Expert Speakers

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Hear from SMSF experts and thought leaders

The SMSF Association National Conference 2020 boasts an impressive line-up of the best and brightest speakers across the SMSF and financial services industries. You have the opportunity to hear from the best in the business as they take a deep dive into complex strategies, updates on Legislation and Regulation, best business practice and more.

Discover who is part of the National Conference 2020 program:

Bryan Ashenden, Head of Financial Literacy & Advocacy, BT

Bryan Ashenden is the Head of Financial Literacy & Advocacy at BT, leading a team of professionals committed to supporting the adviser community with technical, regulatory, and policy support.

Bryan has many years experience in leading and delivery comprehensive technical solutions to advisers and their clients, the last 18 spent with BT Financial Group.

With qualifications in Law, Commerce and Financial Planning, and being a SMSF Association Specialist Advisor, Bryan is a frequent presenter and facilitator at many industry events and regularly contributes to trade and consumer publications.


Louise Biti, Director, Aged Care Steps

Louise is a co-founder and Director of Aged Care Steps, the leading business supporting professionals to give advice on aged care and other related matters.

Louise is one of pre-eminent experts in aged care, with over 20 years’ experience in aged care advice. She is the author of Don’t Panic: age the way you want where you want.

Louise is often quoted in media, is a regular speaker at conferences and has been a director on two industry body boards and is a member of the Aged Care Financing Authority which is a government statutory committee providing advice to the Minister on the funding and viability of aged care sector.

Her experience is matched with strong educational qualifications with professional designations of a SMSF Specialist AdviserTM, a Certified Financial Planner™, a Chartered Tax Adviser and a registered tax (financial) adviser.


Phil Broderick, Principal, Sladen Legal

Phil is a principal of Sladen Legal and heads its superannuation team. He is member of a number of superannuation related committees. This includes being the chair of The Tax Institute’s superannuation committee and the chair of SISFA’s technical committee.

He is also a member of number of the ATO’s superannuation liaison groups including the Superannuation Industry Relationship Network (SIRN) and the Superannuation Industry Stewardship Group (SISG). Phil is also heavily involved in liaising with Treasury and ATO in relation to the implementation of new super laws and administrative practices.

Phil’s areas of practice include superannuation, estate planning and succession, duties and state taxes, trusts, federal tax and business structuring.

He is regular author and presenter. His articles have featured in The Tax Institute’s Taxation in Australia Journal and CCH’s Super News. He has presented at seminars and conferences conducted by The Tax Institute, the SMSF Association, the Television Education Network, Legalwise and various accounting bodies.


Peter Burgess, General Manager, Technical Services & Education, Super Concepts

Peter Burgess is General Manager, Technical Services and Education at SuperConcepts. Peter is SuperConcept’s specialist on government policy, regulation and technical issues, and acts as SuperConcepts’ SMSF media spokesperson.

Peter has a strong reputation as an authority in SMSF technical matters and Government policy design. He is an adjunct lecturer with the University of Adelaide and is a widely published author and media commentator on SMSFs.

Peter holds an MBA from the University of Adelaide and an Economics degree and postgraduate qualifications in finance and superannuation management.

In 2016, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the SMSF sector, Peter was awarded the SMSF Association’s Chairman’s Award.


Daniel Butler, Director, DBA Lawyers

Dan is recognised as one of Australia’s leading SMSF lawyers complemented by his taxation and commercial expertise. He has worked predominantly in the fields of tax and superannuation over the past 36 years, is a qualified Chartered Tax Adviser, Chartered Accountant and has an MBA from the University of Melbourne.

Dan is a regular seminar presenter on tax and SMSF topics and has published extensively in these areas.

Dan is a member of the ATO’s Super & Employment Change Committee, The Tax Institute’s National Superannuation Committee, the Law Institute of Victoria’s Tax Committee and is involved with a number of other tax and SMSF committees. Dan presents on the subject of Taxation of Superannuation at the University of Melbourne’s Master of Laws/Tax program. Dan is also a Specialist SMSF Advisor™.


Nidal Danoun, Principal Director, Prosperity Financial Services 

Nidal Danoun, is the Principal Director of Prosperity Financial Services (PFS Consultancy), a practice he founded in 2002. Nidal provides training and advice to organisations, businesses and professionals in the areas of ethics and professional standards, financial planning advice assessment and remediation, financial services regulation compliance, and practice management. Nidal regularly works and consults with ASIC, large financial institutions, and large accounting firms.

