Petris Lapis

Double act

Petris Lapis

Petris Lapis learned firsthand how easy it is for professionals to suffer stress and face burnout. That’s why she’s spreading the word that – business owners and workers alike need to equip their professional – toolbox with a whole range of skills, including time management and – ways of achieving work-life balance. “My passion is making sure w accountants get to the end of their careers in a beautiful, healthy state,” she says. “Accountants are the fourth most depressed professionals in Australia and they suffer some of the highest rates of stress.”

One of the issues, says Lapis, is that accountants are technically trained but not taught how to look after the person who is doing the job — themselves. “Any strategy or skill that helps someone to live life in a happier way has got to make a difference,” she says.

opcje binarne It was through her own journey of self-discovery – using such practices as mindfulness training while working long hours in an accounting firm and completing a law degree at the same time — that led Lapis to realise other people could benefit from the techniques she had begun to explore. “At its most basic level, mindfulness means paying attention to one thing at a time,” she says. “That is not as simple as it sounds, when you consider how hooked many of us have become to multitasking.” Lapis is a high-achiever, gaining commerce and law degrees from The University of Queensland and a Master of Laws. Her career has spanned working in the tax division at a large global accounting firm to lecturing in tax law, training accountants and sitting on numerous company boards. Now, Lapis focuses on other people. Through her companies, Petris Lapis and Keys To Potential, she leads workshops and consults to businesses. Lapis uses mindfulness training to help her clients enhance their productivity, reduce stress and create more peaceful and creative workplaces. “Like most skills, mindfulness requires practice,” says Lapis, adding that the technique is being used increasingly by large corporates, including Google, General Electric and Proctor and Gamble.

The good news is that mindfulness can begin with just sitting quietly and focusing on one thing, such as breathing. It doesn’t even require a special location. Lapis suggests devoting 10 minutes each day to it, by using what would normally be dead time – such as when your laptop is starting up or when you’re on public transport.

demo borsa Lapis has presented at many IPA events, including the annual Tasmanian Congress, to which she has been invited for the past decade. This year, she was co-MC, making it a more challenging gig. “You have to think of very funny ways to introduce your co-MC, because he has the world’s most wicked wit,” she says of Tasmanian tax teacher and entertainer Andrew Colrain (profiled opposite).

One infamous event had Colrain dressed in a mullet and cowboy outfit for a country and western night. His request to Lapis to frock up as Dolly Parton to be his sidekick was all going well, until one of her ‘balloons’ burst.

“It’s the unexpected things that make the job so joyful, really,” says Lapis. *There’s always beautiful, fun stuff that happens as well.”

This year, one of the highlights was raising more than $5,000 at the congress for a young Tasmanian girl suffering a rare form of leukaemia.

When Lapis isn’t consulting and presenting, she is penning articles. This year, she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants.

Andrew Colrain

He’s the singing, dancing tax teacher who’s quick with a joke and always willing to step up to the microphone. Meet Andrew Colrain, known to many as the endearing MC who keeps the delegates returning to the IPA Tasmanian Congress each year, wondering what he’ll be pulling out of his sleeve next.

Whether it’s landing himself in the national media for a song about the tax commissioner (“making the Tax Office warm and fuzzier”) or teaching his Hobart TAFE students the ins and outs of tax law, Colrain says he simply loves communicating.

“The two things are very complementary and compatible,” he says. “Teaching tax law during the day seems a million miles away from performing and entertaining at night, but it’s really all about communicating. It’s the same core skills.”

Colrain fell into teaching after working at the Australian Taxation Office for five years. He was just beginning to get itchy feet, fulfilling his need to entertain by drumming in a rock band on the weekends, when a colleague suggested Colrain step into his job as a trainer for a few months. “I absolutely loved it,” he says. “It was that whole thing of not necessarily enjoying it so much yourself, but really enjoying enabling other people to do it well.”

Colrain jokes that being a little bit “thick” helped him to teach tax law. “I wasn’t a natural at tax law,” he confesses. “I had to find ways of breaking it down for myself to understand, which probably made me a better training officer than people who were just naturally brilliant at it.”

Music, however, did come more naturally to Colrain, who | grew up watching his father perform as an accomplished jazz drummer and tenor singer. Initially, Colrain followed in his dad’s footsteps, taking up drumming and playing in the orchestra for university revues in Tasmania.

“I did two years of playing drums in the orchestra pit, looking up at people on stage and thinking ; ‘that looks like it would be really good fun’,” he says. “So I moved ; out of the pit and auditioned for the next year’s show.”

A switch to amateur theatre, with performances several nights a week, eventually led to work as an MC. But Colrain says it was his gigs in some of Tasmania’s rowdier venues — doing variety shows for footy clubs, for example – that gave him more insights into the requirements for teaching.

“It was a really good training ground for how to deal with people,” he says. “The things cross over – you’ve got drunk people at a footy club who won’t shut up and you’ve got to try to get their attention and keep their attention and use your wits. That can be very, very useful for when you’ve got difficult students. You understand the dynamics of the group and how they work.”

Compared with students and footy clubs, whipping out a few jokes and keeping the delegates in check at IPA events is, luckily, not too taxing. “We have a lot of fun,” says Colrain.

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