Accounting Professor appointed Fitzgerald Chair

Professor Anne Lillis, Head of the Department of Accounting has been appointed to the Fitzgerald Chair in Accounting. Associate Professor Geoff Burrows outlined to B&E the history and significance of this chair.

The Chair was the result of a public appeal in 1974 chaired by John Balmford and the late Ken Keown, respectively managing partners of Arthur Young and Arthur Andersen, and was named in honour of the Fitzgerald brothers: Sir Alexander (Alec) Fitzgerald (1890–1969), and Garrett (Garry) E. Fitzgerald, CMG (1894–1970).

Sir Alec is probably the greatest figure in twentieth-century Australian accounting through his roles as teacher, author, editor, practitioner and public servant, particularly as chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission.  He was a founding principal of the Fitzgerald Gunn partnership, a predecessor firm to Ernst and Young, and taught accounting at the University of Melbourne on a part-time basis during 1925 –58, the last three years as Professor, the first Australian chair appointment in the discipline.

Garry Fitzgerald, who fought in the trenches of the Somme during World War I, was also a major figure in Australian accounting, particularly in relation to professional bodies and was an instrumental figure in the creation of what is now CPA Australia.  He was a part-time teacher at the University during 1928 –47.


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