Nidal is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of NSW in the areas of financial planning advice, ethics and professional standards and estate planning.

Nidal holds a Master of Commerce; he is a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow CPA, a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Tax Adviser and a member of the CFA Institute and the SMSF Association. Nidal has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry.


Craig Day, Executive Manager, Technical Services, Colonial First State

Craig is the Executive Manager of Colonial First State’s highly regarded technical services team, FirstTech, and has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry.

In his role Craig is responsible for leading a team that provides specialist technical support to financial advisers and to Colonial First State’s superannuation and platform businesses. He also acts as a media spokesman for Colonial First State on superannuation and retirement planning issues and represents Colonial First State on a number of industry association committees.

Craig is a sought after presenter at industry conferences and professional development events and is actively involved in providing ongoing specialist adviser education.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Science, is completing his Masters of Taxation and is an SMSF Association Specialist Adviser.


Jon De Fries, Senior Consultant – Succession Advice, MLC Advice

As Senior Consultant, Succession Advice, Jon specialises in advice support in areas such as estate and business succession, business structures, superannuation and tax.

Jon has worked in various roles in the industry for over 25 years, including managing the technical teams at MLC, ANZ and AM Corporation. He regularly conducts workshops for advisers and speaks at industry conventions.

Jon has a Bachelor of Economics (University of Sydney) and Diplomas in Financial Planning and Superannuation Management.


Aaron Dunn, CEO & Co-Founder, Smarter SMSF


Melanie Dunn, Head of Technical Services, Actuary, Accurium

Melanie is well renown in the SMSF sector as one of the leading female presenters. She heads up Accurium’s Technical Services team and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (FIAA), specialising in Global Retirement Income Systems. She is also an SMSF Specialist Advisor with over ten years’ experience in SMSFs and retirement.

Melanie is a member of the SMSF Association regulatory committee and Actuaries Institute retirement income consultation group. She also provides training and education services to several leading SMSF practitioners across Australia, specialising in complex issues including retirement modelling, pensions and segregation strategies.


Bryce Figot, Special Counsel, DBA Lawyers

Bryce is recognised as one of Australia’s leading SMSF lawyers. He has worked predominantly in the fields of tax and superannuation over the past 17 years and holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne.

Bryce is a regular seminar presenter on tax and SMSF topics and has published extensively in these areas. Bryce regularly presents for the major professional bodies including the SMSF Association, CPA Australia The Tax Institute, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and DBA Network.

Bryce is regularly quoted and published in the Australian Financial Review, the Herald Sun, CCH and LexisNexis publications, and elsewhere in the financial press. Bryce wrote the book Complete Guide to SMSFs: Planning for Loss of Capacity and Death, published by CCH Wolters Kluwer. Bryce is on the editorial panel of LexisNexis’ Australian Superannuation Law Bulletin. He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Law School, where he is the subject coordinator of Taxation of Superannuation.

Bryce is a Specialist SMSF Advisor™ as well as being a Chartered Tax Adviser.


Dana Fleming, Assistant Commissioner – SMSF Segment, Australian Taxation Office

Dana Fleming joined the ATO in mid-2018 as the Assistant Commissioner, responsible for the self-managed superannuation fund segment.

Dana has over 25 years’ tax experience, both in Australia and overseas, specialising in superannuation and managed funds. Prior to joining the ATO, Dana was a partner at KPMG where she led KPMG’s Asset and Wealth Management tax practice in Australia for four years. Her client portfolio included major industry and retail funds to boutique managed funds. She advised and worked with them on the tax implications of their strategic planning as well as day to day activities.


Scott Hay-Bartlem, Partner, Cooper Grace Ward

Scott is a partner in Brisbane law firm Cooper Grace Ward.

He and his team specialise in assisting clients and their other advisers including accountants and financial planners with tax and superannuation (particularly SMSFs) advice; estate planning, administration and disputes; family businesses, business structuring; business succession arrangements; asset protection and restructuring. Scott has a particular interest in how these areas intersect with self-managed superannuation funds and the impact of and on these structures.

