ARITA Vic/Tas Division Committee Nominees

Here are the profiles of the nominees for the 2021/2022 Vic/Tas Division Committee. The Committee resolved to have a maximum of 14 members.

Please note: In accordance with the ARITA Constitution, only Professional, Fellow and Life Members are voting members. Members may only vote or lodge proxies at the AGM of the Division in which they reside.

Travis Anderson

Statement of claim
I have been a long-term active member of ARITA and would like to further my involvement through committee election. I am a strong promoter of the insolvency profession within Tasmania and am a regular presenter at various conferences, events and discussion groups where I aim to generate awareness and an improved understanding of insolvency and restructuring related issues. I believe my election to the Vic/Tas Division Committee would allow me to assist with further promoting the restructuring field within Tasmania.

Travis leads the Deloitte Restructuring team in Tasmania and specialises in advising underperforming and distressed businesses by providing both turnaround and insolvency services. Travis has over 16 years' experience with Deloitte, is a Chartered Accountant, member of CPA Australia, member of ARITA and a Registered Liquidator. Travis is currently an invitee to the Vic/Tas Division Committee in order to provide Tasmanian representation to the VIC/Tas division.

Rachel Burdett

Statement of claim
I have been a member of ARITA since 2007 and an active member of the committee since 2015, a position that I felt was the next step after contributing as a workshop leader for a number of years. Over the past few years, I have been the committee's Secretary, Chair of the Vic/Tas Conference sub-committee, sub-committee member of the Forum Conferences, Diversity and Restructuring sub-committees, trainer for the ILRA reforms and have assessed workshop student papers. I am current Chair of the Vic/Tas Division Committee and am Vice President of the ARITA Board.

Utilising my prior involvement with various committees and executives and my career experience, I would like to continue to help build a balanced profile for ARITA and its members, across the various disciplines and diversity within our industry. In addition, being a trainer provides perspective on the current and future requirements for knowledge, technical requirements and the professional conduct framework. I have a personal interest in developing the turnaround aspects of the profession as it grows within ARITA.

Rachel is a restructuring, insolvency and turnaround advisor, company director and a chartered accountant with over 25 years' experience. Rachel has significant experience in senior leadership roles in banking both origination and risk management over a 10-year period.

In various roles within the Chartered Accounting firms of EY, KPMG, BDO and Cor Cordis, Rachel has been actively involved in insolvency, restructuring and turnaround engagements and also held leadership, board and executive committee roles. Rachel has perspective on the development of insolvency law since the late 1980's and also restructuring and turnaround needs from the business and corporate community.

Leanne Chesser

Statement of claim
I was appointed to the Vic/Tas Division Committee in 2017 and have been an active member chairing the technical sub-committee focusing on technical issues/submissions since that time. I was a member of the Vic/Tas conference sub-committee delivering the 2018 and 2019 Vic/Tas conference and have been Secretary of the Committee for the past two years. I believe I have made a positive contribution to the Committee over the past four years and would welcome the opportunity to continue to represent ARITA members on the Vic/Tas Division Committee in 2021.

I have a keen interest in Risk Management and the technical aspects of Restructuring, having at various times over the past 18 years, led KordaMentha’s Technical Services Group. I work closely with our Technical Services Director to implement law changes across KordaMentha Australia wide as well as continuing to work on all types and sizes of formal appointments.

I presented on law reform at the 2018 ARITA National Conference and at a Vic/Tas Forum in late 2018, I was a panellist at the 2020 ARITA National Conference, was a member of the ARITA code working group and provided feedback on the revised DIRRI and Remuneration Report templates.

Leanne commenced her Restructuring career at Arthur Andersen 30 years ago. She joined KordaMentha as a founding employee in 2002. Leanne has spent the last 15 years as a Restructuring Partner at KordaMentha and has been a Registered Liquidator for 13 years.

With 30 years’ experience in the restructuring industry, Leanne has worked on some of the largest formal engagements in Australian corporate history including Ansett, Timbercorp and Arrium and more recently Aussie Farmers Direct, Roger David, Laura Ashley and the Made Establishment Group. 

