The Lead Story

About Us

Our financial planners, accountants and administrators have been growing and protecting the future of individuals and businesses in Bendigo since 1995.

The Lead Advisory Group Story

Lead Advisory Group has been working closely with the Bendigo community since 1995. We are a team of highly experienced accountants and financial planners who are committed to helping our clients achieve their business and financial goals.

Our firm forms close partnerships with our clients, enabling us to understand your unique situation and to customise the assistance we provide. Our team members are the heart and soul of our business, and our guiding principles are integrity, respect, teamwork, achievement and innovation.

We provide a range of services, including taxation, accounting, financial planning, lending and finance, business development and self managed super funds (SMSF). Our expert team works one-on-one with clients to provide tailored financial solutions, strategy and advice.

Principles

The Lead Code

Our code of conduct defines the values we stand for, enabling our partners, employees and consultants to embrace a shared sense of identity within Lead Advisory Group. These are the standards on which our reputation is built, and we strive to meet them at all times.

Integrity and respect

At all times we will act with honesty and integrity, and our actions will be based on sound information, trust and fairness. We will strive to uphold the highest professional standards with everything that we do, and will respect every client and team member at all times. Everyone has something to contribute to the firm.

Professional standards

Employees, consultants and partners will be appropriately skilled and committed to working as a team. We will behave professionally and courteously to all clients and team members. We will listen to our clients, ask questions and provide sound advice based on professional judgment.

Confidentiality

We are committed to maintaining the highest degree of confidentiality in our dealings with potential, current and past clients both in terms of commercial confidentiality and the protection of all personal information received in the course of providing taxation, audit, share registry, financial planning and business services.

Loyalty

Employees, consultants and partners owe a duty of loyalty to our clients and will act professionally, honestly, diligently and to the best of their ability. We will not engage in criminal conduct or other behaviour that could harm the client's or firm's business or reputation.

Our Team

Meet Our Skilled and Dedicated Team of Professionals

Our commitment to excellence is evident in our hardworking team and our enthusiasm for the work we do. We’re a team of friendly professionals who want to help you succeed. Led by our directors Brett Andrews and Cara Hall, our team of chartered accountants and financial planners are here to help you achieve your financial goals.

Directors

Cara Hall

Director
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Cara started her career in accounting with Lead back in 2002 in the audit team (believe it or not), and quickly changed her career path to work in her areas of interest, taxation and business services, and subsequently financial services. 

Dedicated to the firm, Cara quickly became a part of her clients’ business and an integral part of the firm, becoming a partner in 2012. Cara now oversees her team in taxation and business services as well as financial planning within the firm.

Cara is an Authorised Representative of Fortnum Private Wealth Ltd ABN 54 139 889 535 AFSL 357306. 

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Chartered Accountant

Bachelor of Business (Accounting) 

Bachelor of Computing

Diploma of Financial Planning 

Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning

A little bit more about Cara...

If anyone knows Cara, she loves working with clients, this is what keeps her coming back, challenging clients to progress their own businesses. 

What can you NOT live without? Coffee.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Forrest Gump.

Brett Andrews

Director
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Brett’s expertise is in taxation and business services, and he has been with Lead since 1997 - becoming a partner in 2006. He relates to people from all walks of life, and enjoys learning about his clients and their businesses so he can help them become more successful. 

Brett believes that we should work smarter not harder! We are always able to help, whether that be helping a client through the financial consequences of a business sale, assistance with a deceased estate or guiding you through a financial windfall.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Chartered Accountant

Bachelor of Business 

A little bit more about Brett...

Brett loves playing cricket, and he is a life member of the Bendigo Cricket Club. He also enjoys watching sport on TV and having a laugh with family and friends. Brett’s ambition is to help clients achieve their goals and help them to succeed. 

What do you spend your free time on? Travelling in the family campervan.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Cricket.

Business Services & Taxation

Greg Hilson

Principal
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Greg came to LEAD in 2005 after owning and managing his firm Central Tax Accounting Services (CATS), bringing his clients into the LEAD fold. Greg specializes in taxation and planning, business development/strategies and valuations. 

Greg has a strong attention to detail, and also has the ability to see the bigger picture, offering advice, strategies and loyalty to his many clients. He enjoys dressing up for work functions, including dressing as a parrot, racing steward and a Russian! 

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Diploma of Business (Accounting)

Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA)

Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants 

A little bit more about Greg...

Greg ran 49 half marathons within 2 years, as well as running the Golden Gate Bridge, Central Park, Washington and around the White House. He has also ran Uluru twice and Nadi (Fiji). He has now retired his running shoes for red wine!