He is a director of the SMSF Association and a SMSF Specialist Advisor with the SMSF Association, a Chartered Tax Adviser, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate practitioners.

Scott been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Eleventh Edition of Best Lawyers in Australia in the practice areas of: Superannuation Law, Trusts and Estates and Wealth Management / Succession Planning Practice. He was named the 2016 Brisbane Wealth Management/Succession Planning practice ‘Lawyer of the Year’ and the 2019 Superannuation ‘Lawyer of the Year’.

Scott has been listed in Doyle’s Guide for Queensland:

  • Tax lawyers as a recommended practitioner; and
  • Estate Planning lawyers as a leading practitioner.

He has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Business (Accy) from the Queensland University of Technology.  Scott also has also completed the Certificate of Superannuation Management and the Diploma of Superannuation Management run through ASFA and Macquarie University, and the Foundation Diploma of Financial Planning.


Meg Heffron, Managing Director, Heffron

Meg is the Managing Director of SMSF specialist firm Heffron.  She is one of the few actuaries to work in all areas of SMSF practice, having worked exclusively in SMSFs since 1998.  Meg’s passion is using her technical knowledge about SMSFs to provide practical solutions for accountants and advisers to help their clients and grow their businesses, and tangible expertise for trustees. She is often a proactive and practical voice in a sea of noise around super and SMSFs.

Meg was a founding member of the Actuaries Institute Self-Managed Superannuation committee and is a regular speaker at professional development events for accountants, lawyers and financial planners.


Peter Hogan, Head of Technical, SMSF Association


Peter Hogan is the SMSF Association’s Head of Technical. He is one of Australia’s foremost SMSF specialists, having worked in the sector over many years. A lawyer by training, he cut his teeth in the ATO before joining some of Australia’s largest financial institutions to work in key superannuation, investment and taxation roles. His enormous industry experience and knowledge, especially as they pertain to tax issues, means he is in constant demand on the SMSF speaking circuit. Away from the world of SMSFs, he is a keen weekend golfer when he is not providing a taxi service to junior sporting events. Peter is an SMSF Association Specialist Adviser and former Chair and National Board member of the Association.


Clinton Jackson, Partner, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

As a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s commercial team, Clinton advises his clients on an extensive range of commercial and corporate matters, business mergers, acquisitions and sales, tax and structuring issues, self-managed superannuation, asset protection and succession, restructuring and exit strategies.

Clinton’s unique range of expertise enables him to assist his clients with both their personal and business legal issues and to advise through all phases of the business/investment lifecycle – from start up, growth, expansion, transition and exit.

Clinton has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in Australia in the practice areas of Superannuation Law and Wealth Management / Succession Planning Practice, is a recommended Wills, Estates & Succession Planning lawyer by Doyle’s and is an accredited specialist superannuation adviser with the SMSF Association and member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.


Leigh Mansell, Director, SMSF Technical & Education Services, Heffron SMSF Solutions

Leigh is a Director, SMSF Technical & Education Services at Heffron SMSF Solutions, and she is intimately involved in developing the firm’s range of products and services for clients (including technical and educational materials) and the provision of technical support to SMSF practitioners and their clients.

She regularly delivers presentations to SMSF practitioners around Australia and one of Leigh’s greatest attributes is her ability to make complex concepts appear simple through the use of real life scenarios. Participants in previous training events have valued this practical approach highly.

She is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of superannuation experience and has specialised in SMSF technical support, advice and administration for almost 20 years. This gives her a unique ability to advise not only on the technical issues faced by SMSF practitioners but also the practical solutions she has developed and implemented.


John Maroney, Chief Executive Officer, SMSF Association

John Maroney was appointed as the CEO of the SMSF Association in May 2017.

John has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years and was recognised as a leader in Australia’s Financial Services sector before his appointment to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors in 2009. Most of John’s experience in Australia has been in the superannuation or insurance sectors and managing professional and industry associations.

John’s experience includes extensive senior management and consulting roles in superannuation, insurance, Australian and international financial regulation, actuarial and risk management plus managing professional and industry associations. He has been employed by large and small employers and consultants, within the private and public sectors, within Australia and internationally and he also was self-employed for several years while he developed a successful consulting firm. Key roles include CEO of the Actuaries Institute, Australian Government Actuary and Head of Capital and Solvency at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, which is hosted by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland.


