Where are they now – Chris Vanderkley (SPC 1975-80)
April 21, 2020
The College recently reconnected with Chris Vanderkley (SPC 1975-80) who has recently been appointed by the Federal Government as a part-time member of the Board of Taxation for the next three years. Chris has strong business taxation experience, with over 30 years’ corporate tax experience in the financial services sector. He held senior positions at GE Capital Asia Pacific, including as Chief Financial Officer, and is currently Special Counsel at PwC leading their tax transparency and tax governance practice. Chris shares some of his fondest memories of teachers and school mates during his time at SPC.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
I completed a Bachelor of Business at BCAE (now Federation Uni) with majors in IT/Law/Accounting; that led to job offers from a number of the big Accounting firms. I joined KPMG Melbourne for almost 10 years (initially in Audit, then eight years in tax and completed my Chartered Accounting studies and a Grad Dip Law (Taxation) at Monash Uni). I subsequently joined GE in different roles for over 20 years – Head of Tax ANZ; Head of Tax Asia; CFO ANZ including Chairman of 90 GE Boards across ANZ and travelled extensively in that role across Asia, Europe and the US (particularly New York). I joined PwC as Special Counsel three-plus years ago and I coordinate their tax transparency and governance practice across Australia. I was recently asked to join the Board of Tax by the Morrison Government.
On a personal level I am married to Ann (30 year anniversary later this year) and we have four children – Sarah (28 – recently married at the Carmelite Monastery the night before the COVID 19 curfew kicked in; works in HR at Mecca); Sam (25 – works in assurance at KPMG); Christopher (21 – recently graduated and joined KPMG in assurance) and Harrison (21 – recently finished his commerce degree at Melb Uni and will be doing his JD/Law at Melb Uni commencing next year). We have lived in Canterbury in Melbourne for 27-plus years.
How is the coronavirus presently affecting your work and industry?
At PwC all staff have had their working hours and their pay reduced by 20%. Many of my clients (in retail/property/oil) have had to stand down many of their staff and we are currently assisting them with eligibility for the Job Keeper program; restructuring etc.
What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
Playing in the SPC Basketball team with Hotch (Paul Hotchin); Mona, Geoff and Tom Keogh etc.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Maurie Murphy – a thoroughly decent man who emphasised the importance of family, community and laid the foundation for mindfulness/thinking about others.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
It has taught me to be inquisitive; it has also given me the confidence to take on new roles or challenges.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
I learnt through Maurie and others the importance of giving back – through mentoring, taking on Board roles for non-for-profit organisations (I am the VP/Treasurer of the Cancer Foundation) and local community organisations like the Balwyn Junior Footy Club and Xavier Hockey. I also always put family first (regardless of how busy you are – by way of example, I often flew back overnight from NY to coach my boys in hockey or footy).
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Always take on challenges; ask in your roles to be extended/stretched – you’ll grow exponentially through doing this (both professionally and personally).