Leanne's attention to detail, commerciality, risk management focus and strong project management skills are her strengths. As one of the most technically proficient partners at KordaMentha, Leanne's skills are often called on to navigate the efficient administration of complex corporate appointments across Australia.

Jim Downey

Statement of claim
I am a sole practitioner with 40 years' insolvency experience. I have been active on the Vic/Tas Division Committee since 1993. I believe I can contribute to debates about practice within the profession – both on corporate and personal insolvency.

Jim has been in the profession since 1979. He has been a director on the ARITA Board (2003-2005) and also sat on the ARITA SMP Committee (2018-2019). In 2017 Jim was made an ARITA Fellow. Jim has worked at small, medium and large firms alongside some of the best-known names on the Melbourne insolvency scene, including: 

  • 1979–1984, Bentley & Co
  • 1984–1988, Touche Ross & Co
  • 1988–1994, Ferrier Hodgson
  • 1994–present, J P Downey & Co.

Mathew Gollant

Statement of claim
As a Fellow of ARITA, I am continuing to make a contribution by sitting on both the SMP Committee and Balance Taskforce (Diversity and Inclusion Committee). I continue to assist the professional standing of ARITA and its members by Chairing the Vic/Tas Forum presentations – assisting prospective liquidators and trustees by providing informal assistance in the Melbourne insolvency community.

I have also presented Essential Skills and Graduate sessions, as well as Advanced Certification workshops. If re-elected I will continue to work diligently on the various committees to advocate on issues of importance to the insolvency profession on behalf of the Vic/Tas members.

Mathew has 30 years' experience in the auction & valuation, insolvency and reconstruction sectors, including 12 years with the big 4 global accounting firms in Melbourne, Perth and overseas. More recently he has worked in smaller firms where he has honed his skills in ensuring that directors, their accountants and lawyers are aware of their options and the associated risks in a proposed administration or in successful negotiations with both secured and unsecured creditors.

Mathew is a Registered Liquidator and Trustee in Bankruptcy. He is an ARITA Fellow and current member of the ARITA Vic/Tas Division Committee – previously acting as Chair of the Vic/Tas Conference & Forum sub-committees. Mathew is a past Secretary and President and current member of the Melbourne Forum discussion group. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and has acted on various insolvency consultative committees.

Geoff Green

Statement of claim
I believe the most significant issues for ARITA as an organisation are:

  1. working to ensure appropriate regulation of pre-insolvency advisers;
  2. delivering greater value for money and working to reduce membership and event registration fees;
  3. ensuring that ARITA hears and balances the needs and views of members outside the Sydney CBD market.

Geoff has 11 years' experience in Ernst & Young's insolvency team, culminating in registration as a liquidator.

  • 12 years with ANZ and NAB, with 10 years in NAB's loan workout area.
  • Extensive experience in technical education, workshop leader for (then) ICAA insolvency module, exam question writer for CPA Australia insolvency module, Reviewing author CPA Australia Insolvency study guide, ARITA workshop leader.
  • Now Principal of small restructuring practice, Harbourside Advisory.
  • Member Vic/Tas Division Committee, former Division Committee Chair, former ARITA Board member.

Adrian Hunter

Statement of claim
Since 2012 I have been an ARITA presenter/trainer for both its Essential Skills courses and Introduction to Insolvency Program (2-day course) designed for new entrants into the insolvency industry. This is in addition to being an ARITA Workshop Leader. My contributions to both ARITA and the profession has also extended to having the pleasure of being an author of various ARITA Journal articles. In 2017 I was elected to ARITA's Vic/Tas Division Committee and have since been an active member of the sub-committee established to provide speakers for the lunchtime ARITA forums and organise the 2018 and 2019 conferences.

I am currently the Chair of the Vic/Tas Conference organising sub-committee and most recently appointed as ARITA’s nominee on a number of interviews for new liquidator registration applications.