Who is your favourite superhero? Captain Kirk (Star Trek).

Most memorable moment? Getting stopped by Secret Service with guns drawn while running around the White House.

Nicola Hilson

Accountant / Manager
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Nicola developed her skills through her career at Central Accounting Taxation Services (CATS), and at Lead since 2012. She has exceptional skills in managing a portfolio of clients, in addition to planning, executing and reporting on various engagements.

Nicola's specialties include taxation (receiving a High Distinction in the CPA Program), business services management and development of health practitioners. An experienced Certified Practicing Accountant, her background is in taxation and business advisory. 

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Certified Practicing Accountant

A little bit more about Nicola...

Strong interpersonal communication skills enable Nicola to develop and maintain strong, effective business relationships, whilst her attention to detail and calming, supportive approach drive quality outcomes for her clients and stakeholders.

She was also a finalist in Young Professional Women Award.

Lindy Burr

Accountant
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Lindy is a taxation and business services chartered accountant with over 20 years’ experience and has worked for Lead Advisory after moving to Bendigo acreage in 2011. Since then she has had two girls and is currently working part-time in Brett’s team. 

Lindy strives to obtain great results for her clients. She is reliable and friendly, and always happy to help with any queries, and understands the demands placed on family businesses through working in her fathers agricultural machinery business. 

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business

Chartered Accountant

A little bit more about Lindy...

Outside of work Lindy enjoys horse-riding, yoga, gardening and spending quality time with her family. She lives by the motto “You will never be as young as you are today, Make every minute count!”

What do you do in your spare time? Gardening.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? The Notebook.

Natasha Zimmer

Accountant
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Natasha joined Lead in November 2019, with over 15 years of accounting/tax experience. She has diverse range of experience in many industries, working with primary production and corporations through to locally-owned corner stores. Natasha prides herself on working with clients to get the best results in their business, and reaching that life work balance we all strive for.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business

Certified Practicing Accountant (CA)

A little bit more about Natasha...

Natasha is a working mum of 4 kids. She loves spending her weekends with her children, and in the winter months you'll mostly likely find her freezing on the side of a soccer pitch.

What can you not live without? CHOCOLATE!

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Love any Marvel movie, especially when Thor is involved.

Nicolas Siely

Accountant
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Nicolas joined Lead Advisory Group in 2011, after completing his Bachelor of Accounting. Since then, Nicolas has completed his Chartered Accountant Diploma in 2016, expanding his knowledge and skill set of the financial services sector.

Nicolas deals with a lot of different clients across a range of industries, but has become the 'go-to' guy for construction and hospitality queries within the firm. We’d definitely recommend anyone within these industries get in touch with Nicolas for a chat.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Accounting

Chartered Accountant

A little bit more about Nicolas...

Nicolas is hard working, yet easy going and enjoys football, tennis, cricket and basketball. Nicolas aspires to one day work overseas and to own his own business. He’s learned a few things in this role, one being “Don’t take share advice from clients!”

What can you NOT live without? Zambreros.

Where do you spend your spare time? On the couch (sleeping).

Phoebe Lorincz

Accountant
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Phoebe joined us in early 2018 after completing Bachelor of Business (Accounting) degree, since then she has completed her Chartered Accountant Diploma. She is currently in Cara Hall’s tax team, predominantly preparing financial statements, BAS and tax returns, as well as assisting clients in any way possible. 

She is hardworking, reliable and thoroughly enjoys her work. She hopes to continue working in the tax team to expand her skills and knowledge as well as gaining experience in other areas of accounting.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

Chartered Accountant

A little bit more about Phoebe...

Phoebe loves sticky notes and making lists at work. In her spare time, she enjoys holidaying, hanging out with family and friends, eating out and indulging in red wine. She pursed accounting after enjoying maths, accounting and economics in high school.

What can you NOT live without? Diet Coke.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? The Handmaid’sTale and Married At First Sight

Rachel Waight

Accountant
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Rachel joined the Lead Advisory taxation and business service team in June 2016, after working as a graduate in Melbourne. Being a part of Greg’s team, she specialises in BAS and income tax returns as well as the preparation of financial statements. 

She believes that the best way to improve her accounting skills is to always be up for new challenges. Rachel completed her Chartered Accountant Diploma in 2020.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Accounting

Chartered Accountant

A little bit more about Rachel...

Inspired by the words of Theodore Roosevelt, Rachel lives by the motto “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground”. 

