Meet the Team

The Garis Group is a professional family owned and operated financial services firm that aims to build a strong and continuous relationship with our clients built on our valuable, personal, technical and knowledgeable expertise.

We help create a beautiful financial future for our clients, their families and the people around them so that together we create a huge and lasting impact in our world.

Our team is committed to building a financial services firm that our friends and family would choose and recommend.

The Garis Group Team
John Garis Managing Director

John Garis | Director

BCom – University of Newcastle
MIPA AFA
Registered Tax Agent
Certified Xero Adviser

John Garis joined The Garis Group in December 2004 as a trainee accountant under the guidance of principal and founder Jim Garis and has progressively increased his experience and knowledge at the firm over the past 14 years and now holds the role of Managing Director at The Garis Group.

John during this time completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting at the University of Newcastle. John is a registered tax agent and also holds membership with the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) & with the Tax Institute of Australia.

John is a born and bred Novocastrian having lived in the great city of Newcastle all his life and has a great passion for helping individuals and small businesses thrive in our community so they can achieve all their financial goals!

“Our purpose here at The Garis Group is to help our clients create a beautiful financial future for themselves, their families & the people around them so that together we create a huge & lasting impact in our world”

John & his lovely wife Aylin were married at the Burwood Rotunda in Whitebridge overlooking Dudley beach in Oct 2011 and are also very proud parents to their son Charlie who is now 6 and two cavoodle fur babies Quinnie and Benji.

John is inspired by Simon Sinek, as he has an unusual first take on whole business lifecycle.

“We seem to, in business, sometimes follow the same pattern over and over again expecting things to be different and he seems to be able to analyse that really succinctly and come up with very simple solutions to make you think differently about business.”

Jim Garis Consulting Accountant

Jim Garis | Consulting Accountant
BCom – University of Newcastle
Associated Member Chartered Accountants

Jim Garis , founded Garis Accountants in 1993 and says “After being in the industry, coming up to 50 yearsnow, I have come to understand what keeps our clients awake at night from a financial perspective. We care about our clients and we want to help them create a beautiful financial future. This is who we are, and what we do.”

When asked what values have helped drive Jim for the past 50 years he answered with, “help when you can. I have always wanted to help, assist and solve problems for other people, in the appropriate way so that we are always maintaining our integrity when it comes to the work that we do and how we interact with people”

Jim’s areas of expertise are effective growth and strategic planning for you and your business as well as Self-Managed Superfund advice & strategy.

“We are not the traditional accounting business, we reach beyond just doing your tax. We can look at all the areas of your financial life to create and sustain wealth.”

Jim is a keen Rugby enthusiast, and played against the All Blacks back in 1974. When not at TGG HQ, Jim enjoys catching up with friends and spending time with his grandson, Charlie.

Daniel Hart Senior Accountant

Daniel Hart | Senior Accountant

BCom CA

Grad Dip CA – CAANZ

Member Chartered Accountants

Daniel Hart joined The Garis Group in April 2018 as a Senior Accountant.

Daniel started his career as a trainee accountant in 2008 after obtaining a Certificate IV in Financial Services at TAFE. While working as an accountant Daniel has completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Accounting at the University of Newcastle, continued studying to receive a Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

Daniel focuses on taxation and advisory services for small and medium sized businesses and has experience with many different industries. Daniel loves to find solutions to your accounting problems.

Daniel proposed to his wife Nerina while ice skating in a park in Boston and were married at Noah’s on the Beach in 2014. Dan and Nerina are now proud parents to Patrick.

Daniel’s other interests include American football and Medieval Re- Creation. Re-creating a medieval experience in modern times.

Megan Hawkins Accountant

Megan Hawkins | Accountant

B.Comm, Accounting

Megan joined the team at The Garis Group in July 2018 as an Accountant.

Graduating with Bachelor of Commerce in 2014 from the University of Newcastle and currently completing her Chartered Accountants, having over 5 years’ experience working in chartered accounting firms.

Megan is motivated by “providing clients with the information and insights to help our clients improve and reach their goals and beyond.”

Megan enjoys a rainforest outlook camping with her family and husband Cameron in the Barrington Tops. Megan and Cameron live locally backing on to a hidden bush pocket and have two cats Jenny and George a Tonkinese and Burmese, who love their adventures.

Heather Moore Customer Relationship Manager

Heather Moore
Client Relationship Manager

Heather comes to the world of Accounting after a long career in Hospitality.

