About the lecture series

The Birkett Memorial Lecture series celebrates the life, achievements, and visionary insights of the late Professor Bill Birkett, by showcasing the latest thought leadership from distinguished academics and industry leaders.

Attending the lecture presents a wonderful professional development opportunity. The series provides an invaluable networking opportunity by attracting large and diverse audience. For family and friends of he latest Professor Birkett, the lecture also provides an opportunity to catch up and remember his many remarkable achievements.

This year’s lecture

Presenter: Alison Kitchen (National Chairman, KPMG Australia)

Topic: Beyond the financials - the role of the profession in accounting for ESG impact

Date: 18 October 2022

Alison Kitchen, National Chairman of KPMG Australia will provide an overview of developments in sustainability reporting and offer her perspective on the opportunity for accounting professionals to assume a leadership role in embedding ESG and ultimately, the long-term success of an organisation.  Alison will explore the drivers of non-financial disclosures, both regulatory and societal, and share insights on how corporate Australia is responding. Alison will also share KPMG Australia’s own journey to embed ESG in its DNA, and reflect on what these developments might mean for the future of the accounting profession.

UNSW and CPA Australia honour the memory of Professor Bill Birkett by holding the Bill Birkett Memorial Lecture annually. Professor Birkett was a highly distinguished Professor in Accounting at UNSW for many years until he retired in the early 2000s.

One of the most enduring features of Bill’s academic career, which spanned approximately 40 years, was his ability to mobilise and energise an active community of management accounting researchers within Australia as a result of his preparedness to sponsor industry-based research, and both practitioner- and researcher-oriented conferences in the area of management accounting.

Refer to the Birkett Memorial Lecture site for a list of previous lectures.

About the speaker

Alison Kitchen is the National Chairman of KPMG Australia.  She is also a member of KPMG’s Global and Regional Boards and is Chair of KPMG’s Global Audit Quality Committee.  Alison is responsible for holding the firm to the highest professional standards of governance, quality, and integrity to engender the trust of KPMG’s people, clients, and community. 

Prior to becoming National Chairman in 2017, Alison held a variety of management and governance roles within the partnership, as well as serving as External Audit Partner for a range of major ASX listed companies.

Alison is a Board member of the Business Council of Australia, a member of the Tax and Federation Working Group, along with the Women’s Taskforce Committee.  Alison is also a Council member and Finance committee member at the Australia National University, as well as a Board member of the Belvoir Street Theatre.

Alison has a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Sheffield.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and of the Institute in England and Wales.  Alison is also a Registered Company auditor and a Member of the Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women.