Having been an active member of ARITA for many years and also a member of various insolvency discussion groups over the years I feel I am well placed to listen to the needs of ARITA's membership and strive to implement this through ARITA Committee involvement.

As a partner in a small insolvency firm who has worked for some of the largest insolvency firms in the country, I believe I can bring a well-rounded perspective to the Vic/Tas Division Committee and bring points of view from many positions to benefit us all. I feel that it is important that representation on the Committee comes from both small and large insolvency firms to ensure a balanced approach is adopted for member advocacy.

Adrian was appointed to partnership with Brooke Bird in 2016 following a 20-year career with Deloitte, PPB Advisory and Ferrier Hodgson. During his career, he has worked across a large number of industries and been involved in dealing with distressed organisations of all sizes and individuals.

    Melissa Jeremiah

    Statement of claim
    I am a Professional Member of ARITA, and I have served on the Vic/Tas Division Committee since April 2016. I am currently the Vic/Tas Division Committee Deputy Chair. Since joining the Committee I have been involved with and chaired the membership and diversity sub-committees.

    The membership sub-committee provides me with an opportunity to meet the new Professional Members and support the graduates through the Advanced Certification courses. The diversity sub-committee is determined to work towards and achieve ARITA's key objective of building and sustaining a broader, expanded and active membership.

    I re-nominate in 2021 to provide a different perspective, be an advocate for members and work with the Committee to ensure that, as a professional association, we continue to educate, uphold ethical and professional standards and promote the profession to the public at large.

    Melissa is a Senior Associate in the Commercial, Insolvency & Restructuring team at Maddocks. She has over 12 years' experience in insolvency, as a Chartered Accountant and as a Solicitor. Melissa advises insolvency practitioners, creditors, debtors and directors on all aspects of informal and formal appointments, both personal and corporate. 

    Allan Kawalsky

    Statement of claim
    I am a lawyer specialising in insolvency and have been a Professional Member of ARITA for over 10 years.

    My contributions to ARITA have included being an author or a number of ARITA journal articles including one that will shortly be published in the June edition.

    I have always maintained a strong interest in developments the insolvency profession having previously been a president of the IPAA CBD Insolvency discussion group, a current member of the CPA insolvency and reconstructions discussion group, a supporter and relatively frequent Presenter at Australian Institute of Credit management seminars and webinars, and providing updates and training on issues pertinent to insolvency. I also regularly write articles on topical insolvency issues which are distributed to our firm’s extensive contacts comprising those who are stakeholders in the reconstruction and insolvency field.

    I enjoy interacting with members of the profession and maintain a wide network of professional contacts who participate in the insolvency industry. If I am fortunate to secure a spot on the Vic/Tas Division Committee, I will look to assist ARITA in meeting its aims and extending its reach and influence.

    Allan has been a partner at Turks Legal for the past 7 years. He maintains and acts for a range of clients in the insolvency sector including banks and other financial institutions, liquidators, trustees, creditors, mercantile agents, trade credit insurers and regulatory authorities. Allan has practiced as a solicitor for over 20 years, exclusively in the insolvency litigation space for at least 15 years, including for 3 years at ASIC as an executive lawyer in the financial enforcements team.

    He is a member of a number of industry professional associations and he regularly publishes and delivers presentations on topical issues in insolvency and banking law.

    Paul Langdon

    Statement of claim
    I am a Registered Liquidator and Bankruptcy Trustee at the firm Vince & Associates. I have been a member of the Vic/Tas Division Committee since April 2019 and I have actively participated in committee matters including the preparation of the ARITA Forums and Division Conference. I have also facilitated the ARITA Advanced Certification Workshops. I am eager to continue to advocate for members and assist ARITA to provide high quality offerings for members.

    Paul is a Chartered Accountant with extensive expertise assisting directors and individuals with formal corporate insolvency appointments, personal insolvency matters, restructuring and corporate recovery assignments across a wide range of industries.