As Owner/Operator of ‘County Dining’, Owner/Operator of Hospitality Consultancy Firm ‘H for Hospitality’, Restaurant Manager of SMH Hatted restaurants such as ‘Subo Contemporary Bistro’ and ‘Bacchus Restaurant’, along with experience in Event Management, Heather now implements her honed Customer Service skills as Client Relationship Manager for The Garis Group.

Heather has a very unique role in the accounting industry and say’s “what motivates me is that I don’t see a lot of other firms doing a similar thing in terms of the really big push and drive on customer service as much as what we have done.

When I started it was a hard time for The Garis Group, because they had not had much Administration at the time, so there was a bit of delay between the communication between accountant and client and it was a really satisfying feeling to make a change to that.”

Proud step-mum to Samuel and mum to Oscar and Dot, Heather and her Hospitality focused partner Nigel are a busy family unit striving to do it all (including following their passion for all things food and wine related).

Emma Zajac Marketing Coordinator

Emma Zajac
Marketing Co-ordinator

Emma joined the team at The Garis Group as Receptionist in May 2014 and is now our Marketing Co-Ordinator.

Emma has over 12 years’ experience in administration and with this experience, Emma is looking forward to delivering services to both clients and colleagues, above and beyond all expectations.

“My motivation at The Garis Group is to capture that creative, courageous and life long calling in every day people to pursue their dream of doing what makes them happy. Whether that be starting their own business or taking control of their finances and ticking off their bucket list. Just inspiring that leap of faith in someone’s life would be amazing.”

When not at the office, Emma loves spending time with her husband, Nathan and two children, Indie and Bodhi.

Jordon Greenwood Bookkeeping / CSC

Jordon Greenwood
Bookkeeping / Client Services Co-ordinator

Jordi joined The Garis Group team in December 2014 as a receptionist.

After 2 years, Jordi decided to move back to her old hometown of Townsville to be closer to family. There she joined another accounting firm as a receptionist and there found her inspiration to begin her bookkeeping career.

In November 2019, Jordi decided to move back to Newcastle and re-joined The Garis Group team as Bookkeeping / Client Service Co-Ordinator.

Jordi is now a proud doggo mum to mini dachshund, Scout.

Samantha Neilson Administration

Samantha Neilson
Administration and Client Support

Sam joined The Garis Group in May 2017 as Junior Receptionist and has moved into an Administration role supporting our accounting team.

Prior to working with The Garis Group, Sam completed her High School Certificate in 2016. During her studies she was employed at a small Accounting firm in Morisset as a Junior Receptionist.

Sam is motivated by “Helping clients achieve their dream. I strive to achieve success in life and if I can help clients to achieve success and fulfil their dreams that would be amazing.”

In her spare time, Sam enjoys spending time with her friends and family along the amazing coastal stretch of beaches and cafes that Newcastle has to offer.

Katie Russell Reception

Katie Russell
Reception

Katie joined The Garis Group team in November 2018 as Receptionist.

Katie has over 20 years customer service experience and enjoys creating a welcoming environment for both staff and clients alike.

Katie and her husband Luke are proud parents of, Ivy who is nine, and Levi, six and their fur baby Nacho.

When not at the office, Katie enjoys going to the beach, road trips and spending time with friends.

Di Garis Property Investment Advisor

Di Garis | Property Investment Advisor
B.A (Hons) Dip Ed
PIAA Accredited Property Advisor
Licensed Buyers Agent (NSW)

As a long term property investor herself, Di has assisted clients for more than 10 years to develop the skills and knowledge to build their portfolio and create their own beautiful financial future. As a lifetime partner of Business for Good (B1G1), all the work Di undertakes with her clients will benefit those less fortunate to build a better future.

Di specialises in property advice to investors within Self Managed Superannuation funds and holds PI Insurance for Property Investment Advice.

Areas of expertise:

  • Supporting and advising both new and experienced property investors.
  • Developing a clear investment strategy for her clients based on their goals and financial needs.
  • Assisting other professional organisations deliver a property solution to their clients.

Something you may not know about Di – “My passion is family and traveling, good food, even better wine! Merewether baths holds a special place of significance for me. This is where I learnt to swim and spent most summers with my dad growing up. I still have that image of him swimming his 1000 metres every day well into his later years.”

What would you like to talk to us about?

Or call us on:   02 4969 4699

Or call us on:

02 4969 4699

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