What can you NOT live without? Phone/internet.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? How I Met Your Mother or Scrubs.

Elysia Young

Accountant
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Elysia joined our team in 2016 as an undergraduate accountant in SMSFs, while completing her Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at La Trobe University. After spending a year working with another firm, she returned in early 2019 as a graduate. 

Elysia plans to undertake the Chartered Accountant program, and develop her knowledge in all areas of individual and small business taxation. She became an accountant because her dad made it sound cool! Thanks Dad.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

A little bit more about Elysia...

Outside of work, Elysia likes to spend her time with her family and friends, reading books, and tasting as many wines and craft beers as possible. She is currently learning Australian Sign Language (Auslan), with the hope to become an interpreter one day.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Sherlock Holmes.

What can you NOT live without? True crime podcasts and craft beers.

Kyle Taylor

Accountant
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Kyle joined Lead in 2021, with over 10 years of accounting/tax experience. He works with clients in many areas that includes the manufacturing industry, primary producers, medical professionals and the construction industry.

Kyle enjoys building long lasting relationships with clients and has a keen interest in succession planning.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Commerce

Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA)

A little bit more about Kyle...

Kyle loves all things sport and enjoys spending his weekends with family and friends.

What is your favourite AFL football team? Collingwood.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Warrior.

Lars Casperson

Accountant
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Lars joined Lead Advisory Group as an intern accountant in 2019, as part of a workplace program with LaTrobe University, and completed his studies in November 2020.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor or Business (Accounting)

A little bit more about Lars...

Lars enjoys football and basketball. He's also a keen gamer and enjoys socialising with his mates.

What can you NOT live without? Coca-Cola

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Narcos, Goodfellas, Silence of the Lambs

Deakin Wells

Accountant
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Deakin joined Lead Advisory in August 2018 as part of LEAD’s Internship Program with La Trobe University Bendigo and completed his Bachelor of Accounting degree in November 2020.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

A little bit more about Deakin...

Living by the phrase “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, Deakin believes that hard work and dedication are the key to success, and he is very passionate about sports. He also enjoys gaming, music and hanging out with friends and family. 

What do you do in your spare time? Basketball and gaming.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Breaking Bad.

Jack Amos

Accountant
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Jack joined Lead Advisory Services in November 2019 as an undergraduate accountant whilst completing his Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at La Trobe University in Bendigo. He is always striving to improve and build upon his knowledge of accounting.

Jack works in tax and business services, specialising in the preparation of individual tax returns, financial statements and BAS returns for all types of entities. His goal is to pursue further study, including obtaining his Chartered Accountants diploma. 

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Cert III Carpentry

Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

A little bit more about Jack...

On weekends, Jack works at a local bar where he likes to spend his time working whilst socialising in the community with many of his friends. He loves watching sports such as cricket, footy and basketball.

What can you NOT live without? Sour beer.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Wolf of Wall Street

Nikhil Deep Pottabathini

Graduate
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Nikhil completed a Masters of professional accounting from Latrobe University in 2020 & joined lead in May 2021.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Masters of Professional Accounting

A little bit more about Nikhil...

Nikhil plays district cricket for Carlton & loves playing Badminton a little bit.

What do you do in your spare time? Gaming

What is your favourite TV show? Suits

Matt Gallagher

Graduate
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Matt graduated from Bendigo Senior Secondary College (Year 12) in 2018. He joined Lead Advisory Group as an intern accountant in 2020, as part of a workplace program with LaTrobe University.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor or Business (Accounting)

A little bit more about Matt...

Outside of work, Matt enjoys getting outside in the sunshine and hanging out with his friends and family. He also loves dogs, has never killed an indoor plant and always finds the furthest carpark away because it’s ‘comfortable’.      

What can you NOT live without? The Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Pride and Prejudice

Loralee Luckett

Bookkeeper
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Loralee joined the Lead Advisory Group team in 2011 as a bookkeeper, providing a range of services to our many clients. Loralee is proactive, patient, personable, adaptable and trustworthy, making her very good at her job.

Loralee has been bookkeeping since 2004, and has worked with MYOB, Quickbooks, Reckon, Xero, Attache as well as variety of 3rd party apps. Loralee puts this experience to good use assisting small businesses with their accounts and administration. 

A little bit more about Loralee...

While not in the office, Loralee unwinds by spending time with her family, gardening, cooking and camping.

Elizabeth Rosewall

Bookkeeper
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Liz has moved into her new role of bookkeeping, and works alongside Greg’s tax and business services team, bringing years of administration experience with her as well as well as high level organisation and time management skills.