    • Division Committee member since April 2019
    • ARITA Professional Member
    • Chartered Accountant and CPA
    • Registered Liquidator
    • Bankruptcy Trustee
    • South East Branch committee member for CPA.

    Michael Lhuede

    Statement of claim
    The evolving regulatory framework and increased competition is testing most practices. Matters such as on line advertising, the extent of referral relationships and fee discounting are driving competition in an environment where what is, and what isn’t acceptable conduct, is a matter of debate and the boundaries are being constantly tested. In this environment I have sought to be a voice at committee level particularly for those active in the SME sector of the insolvency industry. As a member of the Vic/Tas Division Committee I will continue to do so.


    Michael is a partner with Piper Alderman and specialises in corporate and personal insolvency law.

    As a long-standing member of both ARITA and the Law Council’s Insolvency and Reconstruction Committee Michael has actively participated in the reform of the insolvency law and particularly bankruptcy law.

    Michael has been a member of ARITA’s Victorian/Tasmanian Committee since 2017. He continues to represent member interests at committee. He has been active on the technical sub-committee and continues to actively support the ARITA educational and speaking programs.

    Since 2009, Michael has been selected by his industry peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers list for Australia in the specialty of Insolvency & Reorganisation and is rated as a leading Insolvency lawyer in Doyles Guide to Insolvency & Reconstruction Lawyers.

    Neil McLean

    Statement of claim

    I am a Registered Liquidator and Trustee in Bankruptcy and a director at Rodgers Reidy Melbourne. have worked in the insolvency and turnaround industry for over 20 years and have been a Professional Member of ARITA since February 2017.

    During the course of my career, I have had experience working in a number of small to medium sized practices and have learnt from some of the most prominent and well-respected practitioners in our industry. This has provided me with a sound understanding of the challenges faced by practitioners in small to medium firms.

    I have now moved into the next stage of my career which I believe should involve helping our up-and-coming practitioners progress and develop their skills and abilities.

    I consider ARITA to be the peak industry body that supports practitioners and other stakeholders acting as an advocate for the industry and supporting members through educational forums and publications.

    If I am appointed as a member of the Vic/Tas Division Committee, I look forward to assisting the Committee to achieve excellent member participation through its courses, forums and conferences. In addition, I consider that my experience and knowledge will be able to assist the younger generation of practitioners excel in their careers.


    Neil commenced working in the insolvency industry in 1999 at Brooke Bird & Co with Robyn Erskine and Peter Goodin.

    In 2004 he moved to Scott Partners Consulting, working closely with David Scott, Wayne Lamb and Tony Kelly.

    During his time at Scott Partners Consulting, Neil was seconded to Dwyer Corporate and worked exclusively with Michael Dwyer on numerous complex Administrations and Liquidations as well as several forensic assignments.

    Upon David Scott retiring, Neil transferred to Foremans Business Services as a manager and worked with Mathew Gollant and Timothy Holden.

    In 2014 Neil joined Rodgers Reidy gaining his registration as a Bankruptcy Trustee in August 2016 and Registered Liquidator in February 2017. 

    Fiona Murray-Palmer

    Statement of claim
    I have been practising in the area of insolvency for more than 20 years. I would like to continue my role on the Vic/Tas Division Committee to further ARITA’s policies to promote diversity and inclusion and to advocate for legislative reform in ways that will make insolvencies more efficient.


    Fiona has been admitted as a solicitor for more than 20 years and has practised primarily in insolvency and re-structuring law throughout her career.

    Significant insolvencies she has worked on include:

    • Ansett
    • Opes Prime
    • Great Southern group of companies
    • Westgem
    • Merlin Diamonds Ltd
    • i-Prosperity Pty Ltd.

    Fiona has been a member of ARITA since 2012.

    Tianne Nagy-Jones

    Statement of claim

    I was involved in the ARITA Young Professionals Committee for 6 years, including 2 years as Chair of that Committee until 2019 when I was first elected to the Vic/Tas Division Committee and have served on that Committee throughout 2019 and 2020. I believe I have made a positive contribution to both ARITA and the profession over that time through my involvement with the organisation and I hope to continue to do so on behalf of members.

