Taxing success

Getting students enthusiastic about tax law has earned Griffith Business School Lecturer Brett Freudenberg a national university teaching award.

The Australian Learning and Teaching Council awarded Mr Freudenberg a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, for his achievements in empowering tax law students for lifelong learning.

Mr Freudenberg said not surprisingly students often began with negative perceptions of tax law so he approached the topic from angles they may not have considered, demonstrating how tax was an important part of society and not just facts and figures.

“When discussing tax concessions for capital gains I ask students to consider the social justice of this given it is generally the rich who hold land and concessions granted to them may undermine Australia’s progressive rates of tax,” Mr Freudenberg said.

“Also, I ask students to consider what the non-recognition of same-sex couples means for the goal of a tax system applying to all taxpayers equally.

“This provokes students to think about the tax system’s implications, which challenges and inspires them.”

Mr Freudenberg is enthusiastic for the field of tax law and for teaching, and uses a variety of techniques to prepare graduates to be ready for their professions and have the capacity and enthusiasm to continue to learn.

“Success in modern business demands effective information literacy to address the ever-changing business context,” Mr Freudenberg said.

This context includes changes in government policy reflected through legislation and regulations, developments in case law and expectations of professional associations and the public.

“In this environment, students require the capability to continue their own learning beyond university and with the skills shortage it’s important for me to inspire students to continue to strive toward their profession with the necessary skills for success.”

He includes work integrated learning in his teaching, and with others has conducted a student and industry conference, which saw students presenting to industry professionals.

Prior to working at Griffith University Mr Freudenberg was a Tax Consultant with KPMG.

Mr Freudenberg’s award was announced at a special ceremony at Customs House, Brisbane.