In this current role Liz assists in Payroll, Creditors, Preparation of monthly IAS, BAS and Superannuation liabilities, alongside being project manager of Lead Compliance Protection Service.  

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Certificate IV in Accounting andBookkeeping

Bachelor of Account (currently completing)

A little bit more about Elizabeth...

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love”. Liz enjoys spending time with her son and is always exploring new places. Her favourite places to visit are Miami and New York to see friends and family. Fitness keeps Liz active and focused for her busy role at work. 

What can you NOT live without? Chocolate.

What do you do in your spare time? Going to the gym and spending time with my son.

Financial Planning & SMSF COMPLIANCE

Stuart McKenzie

Financial Planner
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Stuart offers specialist expertise with over 20 years’ experience as a financial planner. He has extensive experience in providing advice to clients across all areas of their financial lives, including wealth accumulation, cashflow management, personal risk insurance, retirement planning, portfolio management, investments, estate planning, aged care and Centrelink.

Stuart relishes the opportunity to create and implement wealth strategies to allow clients to simplify their affairs and assist them in achieving their financial goals and lifestyle dreams as they move through different stages of their lives.

Stuart s an Authorised Representative of Fortnum Private Wealth Ltd ABN 54 139 889 535 AFSL 357306.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business (Accountancy)

Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning

Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)

Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking Management

Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors

FPA Aged Care Specialist

A little bit more about Stuart...

Stuart enjoys playing golf and coaching his son’s junior cricket and football teams. A keen sports fan, he also spends time umpiring local AFL football.

What can you NOT live without?  A couple of daily servings of fruit and veggies!

What is your favourite AFL football team? North Melbourne Kangaroos

Breeanna Walsh

Paraplanner
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Breeanna joined the Lead Financial team early 2018 after relocating from the Gold Coast. She is your go-to person when looking to see how any of your enquiries with the financial planning department are progressing, or if you are looking for any general information on any superannuation or investments or insurance we oversee for you. 

As a Paraplanner, Breeanna works closely with our Advisers and clients to prepare research and advice documentation and aims to ensure high quality service delivery at all times. Breeanna is currently completing her FASEA Professional Year and looks forward to further assisting our wonderful clients with whom she has built relationships with over the years. 

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Masters of Financial Planning (currently completing)

Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning

Certificate IV in Accounts Administration

QLD Real Estate Salesperson licence

Bachelor of Psychological Science

A little bit more about Breeanna...

Breeanna lives by the motto: Patience is a profitable virtue.

Breeanna is happiest belting out a tune in the car, on adventures big and small with her daughter, or chasing a royal flush on the poker tables.

Joanne Wells

SMSF Manager
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Jo joined Lead Advisory Group in 2015, initially as part of the audit team. She now finds herself co-managing the SMSF team, an area she has a special interest in. Jo relishes the opportunity to build relationships and deliver a friendly and positive experience for all of our SMSF clients.

Jo completed her Diploma of Accounting in 2020 and is currently studying her Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at LaTrobe University in Bendigo. Jo is always looking to increase her knowledge base, and believes age is never a barrier in achieving anything you set your mind to. 

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Diploma of Accounting

Bachelor of Business (Accounting) currently studying

A little bit more about Jo...

In her spare time, Jo loves spending time with her family, watching TV, sport and movies, reading, and cooking. Jo also claims to be highly clairvoyant, but is yet to crack the Powerball or proclaim when North Melbourne will win a premiership.

What can you NOT live without? Family, my golden retriever Jax, good food, friends, wine and music.

What do you do in your spare time? Study, but squeezes in a daily walk with Jax, usually watching the sun rise - her favourite part of the day.

Olivia Treloar

Partner Liaison / SMSF Manager
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Olivia joined Lead in 2013, through the summer internship program run by La Trobe University Bendigo. Olivia’s ambitious nature has led her to number of different roles within our firm including; Auditor, SMSF Administrator, Financial Planner and now SMSF Manager and Partner Liaison, attending to the coordination of our firm.

With over 7 years-experience, Olivia enjoys building relationships with all of her clients and assisting staff with all their needs.  

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

Diploma of Financial Planning

A little bit more about Olivia...

In Olivia’s spare time she enjoys playing netball for White Hills and spending her weekends with family and friends.

What can you NOT live without? Coffee, Bailey (Groodle) and Wine.

