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SMSF industry backs specialist diagnosed with cancer

brooke hepburn rogers aaron dunn smsfa nwb319
By Malavika Santhebennur
12 May 2023 — 3 minute read

SMSF Adviser is hosting a webcast in June to raise funds to prolong the life of an SMSF specialist battling cancer.

SMSF specialist accountant and tax agent, Brooke Hepburn-Rogers, 41, was diagnosed with Stage IV Gliosarcoma, an incurable brain cancer, in October last year.

The founder and managing director of Canberra-based Foxton Financial has undergone seven weeks of radiation and 10 weeks of chemotherapy, which she will have to undertake every 28 days for the rest of her life.

Ms Hepburn-Rogers – who is also a volunteer firefighter – has discovered an immunotherapy treatment in Germany that is not offered in Australia. She said this could increase her lifespan from months to years.

However, she needs to raise $50,000 to access this treatment.

As such, SMSF Adviser’s parent company Momentum Media is joining hands with the SMSF industry to host a webcast on Tuesday 6 June 2023 from 10am–1pm.

The event is being organised by Act2 Solutions’ general manager Helen Molloy and Smarter SMSF CEO and co-founder Aaron Dunn.

Experts to provide SMSF update

During the webcast, Mr Dunn and two leading SMSF specialists will provide updates on the SMSF landscape for 2023, and explore the impact of the latest government proposals and recent case law on members and the SMSF sector.

Following the welcome address by Ms Molloy, Mr Dunn will provide technical and regulatory updates impacting the SMSF sector.

This includes changes to super transfer balance account report (TBAR) reporting from 1 July 2023 for SMSFs, updates on the proposed non-arm’s length expense (NALE) amendment to apply from 1 July 2023, and various other regulatory updates.

Heffron managing director Meg Heffron will examine the repercussions of the government’s proposal to impose an additional 15 per cent tax for SMSF members with balances of $3 million or over and what advisers would need to consider for impacted SMSF clients.

Cooper Grace Ward partner Scott Hay Bartlem will explore a range of recent case law impacting the SMSF sector and what it means for the payment of super death benefits, dealing with fund succession and the lessons advisers could apply to their SMSF clients.

SMSF Adviser deputy editor Miranda Brownlee will host a Q&A session with Mr Dunn, Ms Heffron, and Mr Hay Bartlem, where attendees can have their burning questions answered.

The webcast is fully accredited by the SMSF Association, with attendees to receive three accredited CPD hours.

Mr Dunn told SMSF Adviser that the news of Ms Hepburn-Rogers’ battle with cancer shocked him, given his association with her in the SMSF industry for many years.

“It was hard to fathom how she and her family were feeling,” Mr Dunn said.

“We caught up at the SMSF Association National Conference in Melbourne earlier this year, which was great. Lots of fun catching up, but plenty of tears too. Brooke’s a strong woman, but this sort of news cuts to the core.”

SMSF industry springs to action

When Ms Hepburn-Rodgers announced that the treatment was unavailable in Australia to extend her life, Mr Dunn said he pondered how to make a difference beyond donating to her cause.

That is when the idea to run this webcast and raise funds sprung to mind, he said.

“Most importantly, every person that I've spoken to about this event, from our speakers, to the SMSF Association and Momentum Media haven’t blinked in saying ‘yes’ to getting behind this event,” he remarked.

“To me it’s about helping those within our industry in a time of need. You’d like to think you've created enough goodwill and connections over your lifetime to be able to lean upon people on certain occasions to help make a difference, and I truly hope we do with this virtual event.”

Ms Molloy heaped praise upon Ms Hepburn-Rodgers, stating that throughout their decade-long friendship, she has always given back to her family, friends, clients, industry colleagues, and community.

“She’s consistently shown care, compassion and empathy for the people in her life and now, in her time of need, it’s only fitting that we step up and show our support to help ease the burden through a very difficult time,” Ms Molloy told SMSF Adviser.

“Attendees will walk away with a sense of connection, knowledge, inspiration, and the satisfaction of knowing they have made a positive impact.”.

All proceeds go towards treatment

Tickets cost $100 (plus GST) to attend, with all proceeds going towards her immunotherapy treatment in Germany. The goal is to help Ms Hepburn-Rogers raise at least $20,000.

The event is run entirely by professionals in the SMSF industry prepared to donate their time and resources to help Ms Hepburn-Rogers prolong her life.

Mr Dunn said the SMSF industry is a small sector of many professions, including accountants, financial advisers, lawyers, auditors, and actuaries that collaborate to help clients manage their SMSFs.

“This collegiate approach forms some wonderful business relationships, but also creates lifelong friendships,” he said.

“When you hear this sort of news, it cuts deep. So, I’d like to think that in times like this, we as the SMSF profession can stand up and provide much-needed hope.”

Ms Molloy expressed her gratitude to everyone supporting Ms Hepburn-Rodgers’ cause.

“Thanks to your generosity, we will be able to raise funds that will help give Brooke the chance she needs. I feel proud to be part of a community that cares so deeply about their colleagues,” she concluded.

Click here to buy tickets and secure your spot now!

To donate to Brooke Hepburn-Rogers’ cause via her gofundme page, click here.

SMSF industry backs specialist diagnosed with cancer
brooke hepburn rogers aaron dunn smsfa nwb319
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