Our People

Our team are dedicated to providing you and your business with personalised, professional services. All our team members are committed to ongoing professional development so you enjoy the best technical tax and accounting advice available.

Desmond Deckker

Managing Partner

 

Des started his career as a Chartered Accountant in 1974 at the firm, O’Keefe & Deckker. He then commenced trading as a Sole Practitioner in South Yarra in 1984 where he built up a very successful practice that primarily serviced small to medium sized business owners with a focus on helping them grow their revenue, profits and wealth. In 2004, he established a partnership with Rafi to purchase the Owen and Peach business. Des focuses on developing and nurturing the business clients’ of Owen and Peach, with the support of a highly dedicated team of professionals. The knowledge and experience he brings to the practice is invaluable and he enjoys helping clients achieve their goals and realise their dreams.

Professional Memberships:

  • Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA)
  • A Certified Practising Accountant (CPA)
  • Chartered Taxation Advisor (Taxation Institute)
  • Registered Tax Agent (Tax Practitioner’s Board)
  • Registered Company Auditor (ASIC),

Rafi Sarafian

Partner

Rafi joined Owen and Peach as a partner in 2004. His previous experience as director, co-owner and accountant in his family’s petroleum retailing businesses enabled him to gain the skills and learn the know-how about running a small business. More importantly, this foundation has enabled him to understand the issues and challenges small business owners face. Rafi’s primary focus is helping business owners with their tax and financial obligations, helping them with strategies to improve business performance, and ultimately increase the value of their business. He enjoys working one on one with clients with a solutions-based approach.

His philosophy of keeping things simple, having a game plan, and just being ahead of the game, is something he instils to his clients.  “Only then, can one move forward. If you are a business owner and you are chasing your tail, disorganised and behind in your financial reporting obligations, then how can you move forward if you don’t know where you are now?”. Rafi enjoys working with start-ups as this presents an opportunity for him to establish a clear path for his clients from the outset. He also enjoys working with and mentoring the team at Owen and Peach to ensure they are at the top of their game. He enjoys training, sharing ideas with the team and helping them continually improve their accounting, tax and advisory skills. Rafi views the team as part of the family as evidenced by the number of long serving staff at the firm.

Professional Qualifications & Memberships:

  • Bachelor of Economics – Monash University
  • Member – Certified Practising Accounts (CPA) Australia

Outside of Work
Rafi takes a keen interest in his daughters’ sports and enjoys spending time with family and friends. An active member in the community, Rafi has served on the Committee of a number of Not For Profit Organisations. He takes delight in a hit of tennis, reading, dining out, and travelling with his family to different destinations.

Kavindra Hewapathirana

Client Manager

Kavindra commenced his career with Allen & Co and after graduating from University and joined Owen and Peach in 2003. He started as a junior accountant, and over his 17 years with Owen and Peach he advanced to his current role as a Client Manager.

As a Client Manager, Kavindra helps his portfolio of business clients with their tax planning, growth and management strategies in addition to their compliance obligations. From the health, hospitality and construction industries, Kavindra has been proactive with his clients in the advisory, audit, business services and tax fields. His love of technology and its application to business and finance has been met by his clients with open arms.

Kavindra is also a mentor to our junior staff and enhances the Owen and Peach knowledge base with his diverse tax knowledge.

Kavindra is passionate, stands strongly and is outspoken when it comes to fairness and equality for all concerned, especially in its absence. He strives to find the most effective financial outcome for his clients, guided by the law and based on his ethics.

At Owen and Peach, Kavindra enjoys the variety of work the practice brings, the different types of clients and the exposure to many industries. He takes a liking to challenging work, the research involved and presenting a solution to his clients. The friendly environment is also appealing, while the flexibility of work hours gives him a good work/life balance.