    I bring a fresh and diverse perspective to the Vic/Tas Division Committee, and have also over the past 12 months been a key member of ARITA's Balance Taskforce, striving to increase diversity and inclusion in our profession which is something I am very passionate about.

    I am a firm advocate for the importance of ARITA to the industry, and its key role more broadly in engaging with government, regulators and other stakeholders, while continuing to provide members with professional development and networking opportunities to ensure members receive the value of their ARITA membership.


    Tianne is a Director in the Restructuring Advisory team at Grant Thornton in Melbourne, having started there in 2011. She is accomplished in managing businesses in distress, stakeholder liaison and overseeing the appropriate work out, sale or wind down strategy.

    Tianne has experience managing companies in receivership, liquidation and voluntary administration, from SMEs to large corporates, as well as having led various complex legal matters including the Amerind litigation. Tianne has also managed a number of informal advisory engagements, working with the client to achieve the desired outcome.

    Katherine Payne

    Statement of claim

    The law and practice of reconstruction and insolvency is undergoing significant change, with the small business reform and proposed permanent reforms to the statutory demand criteria being the most recent of a series of substantial amendments. ARITA has focussed on two avenues to assist its members and the broader profession through this period: advocacy work regarding intended reform, and educating its members on the new regimes.

    As a Division Committee member, I offer to assist with both of those responsibilities, together with any other role as may be needed. Throughout my insolvency career, I have been actively involved in preparing Government submissions and advising insolvency practitioners on new regimes, and new interpretations of existing regimes.

    This includes developing nationally-regarded expertise in the PPSA, entering submissions during its subsequent review, and advising insolvency practitioners and preparing Government submissions on the new approach taken to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme, together with related reforms such as insolvency practitioners’ powers and obligations regarding trust assets. I am a regular presenter at conferences, discussion groups and seminars on such topical issues, including frequently presenting for ARITA on the PPSA.

    In advocacy and education, as well as in my legal practice, I regard it as important to adopt a commercial and balanced approach. It is important that the issues be clearly identified and understood so that a solution can be found.

    Having supported ARITA throughout my career, I would welcome the opportunity to assist by joining the Committee.


    Katherine Payne is a Partner at Hall & Wilcox. She is an insolvency and commercial litigation specialist, with a particular focus on the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, contract litigation and insolvency-related construction disputes.

    Katherine is a regular presenter for ARITA, including co-presenting ‘PPSA in the current environment’ with Rachel Burdett in September 2020. Katherine has practiced in insolvency throughout her career.

    Robert Smith

    Statement of claim

    I nominate for a position of the Vic/Tas Division Committee at a very important time for restructuring professionals. In the past 12 months, our industry has seen substantial change and reform as a result of new legislation and government policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The changes will be long-lasting and subject to further policy and practical development. To enable restructuring professionals to best serve the community in getting better outcomes for stakeholders in challenging situations, ARITA does and must continue to play a major role in shaping this policy development and practical application. I am also conscious that the last year has been a very difficult one for many of our members, and there will be more challenges in the coming near-term.

    ARITA’s broader support of and value proposition to all members will be more crucial than ever. With the backing and resources of a significant national firm behind me, I am committed to support ARITA’s role in shaping policy, improving practical outcomes and providing quality services to its members.


    Robert is a chartered accountant with more than 20 years' experience across Australia, the US and Asia, assisting financiers, investors, directors and companies with financial assurance, M&A, strategy, turnaround, restructuring and insolvency services. He has worked on numerous complex restructurings, including McAleese, Autodom and RCR Engineering, as well as extensively across the mid-market.

    Robert became a Professional Member of ARITA in 2013, a Partner at McGrathNicol in 2014 and a Registered Liquidator in 2017. He has served on McGrathNicol’s Risk Committee since 2016.