Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Indigenous Accountants Australia?

The Indigenous Accountants Australia project is a joint initiative of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia.


What does Indigenous Accountants Australia do?

The project’s purpose is to promote awareness of the benefits that Indigenous Accountants bring to the Australian and Indigenous community, and to promote an increase in the numbers of Indigenous Accountants.


Where does Indigenous Accountants Australia operate?

Indigenous Accountants Australia has a Relationship Manager servicing all parts of Australia.


Why the need for an Indigenous Accountants Australia Project?

Australia’s leading professional accounting bodies, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia, know the benefits that a career in accounting can bring: a broad range of skills, business expertise, financial logic and work opportunities across Australia and internationally. Within Indigenous communities, accountants can also play a valuable role in promoting financial literacy and economic development. Recognising the dramatic under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the profession and the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, both Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia knew that becoming involved would help contribute toward making a difference.


When did the Indigenous Accountants Australia Project begin?

Commencing in 2012, the Indigenous Accountants Australia project was the joint initiative of the three Australian accounting bodies, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants.


Are all staff on the Indigenous Accountants Australia Project, Indigenous?

No, not all staff working on the project are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Where possible, the project attempts to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Relationship Managers. The Project has endeavoured to ensure that the representatives of the project are also trained in cultural awareness.

Do you outsource Indigenous Accountants or are you an Accounting Firm?

No, the Indigenous Accountants Australia Project does not outsource Indigenous Accountants, nor are we an accounting firm. The Indigenous Accountants Australia Project is a joint Initiative between the two peak professional accounting bodies, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia. Both of these bodies have members who are qualified accountants. Refer to “What does Indigenous Accountants Australia do?

How do I get in contact with a Relationship Manager?

You can email Matthew Lancaster at matthew.lancaster@charteredaccountantsanz.com

Who do I contact to find Indigenous accountants or accounting students to employ?

On the Employment page of our website, Employers (not recruitment agencies) can have their positions posted via a link to advertisements on their website. If you have a job you would like us to advertise to attract an Indigenous accountant or accounting student, notably vacation and graduate programs, please email the details to by emailing matthew.lancaster@charteredaccountantsanz.com

How can I find out more about Indigenous Accountants Australia?

Keep up to date on the latest news by signing up to our quarterly newsletter, visiting our website or through our LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter social media channels.

As an employer, how am I able to identify an Indigenous Accountant working with us if they haven’t already identified themselves?

Due to the Privacy Act, an employer is not required or allowed to ask. Creating awareness of the Indigenous Accountants Australia project around your office may help entice individuals to identify themselves as Indigenous.

Does Indigenous Accountants Australia only focus on current students?

No. We are identifying all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have or are doing a degree in accounting, or are involved in accounting areas and considering to upskill i.e. bookkeepers. Due to the under representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in accounting, we are seeking to understand who is out there already and who is studying or looking at a career in accounting.

Are all your Indigenous accountants working as accountants?

No. As the accounting degree is diverse and offers many opportunities outside of just accounting, some of our Indigenous accountants are involved in other areas that utilise their skills and experiences gained from their accounting backgrounds.

What are the benefits of recruiting an Indigenous Accountant?

It’s an employer’s corporate choice to actively seek Indigenous employees and there are many benefits for those firms wanting to become more involved in the Indigenous sector as a market. The Indigenous sector includes Native Title Agreements by Traditional Owners with Government and subsequent Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA’s) with business i.e. mining companies.

What support can Indigenous Accountants Australia offer an Employer?

We offer a wide range of support for both current and potential employers of Indigenous accountants.

Become involved in our Student and Employer events.

Speak with our dedicated full time Relationship Manager (RM) to provide guidance on how to engage with Indigenous students, to ensure cultural appropriateness, contacts within the Indigenous community and links between Indigenous accountants and accounting students.

Our RM can also provide support in Indigenous specific areas i.e. Who is an Indigenous Australian? What is a RAP? What is the difference between Murri and Koori? What is the difference between Indigenous; First Nation; First Australian; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander?

Utilise our Employment message board on our website to advertise your immediate and short notice employment opportunities.

And don’t forget to keep up to date on the latest news by visiting our website and following us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Do we need to have Cultural Awareness Training to employ an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?

No, you don’t need to have undertaken cultural awareness training in your organisation. That is an organisations own corporate choice. But be aware that this may impact your firms ability to employ an Indigenous employee. For example, in some Aboriginal culture, direct eye contact is disrespectful and respect is shown by looking down. In a job interview you may take it that the applicant is not a good communicator. The benefits of cultural awareness also extends into your organisations success in engaging with the Indigenous sector.

Can Indigenous Accountants Australia give my organisation the contact details of Indigenous students and accountants?

Due to privacy laws, this information can only be provided with the consent of the student or accountant. The role of the Relationship Managers is to act as the conduit between Employers and accountants/students so we encourage Employers to make all enquiries with a Relationship Manager.

What should I do if I find an Indigenous accountant or student who hasn’t been identified by the Indigenous Accountants Australia Project?

Direct them to the Indigenous Accountants Australia website for information about the project and which Relationship Manager they can speak to. Once they have made contact, the decision can be made if they wish to be identified as an Indigenous accountant with Indigenous Accountants Australia. We will not collect any of their contact information unless they consent for us to do so.

What assistance is provided to Indigenous accountants in our workplace by Indigenous Accountants Australia?

At this time, there are several ways Indigenous Accountants Australia can assist Indigenous accountants in the workplace.

CPA Program Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship – CPA Australia has on offer a scholarship for Indigenous accountants to apply for doing the CPA Program. Indigenous Accountants who are CPA Program candidates are encouraged to apply for this scholarship.

Relationship Managers – the Indigenous Accountants Australia Relationship Managers can act as a form of support for Indigenous accountants in the workplace. The role of Relationship Managers in this capacity is limited but is a service provided to Employers. (Please refer to “What support can Indigenous Accountants Australia offer an Employer?” and “How do I get in contact with a Relationship Manager?”)

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