Professional Qualifications & Memberships:

  • Tertiary Education : Monash University
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Accounting and Finance (Honours)
  • Graduate Diploma – Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • Member of Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • Registered Tax Agent (Tax Practitioner’s Board)
  • Fellow of The Tax Institute
  • Certified Xero Advisor

Outside of Work
Kavindra enjoys spending time with his family. He enjoys taking his dog for a walk and spending time outdoors with his family and friends. His love for entertainment has him dining out, going to the cinema and attending music concerts. Kavindra also sits on Pre-School and Primary School committees. He is an avid cricket follower and can’t wait for Geelong to win their next AFL premiership. To relax, he also enjoys playing a few tunes on the piano.

Mark Langley

Client Manager


Mark is a client manager at Owen and Peach and joined the team in 2007. He has over 30 years’ experience helping his portfolio of business clients with their tax planning, business structuring, management strategies and generally helping them navigate the ever-changing tax and business environment. His technical skills, and expertise in the Self-Managed Superannuation field, has not only been beneficial for his clients, but also to Owen and Peach.

Many of Mark’s clients have been with him for many years, which speaks highly about his core values of trust, reliability and value.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships:

  • Bachelor of Business  - Monash University
  • Member of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)

Outside of Work
Mark loves to travel and has visited many countries over the years. He takes every opportunity to explore the world to soak up the interesting culture and unique experiences each place has to offer. Although his favourite destination is Italy, Mark tries to make sure he does not visit the same place twice.

Amanda Xiao

Client Manager

Amanda has been with Owen and Peach since 2007 and has over 25 years of accounting experience. Her expertise extends to various industries, from health, medical and pharmaceutical to manufacturing, engineering, consulting, building and construction.

She provides a full range of services to her clients including the preparation of financial and management accounts, tax planning, advisory services in business structuring and CGT, BAS returns, general compliance, plus cash flow analysis, fringe benefits tax and salary packaging solutions.

The self-managed superannuation funds is an area which Amanda has extensive knowledge. She not only prepares the financial accounts, but is also involved in advising on tax effective strategies.

Amanda strives to achieve best-practice outcomes for her loyal clients. By closely managing clients relationships, she is able to keep her finger on the pulse to ensure their needs are continually met.

Professional Qualifications & Memberships:

  • Tertiary Education : Monash University
  • Qualifications: Postgraduate of Accounting
  • Professional Memberships: Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ)

Outside of Work
Amanda enjoys spending time with her family. She plays Tai Chi, enjoys being in the natural environment, hiking and walking. On weekends, Amanda enjoys hanging out with friends.

Vanessa Liu

Client Manager

Vanessa was born in China and began her time at Owen and Peach in 2008 while she was studying at university. After graduating, she became a permanent staff member of the Owen and Peach team, and worked closely with senior staff acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. Vanessa, with her fluent Mandarin and English, gradually developed a number of prospects into clients. Whilst Vanessa works under the guidance of other senior staff, she specialises in working with clients who have an Asian background, helping them set up their businesses and navigating them through the compliance requirements under Australian law. She is proficient in bookkeeping, prepares financial accounts, and undertakes an advisory role with many of her Asian clients.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships:

  • Tertiary Education : Swinburne
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
  • Professional Memberships: Certified Practising Accounts (CPA) Australia

Outside of Work
Vanessa loves spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys dining out, always willing to try out popular foodie destinations and the unique experience they have to offer.

Alicja Pawlowska

Client Manager

Alicja joined Owen and Peach in 2005 and has over 25 years’ tax experience in Australia. She has also acquired accounting and business management experience in her native country, Poland.

She services a number of business clients, preparing their financial accounts, tax returns and attends to all other compliance matters. Alicja is passionate about their businesses and endeavours to find the best outcome for them. The self-managed superannuation space is something Alicja enjoys working in, and has prepared financial accounts and tax returns for many years.

Alicja says that Owen and Peach has given her a great opportunity to perform a variety of tasks with a diverse range of clients and industries. She has also mentored team members in the past and has taken delight in how they have developed.

