MAKING IT COUNT: Travis McAuliffe spent a year working as a volunteer accountant year in a hospital in remote Zambia.
MAKING IT COUNT: Travis McAuliffe spent a year working as a volunteer accountant year in a hospital in remote Zambia. Contributed

THOSE who consider accountancy a dull profession haven’t met

THOSE who consider accountancy a dull profession haven't met Travis McAuliffe - the Stanthorpe-born accountant whose career has seen him working in explosive fields and Third World hospitals.

After completing a degree in Commerce and Business at the University of Queensland, Travis signed on as a graduate accountant with a Spanish explosives company, working his way up to finance manager for Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Most of his time was spent travelling between offices in Australia and Spain, punctuated with the occasional excursion into the field.

"On a few occasions I got to get out of the office to see how they make the explosives, how a large blast is designed and prepared and even saw the blast go off, all in a safe and efficient way," said the former Stanthorpe State High student.

Travis' career changed tack a few years ago when he came across an opportunity to volunteer his accounting services in a hospital in remote Zambia.

Embracing the chance to pass on his skills, he packed his bags in March 2012 and jumped on a plane to Mukinge Hospital as part of international missionary organisation Serving In Mission.

"What attracted me to this role was that its focus was not on me doing the hospital accounting, but I was to advise, train and empower the Zambian accountants," Travis said.

"It was a rewarding 12 months but also very challenging, working with different cultures and the in-your-face poverty.

"I am a Christian and it was my faith that led me to step outside my comfort zone to go to Africa, and sustained me through the most challenging times there."

Returning down under in February this year, Travis is now preparing to continue his work with SIM from the organisation's Sydney office.

Reflecting on his career to date, Travis is happy with his chosen occupation.

"Accounting can often live up to its reputation of being boring, however I find it interesting and even enjoyable when the numbers represent something interesting and meaningful," he said.

Travis returns regularly to Stanthorpe, where he says schoolmates would remember him for his loud laugh and for always riding his bike to school no matter what the weather.

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