What is your favourite TV show or movie? Any Marvel Movie

Lending

Allan Underwood

Lending Manager
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Allan joined Lead Advisory Group in March 2019, bringing over 15 years’ experience in banking and lending, across both consumer and business banking, with a demonstrated history of working in the finance industry. 

Allan is a dedicated finance professional who is skilled in portfolio management, risk management, customer service, banking, lending, and credit analysis. He’s been a valuable addition to the team, and brings a wealth of knowledge to the role.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Bachelor of Business, Tourism & Hospitality

Diploma of Financial Services

Certificate IV in Finance & Mortgage Broking

Certificate III and IV in Financial Services 

A little bit more about Allan...

Allan lives and works according to his personal mantra: “Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.”

What can you NOT live without? Caffeine.

What do you spend your free time on?  Family, outdoors, motorbike.

Jaime Townsend

Lending Officer
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Jaime joined Lead Advisory Group in May 2021 as part of the Lead Lending team, she has a passion for finding the right finance solutions for each client. Jaime is proactive, patient, and personable, which combined with over 10 years experience in the finance industry across consumer and commercial lending, credit analysis and loan portfolio management gives you the comfort of dealing with a qualified finance professional.

Qualifications and areas of specialisation

Diploma of Finance & Mortgage Broking Management

Certificate IV in Finance & Mortgage Broking

SME Lending

Asset & Equipment finance

A little bit more about Jaime...

In her spare time Jaime enjoys spending time with her family, being dragged around Kennington by her dog Arlo, reading and drinking wine with friends.

What can you NOT live without? Coffee & red wine

What do you spend your free time on? Chasing Arlo around the dog park while he makes friends

Administration

Jodie Fisher

Share Registry Officer / Administration Assistant
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Jodie joined the Share Registry & Administration teams in 2021. With 20+ years of Administration & Project Management experience across a variety of small businesses and government agencies, Jodie uses her outstanding customer service & organisational skills to assist shareholders, clients & staff in reaching their desired outcomes.

A team player with a positive & engaging attitude, Jodie is always ready & willing to lend a hand to get the job done.  She enjoys a challenge & the diverse nature of working within a unique sector such as Community Banking & Share administration, as well as providing back up to our Admin & Reception team.

A little bit more about Jodie...

Jodie is a home body who enjoys spending time with her family, playing board games, cooking up a feast & drinking quality coffee every chance she can get!

Dianne Brooks

Share Registry Officer
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Dianne joined our share registry team in early 2016. She has over 25 years’ experience in the finance industry and demonstrates a passion and enthusiasm for helping shareholders, to help them achieve financial and personal success. 

Dianne is known for her dedication to excellent customer service, and for her strong focus on achieving the best outcome for shareholders and Community Bank Boards. Her wealth of knowledge makes her a valuable member of the Lead Advisory team.

A little bit more about Dianne...

Dianne lives with her husband and fur baby. She enjoys cooking, gardening, crafts and would love to see more of the wonderful hidden gems Australia has to discover.

Jessica Sawyer

Administration Assistant
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Jess joined the Lead Advisory Services team in early 2018 as a part time administration assistant. She has learnt numerous new skills and enjoys her time here, building strong relationships with her helpful and knowledgeable co-workers. 

Previously Jess worked for over a decade in the automotive industry in the sales and service departments. Outside of work she helps her husband with their company and chases her three boys around parks, bike tracks and sporting fields across Bendigo.  

A little bit more about Jessica...

What can you NOT live without? Chocolate.

What do you do in your spare time? Spend time with my kids outside.

Laurinda Sawyer

Administration Assistant
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Laurinda joined Lead Advisory Group as an administration assistant, in January 2019. She has had several years experience within the banking industry, previously working at Bendigo Bank for over 10 years in a variety of roles.

A little bit more about Laurinda...

Laurinda has a fantastic attitude to her life and her approach to work, which is summed up in this quote from Abraham Lincoln: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Who would play you in a movie about your life? Margot Robbie.

What can you NOT live without? Family and friends.

Jaimee Crozier

Receptionist
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Jaimee joined the Lead Advisory team in March 2019, taking on the big task of manning the reception desk. Jaimee is a dedicated team member who always offers a big smile to all of our clients as they walk in the door, making them feel welcome.

Since joining our all-important administration team, Jaimee has continued to build her skills further to ensure that she provides an outstanding service to our clients. 

A little bit more about Jaimee...

Jaimee is passionate about travel, believing that “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. She is always planning her next trip and can’t wait to see more of the world, when time and money permits!

What can you NOT live without? Delicious food.

What do you spend your free time on? Travelling as much as I can.