Nearing the end of yet another year impacted by Covid, it’s perhaps not unusual to feel some sense of relief that we have again successfully managed our way through it!
Looking back on 2021 and the year as it was for Harris Black, I’m also extremely proud of our accounting and administration teams who, by sheer necessity, have reached new levels of resilience and an ongoing ability to provide exceptional client service without issue, no matter what the changing situation around them. Pivoting more times than a prima ballerina in 2021, the Harris Black team have yet again dealt with intermittent and sometimes last minute lockdowns (grab what you need and leave the office), on again / off again rosters to Work From Home, social distancing by desk (sorry you can’t sit there!) and have embraced many, many Zoom or Teams meetings as the new norm. They have done this without concern or complaint, nor missing a beat when it comes to providing great client service. A huge pat on the back to them all!
I’m extremely grateful also that, not only do we have such a positive team at Harris Black who are solution orientated, robust and supportive of each other, we’ve also had great systems in place that have allowed us to transition seamlessly between WFH to being back in the office and then WFH again. In this regard we’ve taken year two of the pandemic in our stride and been able to ensure our staff can support our valued clients by working safely, productively and free of frustration from home as and when needed.
Whilst this was yet another year of constantly juggling health directives and related disruptions, which often road blocked our ability to move forward easily, at Harris Black in 2021 we have still managed a number of successful, enjoyable and significant events both in the office and in our personal lives also..
Office News and Congrats..
• Congratulations in particular go to:
– Olivia Beckett who was made a Manager in July 2021.
– Bjorn Kirberg, who became a Principal with Harris Black in October and perhaps even more exciting given the
amount of work he’s had to put into it… Completed his Masters of Tax with Excellence just last week!! (High 5’s
from us all Bjorn!)
– Congratulations also to both Matt Mok and Sashan Naiker for completing their CA in 2021!
• Sashan actually joined the HB accounting team in June of this year. Moving from NSW, Sash managed to cross the
border just before the lockdown and quarantine requirements came back in force. Unfortunately his partner,
Kalindi, who followed just that bit later had an initial two week holiday in a quarantine hotel!
• Our Remunerated Work Experience Program for Under Graduates was held in April / May. The program introduced
Patrick Humphrey and Ishmum Akram to HB. Pat and Ish are still completing their degrees and since completing
the work experience program now work with the HB team three days a week.
• Elise Nam has also been a great help this year to members of the accounting team… Elise has returned to HB after
a 10 year break to raise her family!
• AND exciting news… Josh Doncaster, recently employed as a new Supervisor Accountant, will commence with the
HB team in January 2022. We’re all looking forward to having Josh on board!
Significant Office Events...
• Reaching out to clients, our HB Directors held two HB Business Leaders Forum events in house this year despite a
Covid related delay. Great events which were well received in May and November. Watch this space for further in
• Thankfully also, the firm was still able to hold their annual Staff Day event in July at the Stamford Plaza followed by
a wonderful EOFY celebration at the Kabuki Teppanyaki restaurant. Thanks to the Directors for organising such a
• Our Brentnalls Affiliation Conferences were still held albeit remotely again in May and October this year. Fingers
crossed we’ll all make it to a group event for the next conference diarised for early 2022 in Adelaide!
• Important to mention our Harris Black monthly themed lunches also! Loved by all, those organising the events just
kept outdoing themselves this year! (Special thanks to Keziah Sedgwick!) Just to name a few, everyone has enjoyed a
Picnic In The Park (bring your cricket bats and croquet sets!); Japanese June (great food provided and who says you
can’t eat M&M’s with chopsticks!); a Halloween Luncheon (let’s make the boardroom into a haunted house!) and
Schools Out Lunch in November (they stopped short of asking everyone to wear their school uniforms!). Thanks to all
who put so much effort into organising! Enormous fun!
• The HB team, as per previous years, joined forces again in 2021 to raise funds for a number of charities, including
Hear & Say and the Australian Red Cross. Morning tea fundraisers are always a great success! We have plenty of
great cooks at HB and plenty of others willing to pay good money for their efforts!
• AND… special Christmas mention for significant office events must also go to Louise Chen’s cat, Peanut! With each
of the Harris Black work pods decorated elaborately in Christmas Theme for judging by the Directors, Peanut made
a special appearance in his Santa Suit to call victory for Louise’s work pod! (Other pods simply couldn’t beat the
addition of a live Christmas decoration at the last minute! Note.. No cats were harmed in this event although staff
are now discussing whether someone could find a lamb or piglet for next year!)
On a Personal Note…
• What’s a year without a wedding to celebrate?!.. Olivia Beckett and her partner Adam married in April 2021. 2021
was also the year of finally getting their roof fixed after multiple delays! Storm damaged in October 2020 it was
finally fixed in November 2021! Double cause for celebration Liv!
• Natalie Macinic gets the bravest HB team member award for the year!… In 2021 she both built a house and
performed in her first major Aerial Silks production! (Yes, project managing a new home and actually managing to
move into it during a Covid year is pretty impressive but twirling around at great heights supported only by a silky
strip of cloth is pretty damn gutsy and gets you extra points in the bravery stakes!)
• Sash and his partner, newly arrived, purchased their first home and are loving their new life in Queensland!
• Kim Ward, HB’s much loved Practice Manager is again happily pregnant with Baby No. 2 expected May 2022!
• FINALLY we must mention a couple of life changing surgeries for 2021.. Bjorn Kirberg’s almost 2 year old, Oscar had
grommets put in his ears in 2021 and Liv’s dog Boston had hip surgery! A quick recovery for Oscar. He is no longer
bothered by ear infections and Bjorn is sleeping a lot better! Whilst it’s been a slower recovery for poor Boston, we
have all watched his improvement by video when Liv has worked from home and are happy to see he is back on
And that, as they say, is a wrap!
Special thanks to our Admin Team who have worked tirelessly in the last couple of weeks to get completed jobs out the door! The HB team will now be heading off at 10.30am today to enjoy their Christmas celebrations, both learning to cook and eating the outcome, at the Golden Pig Cooking School & Restaurant! Thanking everyone again for an enormous effort in 2021! Wishing all a wonderful time today as you farewell the working year and looking forward to another great year in 2022!
To our valued clients, colleagues and friends… Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and all the best for 2022!