1948 to 2018: Celebrating 70 years
From humble beginnings in 1948, our firm is proud to be celebrating 70 years of serving the Toowoomba, Darling Downs and surrounding communities. Please join us as we take a look back in time, remember years passed and highlight the journey we have made across the decades. Read stories from past and present staff and join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as we unveil our favourite photos and memories. Do you have stories or memorabilia to share? Please get in touch, we would love to include them as part of our birthday celebrations.
Underneath Director, Mick’s quiet and calculated exterior lies spades of intelligence and ambition. He admits that he was just nine years old when his career sights landed on being an accountant. Not only did it make practical sense given he was good with numbers, but he says that he genuinely liked the idea of helping people with their finances.
From the outside, Auditor, Jacko nails the classic, Accountant look. From his traditional threads to his trustworthy and clever persona, at first glance it is no surprise that Jacko’s interests lie in areas of finance, law and computer programming. But like the art of auditing, there is much more to Jacko than what first appears in the financial statements.
Senior Tax Specialist, Ann is open and honest about the fact the she didn’t plan to become an accountant. In fact, she admits that there were quite obvious signs she overlooked in her senior years of high school, including acing an accounting TAFE course she completed as part of her HSC. She laughs as she recounts that it wasn’t until a traineeship was advertised in her hometown of Inverell, New South Wales that she just fell into the career. Fast forward more than two decades and Ann says that she wouldn’t change anything and absolutely loves how life turned out.
Looking back at his first day on the job, Senior Tax Specialist, Nathan had a different experience to many of his colleagues. It was April 2007 and he shares that he and his wife had just welcomed their second child into the world. They had recently moved into a new house and their beautiful baby was only two weeks old when he arrived on the brick steps of 619 Ruthven Street. He reveals that although he can’t recall much from those early days, he does remember that familiar, tired feeling from being a new dad.
SMSF Specialist, Andrew is a self-confessed sports fan and fiercely proud Brisbane Broncos and Queensland supporter. He admits that he is a big enthusiast, especially when it comes to rugby league and motorcycle racing. However, there really aren’t many sports he doesn’t enjoy watching and he will even kick back on the couch for the odd darts game.
In just one short month, Client Services Officer, Jenny will celebrate her 18th anniversary with the firm. Joining the ranks in the year 2000, she admits that she didn’t have any industry experience when she applied for the role and was genuinely shocked when she received a phone call from former Partner, Mick Cumner asking her when she could start. Fast forward almost two decades and there isn’t much Jenny doesn’t know about our taxation services. She has developed a quiet confidence and says that her passion for bookkeeping has grown tremendously.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘nice guys finish last’ and 70 years ago when legendary baseball player, Leo Durocher coined the phrase perhaps it was true. However, fast forward to 2018 and it seems that the umpire is now calling foul ball on this pitch. Not only do nice guys steer clear of the last-place wooden spoon but for stand-up guys like Tax Specialist, Ken, it seems that sometimes they actually walk away with the winner’s trophy.
Easy-going, reserved and hardworking, Tax Specialist, Jess says that when it comes to her role, she enjoys working in a small and close-knit, tax team led by Director, Mick. She reveals that her colleagues are always willing to lend a hand and that together, their shared easy-going approach is the secret ingredient responsible for the relaxed, working environment she thrives in.
Audit Manager, Natalie admits that when she finished her studies she wasn’t sure what profession her heart wanted to follow. She grew up in the quiet, rural town of Monto and undertook work experience at the firm in grade 11. A few short years later, she relocated to Toowoomba to attend university and after completing her Bachelor of Commerce, she accepted a role with the firm’s close-knit, audit and assurance team.
If you have ever phoned or dropped by our office, then chances are you have met our Receptionist, Elle. Joining the ranks in 2014, Elle is bright and bubbly, has an infectious personality and is well versed in the art of juggling. From managing the switch board to meeting and greeting clients, processing payments, coordinating catering and setting appointments, Elle knows a thing or two about thinking on her feet.
Client Services Officer, Danielle is one of the warm and friendly faces who works behind-the-scenes supporting our financial planning team. With an experienced background in administration, she worked in law and pharmacy before joining the firm eight years ago.
Finance Administrator, Inca is one of those friendly faces that every team member across the firm recognises. Our resident problem solver, she is dependable and knowledgeable, and takes on any task with a can-do and no-fuss attitude.
