The global body Chartered Accountants Worldwide will soon be chaired by an Australian woman, with Ainslie van Onselen appointed to the role with unanimous support from the CAW Board.
van Onselen will be the first woman to chair CAW, and also the first person from Australia or New Zealand to take the helm.
The position will see her chairing the powerful body overseeing 15 member institutes globally and more than 1.8 million members and students.
van Onselen is currently CEO of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), and has held a number of senior and high-profile positions across corporate Australia.
Due to officially take the position in November for an initial two-year term, she replaces Michael Izza in the role, who steps down after six years and will soon retire as CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales.
“It is a great honour to be appointed Chair of Chartered Accountants Worldwide. Michael Izza has done a phenomenal job in promoting the Chartered Accountancy profession and bringing together 15 member institutes from around the world – a community of almost two million Chartered Accountants in more than 200 countries,” van Onselen said on the statement announcing the appointment.
“It’s such an important time for the profession. With the world focused on sustainability, accountants have a vital role to play in driving sustainable business transformation – from instigating action through to evaluating strategies, as well as measuring and reporting performance.”
Michael Izza said on his departure and the incoming chair. “We have made huge inroads into leading the sustainability conversation, but there is more still to be done. I know the organisation is in safe and dynamic hands and Ainslie will build on what we have already achieved and continue to promote the vital role that Chartered Accountants play around the world.”
van Onselen said there is work to be done to ensure ethics and integrity remain the cornerstone of the profession.
“Social, cultural and environmental values stand right next to economic value. For a business, and the profession, to be truly sustainable in the long-term, they must show value creation across these areas,” she said.
“Whether it’s opportunities in ESG, sustainability or AI, or working towards a more attractive profession and an even stronger ethical standing – we gain so much from working together.”