I am pleased to be able to provide this reference supporting Hall Chadwick Melbourne (formerly Sothertons Melbourne) and its Principals David and Robert Lissauer.
I have worked with David and Peter for over ten years on a wide range of engagements and continue to be impressed by their breadth of knowledge, thoroughness of their work and their ability to work efficiently, effectively and independently in some very challenging environments. Sothertons is a well-established and highly professional organisation that reflects the values of its principals and is supported by a group of skilled and loyal staff and associates. As part of an international network they also have access to and are able to bring many of the benefits of the “Big 4” to their clients at a much lower cost.
I first worked with the team while in the role of Chief Operating Officer for Oxfam Australia. As part of an international confederation Oxfam Australia was required to undergo regular peer review by other affiliate members. These reviews looked at compliance by affiliates to a series of agreed financial and operational standards. Hall Chadwick Melbourne was engaged by Oxfam International to support the peer review of the Australian operation. The review was carried out with a minimum of disruption to the day to day operations and completed within agreed timeframes and budget. Being the subject of the review I was particularly impressed by how the team was able to quickly grasp the unique challenges facing an international development agency and formulate well thought out and effective recommendations for improvement.
As mentioned I was extremely impressed by the team’s work and subsequently appointed them as Internal Auditors for Oxfam Australia, an appointment I understand they still hold. This internal audit work involved delivery of internal audit services in line with a challenging internal audit plan across Oxfam Australia’s domestic and international operations. This included 7 domestic offices across Australia, including the 400+ person head office in Melbourne, and 13 field offices throughout the southern hemisphere.
Reviews often included review of compliance with Ausaid and other funder requirements. These were complex audits, often in vastly different operating environments and involving multiple compliance layers and/or regimes often in non-English speaking locations. Not only did the team demonstrate a particular aptitude for this type of complex job, they also demonstrated high levels of cultural sensitivity and respect for the staff and stakeholders wherever they were required to work. There reports were insightful and relevant as they also took the time to understand the program being delivered and local nuances that impact this work. As such recommendations were always well thought out and relevant to the environment they related to.
I have continued to work with David and Robert since leaving Oxfam engaging them on several occasions to do specific pieces of work, the most recent during my tenure as Chief Operating Officer for VicHealth. This was a particularly sensitive review that involved reviewing an indigenous organisation that VicHealth funded, due to questions that had been raised in relation to whether funding had been used appropriately and whether the organisation was financially viable. The team managed this review with professionalism and respect and delivered an honest report with insightful recommendations to remedy issues they identified. It is my understanding that this organisation is now in a much more robust position having implemented recommendations from the review by David and his team.
I am more than happy to recommend Hall Chadwick Melbourne to you and am confident that Principals David and Robert and their teams will provide you with extremely high quality and professional service and advice regardless of the nature of the appointment or the environment in which the work needs to be carried out. If you require further information or wish to discuss any aspect of this reference further please do not hesitate to contact me.
Principal, Rutherford Clare Investments and Consulting