Professional Qualifications & Memberships:

  • Diploma of Accounting (Swinburne University)
  • Fellow Institute of Public Accountants
  • Registered Tax Agent (Tax Practitioner’s Board)

Outside of Work
Alicja enjoys catching up with family and friends, whilst taking pleasure working in her garden to relax. She always finds time to watch a movie at the cinema and attend a classic theatre performance. Alicja also takes the opportunity to travel whenever she can.

Murray Gwyther

Client Manager

Murray has been with Owen and Peach since 2001, and had his call to chartered accounting after serving in an administrative and accounting role at a large telecommunications industry.

He enthusiastically services a number of corporate clients and individuals, primarily in the medical field, attending to their tax compliance and accounting work. With his wealth of experience, Murray prepares financial statements, tax returns and fulfils BAS obligations for his loyal clients. His like for all things IT has enabled him to transition and assist many of them with online solutions. Murray also serves as the first port of call for many in-house IT issues.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships:
  • Tertiary Education : Swinburne
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
  • Professional Memberships: Registered Tax Agent

Outside of Work
Murray enjoys working on computers, electronics and home theatre and is a devoted fan of Essendon in the AFL.

Accountant 

Adam has been employed by Owen and Peach since 2018 as an assistant accountant, with a strong focus on bookkeeping and the preparation of Income Tax Returns and financial accounts under the guidance of his client manager. He is keen to make inroads in the accounting profession, and has acquired further skills to enable him to be a valuable contributor in the audit team at Owen and Peach.

Adam has a Master of Professional Accounting from Deakin University and is currently studying for his CA qualification with the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).

He loves working in the harmonious environment at Owen and Peach, and appreciates the support and encouragement from the team.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships:

  • Tertiary Education : Deakin University
  • Qualifications: Master of Professional Accounting
  • Professional Memberships: Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ)(Currently Undertaking)

Outside of Work
Adam is a big basketball fan and enjoys both playing the sport and watching it on TV. In fact, he enjoys a variety of TV shows and always finds time to play computer games in his spare time.

Kerry Dawson

Consultant

Kerry joined Owen and Peach in 2009, following her 10 years at Doquile, Perrett Meade, where she worked as a tax accountant servicing a number of clients in the medical profession. She is very popular with her clients and has many loyal ones, some which she has looked after since ‘day dot’ and who are considered friends and extended family, not just clients. Over her 20 plus years’ experience in public accounting, Kerry has been involved in the areas of compliance, preparation of quarterly BAS’s, and the preparation of financial accounts and tax returns. Her knowledge in Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks and Cashflow Manager has enabled her guide and advise clients in the medical and other fields through the accounting maze. Kerry also makes sure areas of record keeping improvement and business performance and conveyed to her clients.

Kerry is delighted to be part of a ‘great team’ at Owen and Peach, where ideas and technical issues are brainstormed and dealt with collectively. The ongoing tax training and regular meetings enable her to keep up to date with the latest issues in tax and accounting.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships:

  • Tertiary Education : Swinburne University
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

Outside of Work
Kerry and her husband recently moved to Cairns, keen to establish a new, healthy lifestyle in the warmth of the tropics. They both enjoy dancing, singing, and lead a very active social life. She also loves walking to keep fit, which also becomes a great way to explore her new hometown.

Kerry has maintained her remote working relationship with clients and looks forward to them visiting at some stage in Far North Queensland.

Rhonda Scott

Administration

 

Rhonda has been with Owen and Peach since 2004, and is responsible for all things secretarial, while also managing the reception. She has extensive experience dealing with the practice clients, both on a professional and personal level. Often Rhonda is the ‘go to’ person when team members want administrative matters done, her willingness and ability to solve common client issues making her an important part of the front desk.

Outside of Work
Rhonda enjoys quality time with her family, and always finds time to watch her beloved Hawthorn team march its way to another AFL premiership. She enjoys going out for dinner and movie outings with friends, while always finding the time to relax on the Mornington Peninsula with her family.

Owen & Peach Accountants & Business Builders