Tim Miller, Education Manager, SuperGuardian

Tim Miller is one of Australia’s leading SMSF educators and presenters with over 23 years’ experience in the Superannuation industry.  His experience has been gained through providing legislative and compliance support to thousands of Trustees, Accountants and Financial Planners since joining the SMSF sector in 1999.  In addition to servicing the needs of SMSF clients, his practical and personable approach to compliance has made him a regular presenter on the SMSF circuit.

Tim regularly presents at the major SMSF conferences and events, contributes to various trade and general publications and is the author of one of the subjects of the SMSF Association Graduate Certificate delivered through the University of Adelaide and Kaplan, this subject also forms part of the CA ANZ SMSF specialist program.

Tim is an SMSF Association Specialist Adviser.


Natasha Panagis, Technical Manager, AIA Australia

Natasha is a Technical Manager for AIA Australia’s Technical Education Centre of Excellence (TECE) Team.

Her experience includes providing technical and strategy support to financial advisers on a broad range of wealth management areas, from superannuation through to taxation, estate planning, insurance, social security and aged care planning.

Prior to joining AIA Australia, Natasha was a Technical Manager at Aged Care Steps and Strategy Steps.

Natasha’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (Management), a Bachelor of Business (Applied Finance) and an Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning). She is also a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP), a SMSF Specialist AdviserTM (SSA) and a registered Tax (Financial) Adviser.


Jemma Sanderson, Director, Cooper Partners

Jemma Sanderson is a Director of Cooper Partners Financial Services, heading up their SMSF specialist services.  Jemma provides strategic advice on SMSFs, estate planning and wealth management to clients, as well as technical support to accounting, legal and financial planning groups.  Jemma is a regular presenter on superannuation and SMSFs for the professional bodies across Australia, and is the author of the popular publication “SMSF Guide”, published by the Taxation Institute, currently in its ninth edition and the author and convener of the Taxation Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law Advanced Superannuation Unit.  In August 2019 she was named for the third year in a row as SMSF Adviser of the Year at the 2019 National Women in Finance awards.  Jemma was recognised for her contribution to the SMSF industry as the recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the 2018 SMSF Association conference.


Daniel Smedley, Principal, Sladen Legal

Daniel Smedley, CTA, enjoys solving complex taxation and trust law issues for private enterprise clients. He is also a trusted confidant in planning the succession of his client’s personal and business affairs. Daniel is a Chartered Tax Advisor with The Tax Institute, accredited as a specialist in Taxation Law with the Law Institute of Victoria, and the principal author of the Trust Structures Guide published by The Tax Institute. Since 2016, Daniel has appeared in the list of one of Australia’s “Best Lawyers of the Year” in the practice of tax law. The list is compiled by Best Lawyers and published in the Australian Financial Review. Daniel has also been recognised in Doyles Guide as a recommended tax lawyer since 2016. Daniel is a regular presenter at state and national industry conventions, conferences and workshops.


Neil Sparks, National Manager SMSF Strategy, BT Financial Group

Neil is acknowledged as an authority on self-managed superannuation funds. In 2018 he completed the Graduate Certificate of SMSF at the Adelaide University and is an accredited SMSF Specialist Advisor™. 

Neil is a regular speaker on the topic of superannuation with over 15 years’ experience researching, writing and presenting to financial advisers and trustees on the technical aspects and unique strategies available to SMSFs.

Neil is a popular member of the SMSF community.


Darren Wynen, Director, Insyt Pty Ltd

Darren Wynen is the founder of Insyt, a company that provides publications, training and consulting services for accountants and financial advisers.

On the teaching side, Darren worked as a writer and trainer for the NTAA for over 10 years, and TaxBanter for 5 years. More recently, he co-presented Super Schools 2019 Day 1 and Day 2 for the NTAA. In addition, Darren provides tax and super training for advisers through his company, Insyt.

As a writer, Darren has written extensively about SMSFs and tax through his own work, training materials, and his involvement with the NTAA and TaxBanter. He has also released numerous publications on the small business CGT concessions, transitional CGT relief, SMSFs and tax.

Darren has also assisted with writing and reviewing technical materials for the SMSF Association, including the Association’s Trustee Knowledge Centre, SSA program and adviser case studies.