The Birkett Memorial Lecture is held each year as part of Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA) Australia's Annual Congress at Darling Harbour, Sydney. The lectures celebrate the achievements and visionary insights of the late Professor Bill Birkett. Lectures are presented each year by a prominent accounting scholar, providing both professional development opportunities for accounting practitioners and an opportunity for the Birkett family and Bill's friends to meet.
When Bill died in August 2004, he was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, Business and the Creative Arts at James Cook University in Townsville. During his 20 year tenure at the University of New South Wales he was the Head of the School of Accountancy from 1982 to 1992, and Associate Dean for Development in the Faculty of Commerce and Economics from 1993 to 2002.
Bill was passionate about building bridges with business and the accounting profession. He set up the Australian Centre for Management Accounting Development (ACMAD) which, at its height, had offices in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. Bill was also a technical advisor to the Financial and Management Accounting Committee of the Internation Federation of Accountants (IFAC) from 1993 to 2003.
Bill was a visionary and an innovative scholar for the discipline of management accounting. He redefined accounting as a strategic resource before others could articulate the changing trends in the industry.
The annual lectures have been presented by:
- 2010: Professor Philip Brown, University of New South Wales and University of Western Australia
- 2009: Professor Roger Simnett, University of New South Wales
- 2008: Professor Kim Langfield Smith, Monash University
- 2007: Professor Jan Mouritsen, Copenhagen Business School
- 2006: Professor Wai Fong Chua, University of New South Wales
- 2005: Professor Rob Chenhall, Monash University and James Cook University