Julianne Jaques

Julianne Jaques, Class of 1985
Barrister and Board Member

I am a commercial barrister specialising in taxation. I spent five years with a major accounting firm and five years with a major law firm before becoming senior tax adviser to the Federal Assistant Treasurer during the introduction of GST and business tax reforms. A barrister since 2002, I have appeared in all superior Victorian and New South Wales Courts, in the Federal Court, and in the High Court of Australia.

I hold bachelor degrees in economics and laws from Monash University, and a doctorate from the University of Melbourne for her thesis on corporate taxation. Iam a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser.

I am a member of the Tax Practitioners Board which regulates tax practitioners throughout Australia, and a member of the Board of Taxation which gives tax policy advice to the Federal Government from a business and community perspective. She was acting chair of the Board of Taxation for six months in 2019. She is also one of five members of the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority which regulates Federal parliamentarians’ travel expenses.

What is a career highlight?

At The Tax Institute’s 2020 National Tax Summit held in March in Sydney and attended by 1,500 tax professionals, I was awarded “Chartered Tax Advisor of the Year” from an eligible membership base of over 7,000. The criteria for this award include “leadership in the tax profession, tax community involvement and outstanding ethics and professionalism”. I am the first woman to receive this award.

What are your future plans?

For the time being, continue my practice as a barrister, and continue to serve as a part-time member of the Boards of which I’m a member.

What are your memories of Kilvington?

I was at Kilvington when the debating club was set up by Mrs Barton, and remember taking part in the first lunchtime debate, on the topic “That Australians care too much about sport.” I was arguing the affirmative and I can’t remember who won, but when I stood up to speak to make my team’s case, something just clicked. That was the first step on my path to becoming a barrister. One year after starting the debating club, Kilvington had teams in 2 out of 4 grand finals in the interschool competition, with another team having been knocked out in the semi-final – a marvellous testament to the dedication of Mrs Barton, and to the confidence that Kilvington’s supportive culture engendered in its students.

I also remember with much fondness many of the teachers and students. I remember physics classes with Mr O (Mr Osborne), who one lunchtime set up a mechanism on the school roof to drop two objects of identical size but different weight to show that they hit the ground at the same time. I still use this example when explaining physics to my own children. The year Mr O retired the student body gave him a standing ovation at speech night that went on for several minutes.

I recall the excitement when Kilvington bought its first computer – an Apple IIe – and each of the 30 students in the class painstakingly filling black lines onto computer programming cards – one line in the wrong place and the program wouldn’t work to add two numbers together. Very different to the ever-present technology we live with today!

I particularly remember Kilvington’s caring and supportive culture, that gave every student the opportunity to explore their own interests and to find their own strengths, a culture that helped us to see the personal benefit of hard work and service, and lived up to the school moto “non nobis sed omnibus” – not for our own but others’ good. At Kilvington I made friendships that have stood the test of time – lifelong true friends with whom I have shared the ups and downs throughout the years, and on whom I have always been able to rely.