Austral Asia Regional Meeting

The sub-regional meeting for the IRG Australasia was held on the 24th of March.  While we had hoped to hold an in person meeting, still the restrictions of Covid resulted in heading back to the ZOOM Room for an exchange of ideas, and updates for how our members were managing.

Firstly new members, Schon Condon and Gavin King of Condon Advisory Chartered Accountants, were introduced and presented to the group as Insolvency Practitioners.   John Glover and Bill Elmer of Pendragon, presented in their area of Company Incorporations as potential new members.  

The news generally proved to be  good.  While the last few months have still had a certain routine to our lives, consensus was that our businesses are thriving, there is a great deal of work on for the professions, and bottom lines were looking buoyant despite the upheaval of Covid, trade disruptions, and pressures on employment.

The latter is proving to be a major concern for most.  The unemployment rate in Australia is at a low of about 4%, and in New Zealand it is 3.2%, a historical low.   The competition for good talent to cope with growing work demands, is proving a challenge  for the members, with aggressive recruiting from larger firms poaching staff an added pressure.  Suggestions were discussed as to over-coming the issue with an emphasis on culture being a strong drawcard for potential employees.

The other agenda item related to member opinion as to travelling again for business, networking and attendance at conferences.  Most members expressed a reticence for any long haul trips in the immediate future.  Only Ross and Julia Koffel from Sydney advised they would be attending  Zurich for the IRG Dealmakers Conference, but others showed an intention for the Annual Meeting in Barcelona in October. 

A discussion was held as to the 2023 meeting to be held in Bangkok after a number of postponements due to the pandemic.   With the location for this meeting right in the “sweet spot” for the Australasian region, members were asked to consider their attendance and how we could promote as a group to attendees.   It was advised that we would need a presence as a group with a minimum of 15 to 20 members attending if a structured promotion was to be held.  Members were encouraged to attend and this will be revisited at our next meeting.

The group also agreed to approach the administration of IRG to better promote the region and work with them to a more pro-active approach through the website and have a stronger regional presence. 

Members were also canvassed as to where additional members would be an enhancement to our membership, and the areas of practice that could be added.  Western Australia was a standout location and there were suggestions to be followed up as to known potential candidates.

Thank you to Members:  Mitchell Carey of James Conomos Lawyers; Jim Doyle of Doyles Construction Lawyers;  Ric Rasso of McBurney Partners Accountants; Julia Adams, of Shiff & Co Lawyers;  Judy Tse of Chapman Eastway;  Schon Condon and Gavin King of Condon Advisory;  Richard Ashby of Gilligan Sheppard Accountants ;  Peter Lowing of Leahy Lewin Lowing Sullivan Lawyers in PNG; and  Paul Beare of Paul Beare Ltd,  for their participation.  The meeting was Chaired by Ross Koffel, with Julia Koffel of Koffels Solicitors and Barristers.

Also in attendance:   John Glover and Bill Elmer of Pendragon

Attendees agreed that our next meeting will be held  in-person in Sydney, with the date and location to be advised.  We have a strong group, and everyone is looking forward to getting together both for the networking opportunities and the friendships that have been built  over the years of the Australasian Regional Group’s active participation.

Contributing Advisors