accountants as a way of encouraging young people into accounting and supporting them through the educational journey.
“The partnership between CPA, CAANZ with the support of our sponsors and the local businesses community, is making a difference to the lives of people who need it most,” Cassandra said.
“We truly believe in the value of education and are seeing tangible results from the donations we have provided to Samaritans and the Hunter TAFE Foundation. We have seen so many young people achieve success through the support they have been provided through the Hunter TAFE Foundation Scholarships and the Samaritans Student Accommodation Program.”
In 2016 the Bean Counters Ball presented three scholarships to accounting students Summer Christie, Yvonne Johnson, and Alastair Anderberg through the Hunter TAFE Foundation.
Summer and Yvonne received the Associate Degree of Accounting Scholarship, valued at $4,500 over two years. Whilst Alastair received the $3,000 Bean Counters pathway scholarship, which will support him throughout his education as he progresses through the Certificate IV in Accounting to the Associate Degree of Accounting at Hunter TAFE.
Summer Christie attended the Ball to share her journey into the accounting profession from environmental science and how the scholarship has assisted her.
“I always enjoyed maths and science so completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science at the University of Newcastle, the downturn in the industry gave me the opportunity to consider a change of career,” Summer said, in her speech. “Once I began my accounting studies at TAFE I instantly felt at home.”
“The Scholarship has given me confidence in my abilities and reinforced my belief that I am on the right path. Financially it has enabled me to buy my own text books as opposed to relying on the library. One of the best things about the Scholarship is the opportunities I have had to meet people within the industry.”
Summer will complete the first of the two-year Associate Degree of Accounting later this month and has been successful in securing employment locally in the accounting field whilst she completes her qualifications. Summer hopes to go onto university to complete a third and final year of study to gain her Bachelor of Accounting qualifications.
This year major support was received from gold event sponsors Merchant Business Brokers, Rapsey Griffiths, Minder Secure Cloud Services by OAS Technology Group, Bottrell Business Consultants, Jirsch Sutherland, and Roberts Legal. A further eight local organisations have also supported the event through sponsorship.
Image | Guest Emcee, Tom Ballard and 2016 Bean Counters ADA Scholarship recipient Summer Christie.