In every workplace, there are team members who work diligently behind the scenes making sure that productivity soars. In the firm’s taxation team, Senior Tax Specialist, Tina is one of those dedicated people. Working part-time and juggling the responsibilities of parenthood, Tina appreciates the continuity and flexibility her role has endured over the past two decades.
When Senior Auditor, Andrew talks about the game of life, it reads something like the famous Milton Bradley board game. In his reality version, his game piece of choice is a black Nissan Qashqai. After finishing High School he took a two-year hiatus before heading to University and to date, he has three people pegs on-board if you include his Labrador Luka.
It was December 1995, just a month after starting with the firm, when one of Tanya’s most memorable moments took place. The backdrop was the timbered landscape of Perseverance Dam in the scenic town of Crows Nest and nestled in amongst the Christmas decorations were fellow colleagues and their partners enjoying the annual McConachie Stedman party.
It was 1992 when Director, Myles Smith joined the McConachie Stedman team. A time when Andre Agassi was a tennis superstar, the world was captivated by the Barcelona Olympics and a shipping container filled with 28,000 rubber ducks fell overboard into the Pacific Ocean. Fast forward 26 years and it seems that like the legendary, seafaring odyssey of toy ducks (who are still popping up across the world’s oceans), Myles has also made his mark.
Behind the scenes of the firm’s Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) Team, the sounds of many hands at work can be heard across the office floor. For SMSF Officer, Rebecca, the familiar sounds, fast-paced environment and close-knit culture is something she has grown to appreciate over the past 18 years.
If someone was to ask you where your happy place resides, what would you say? Would it be a holiday destination or perhaps a quiet space at home? When Client Services Manager, Helen was asked this question, she had a rather unique response. Her happy place? It has a brick exterior, is located at 619 Ruthven Street and has a sign pitched out the front reading, McConachie Stedman. That’s right, Helen’s happy place is at work.
If there was an award for the nicest guy in accounting, Director, Scott Maroske would be a serious contender. A quiet achiever and self-confessed family man, Scott is a straight laced and well-respected firm leader who underneath his shy exterior, hides a mischievous and sometimes, funny persona. Driving the firm’s successful Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) service, Scott is genuinely passionate about his work.
When Tax Specialist, Matt Chardon opens up about life’s twists and turns, the storyline reads something like the life of Ted Mosby, the lead character of the comedy sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. Except for the obvious fact that Matt is not an architect, he does not have friends called Lily, Marshall and Barney, and he does not hang out at MacLaren’s Pub in New York City. It is the part about how he met his now wife and mother of his two children, where the similarities come into play.
At McConachie Stedman, we are lucky to have an expert on hand who is highly skilled in IT chaos management. In fact, when you get her talking about gadgets and software her eyes light up with excitement and you find yourself reeled in to a foreign land of tech abbreviations like, CPU, BYOD, and SaaS. To some team members, she is known as the computer whisperer; however, Melissa’s official role with the firm is ICT Manager.
Raised in the quiet, idyllic town of Boonah in Queensland’s Scenic Rim region, Firm Director, Steve Kirkman thought he wanted to be a Draftsman when he left school. After graduating, he moved to the hustle and bustle of the city and entered a cadetship. However, in what seems like a classic case of itchy feet, over the next five or so years Steve’s career took a number of twists and turns.
When it comes to running a successful business, making sure the wheels turn in a collaborative and coordinated way is crucial. It requires effort, communication and commitment, and often there is one steadfast hand that works tirelessly behind-the-scenes, gently guiding the process. At McConachie Stedman, that person is Practice Manager, Karen Gramenz.
When it comes to knowing what you want in life and where you are heading, it takes a person with vision, tenacity and a profound sense of self to see through the bumpy ride from start to finish. Firm Director, Amanda Roberts is one of those confident and driven women who from an early age knew where she wanted life to take her.
Turning back the clock three decades to 1988, it was a time of acid wash jeans, cassette tapes and Pac-Man. In the same year, graduate accountant, Scott Cutmore was pounding the pavement to land his first professional role. Following an extensive and formal interview at a competing firm, he arrived on the steps of 21 Duggan Street to meet with McConachie Stedman Partner, Mick Cumner.