Born and bred Warrnambool accountants Kerrie Hughson and Steven Van Ginneken have been admitted as partners at Sinclair Wilson today.
Ms Hughson and Mr Van Ginneken were both graduates of Warrnambool's Deakin University and were thrilled to join 18 other principals at the accounting and business advisory practice.
An alumni of Emmanuel College, Ms Hughson headed off to Melbourne to work with Deloitte after finishing her degree but always intended to return to her hometown.
"I did a two week placement here while at university, and even when I was at Deloitte, I was in contact with Sinclair Wilson partners, our conversations were always about how this would be my first call if and when I chose to come back to Warrnambool," she said.
Ms Hughson returned to Warrnambool in 2001 and worked in the audit division of the practice before sinking her teeth into the Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) division and will be the third partner to oversee this area.
For Ms Hughson, it's the diversity of her client base that keeps her passionate about work.
"One day I can be having a first meeting with someone in their 30s or early 40s, who is right at the beginning of setting up their self- managed fund, to plan how they will be financially secure post-retirement, over the next 30, 40 or even 50 years," she said.
"Then, I can be talking to someone who has been a client from my first day, who has now retired and is now living their dream thanks in part to the nest egg we have helped them build over time."
Mr Van Ginneken knew from his first day at university that he wanted to one day work at Sinclair Wilson.
"I contacted them about a job in my first semester of university," he said. "It was always where I intended to be once I had completed my studies."
After graduating from Warrnambool College Mr Van Ginneken worked in earthmoving, retail and manufacturing for two years and had first-hand experience when working with small business and agricultural clients.
"I've been there, I've worked on the floor and in the workshop, not just in the office," he said.
"I like that I can look at it from a different perspective."
Sinclair Wilson chairman John Bouwman said the group had a deeply embedded culture of succession, and put years into identifying and cultivating its team to best-prepare them for a future as partner.
"Kerrie and Steven's addition as partners is a reward for their hard work and loyalty," he said. "It's also a boon for their clients, and the wider group, which we know will gain an injection of enthusiasm and a new perspective with these two young professionals now helping lead us."
Listen to the latest episode of our weekly episode The Booletin and Beyond:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.