It feels surreal to sit down and reflect on my journey from the Ireland to becoming a partner in July 2023 at HLB Mann Judd Perth. The path I’ve taken has been nothing short of adventurous, with its share of surprises and unexpected turns.

Back in September 2003, I graduated from the University of Limerick, thrilled to have qualified as a Chartered Accountant with RSM Farrell Grant Sparks in 2007. Little did I know that the decision to embark on a one-year working holiday in Australia would change the course of my life forever.

I arrived in Sydney in December 2007, ready to embrace the Australian experience with open arms. My initial plan was to take on contract roles, but life had other plans for me. In July 2008, I moved to Perth to explore the west coast. On my very first Saturday night in the city, I met Kath, who is now my loving wife. As they say, sometimes life gives you what you need when you least expect it.

Life in a new country can be daunting, and finding a job that could sponsor my visa became a priority. A colleague suggested HLB Mann Judd and, when I nervously walked into the interview, I felt that my future with Kath depended on this moment. But as I sat across from the audit partner, I felt a strong sense that everything would work out. And indeed, I got the job as an audit senior just before my working holiday visa expired.

The journey with HLB Mann Judd officially began in January 2009, but it almost had a different outcome. After facing a close call with immigration, I had to make a short trip to Bali to submit some paperwork overseas. Thankfully, everything fell into place, and I was back in Perth, ready to dedicate myself to my new role.

I figured that I owed HLB Mann Judd at least two years for taking a punt on me. But I found myself really enjoying the work and the firm’s culture almost immediately. I knew I’d joined the right practice for me. The partners, initially Wayne Clark, Lucio Di Giallonardo, and Norman Neill and, later on, Marcus Ohm, Danny Buckley, and Brad McVeigh, were incredibly nurturing and always challenged me to improve.

As a qualified Chartered Accountant, I am now heavily involved in the audits of numerous WA listed companies and large private companies across a wide range of industries. My focus spans the resources, manufacturing, building & construction, not-for-profit, finance, and technology sectors. The diversity of clients and sectors keeps my work engaging and dynamic.

My dedication to our clients goes beyond borders, as I have provided my expertise to businesses in diverse jurisdictions, including Australia, West Africa, North America, South America, Western Europe, and throughout Asia. This international exposure has allowed me to gain insights into different business practices and cultures, which enriches my ability to serve clients effectively.

Now, six months into the role of partner, I am excited about the opportunities and responsibilities that lie ahead. The journey has been filled with twists and turns, and I can’t help but smile as I remember the nervousness I felt during that first interview, unaware of the incredible journey that would unfold before me.

I owe a debt of gratitude to HLB Mann Judd for seeing the potential in me, and providing me with a platform to thrive. As I step into this new phase of my career, I carry with me the valuable lessons and experiences from my journey. I’m eager to contribute to the growth and success of this exceptional firm.