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The Team

We take pride in our ability to attract and retain enthusiastic, loyal and talented staff empowering us to provide stability, regular contact and a positive approach to our service delivery for the Mackay region.

Andrew Whitson (B.Com, FCPA) Director

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, specialising in Taxation. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA) and an Authorised Representative of SMSF Advisers Network, AFSL No. 430062.

Having worked in Townsville for 5 years at one of the largest practices in the region at that time, he moved back to Mackay in 1995 to join Whitson Dawson. In 2000 he worked with Neil to expand and prepare the firm for the introduction of the GST, working closely with individual clients from a wide range of industries such as primary production, construction, mining and retail. Andrew was born and bred in Mackay and, as a great believer in contributing to the community and serves on a number of local organisations. Late Sunday afternoons he likes to spend time with his 3 children and dog playing football in the backyard.


David Whitson (B.Com, CPA, CTA) Director

David completed his Commerce Degree at University of Queensland in 2000. He is a Tax Institute member and Chartered Tax Advisor.  David obtained his qualified CPA status in 2004 achieving three distinctions and two high distinctions in Taxation and Strategic Management Accounting. David also serves on the Management Committee as Vice President for the Mackay Chamber of Commerce.

He has set about building his own client base across several different industries including the sugar industry, mining services, grazing, hospitality, tourism, construction and retail. David believes that it is Whitson Dawson's high standard of customer service and technical expertise which sets the firm apart. Personally David enjoys spending time with his daughters and travelling, taking in the fresh air while motorbike riding and is a strong supporter and member of the Queensland Reds.     

Neil Whitson (B. Com, FCPA) Director

Neil worked in Sydney as an accountant and auditor with international accounting and audit firm Arthur Anderson. He returned to Mackay upon his father, Colin Whitson's death in 1964. Neil purchased the practice from the Estate of Colin Whitson and continued in the practice in his own right under the name "WG Hodges & Co". In the late 1960s, Neil acquired the practice owned by Henry Macklin and in 1973 Neil also acquired the practice of Alexander (Alex) Dawson which was similar in size to WG Hodges & Co. The firm then began trading as Whitson Dawson & Co. Neil has built the practice up by giving proactive advice over the years to members of the cattle and sugar community. Neil is a well-known and respected member of the Mackay community. He loves travelling with his wife and spending weekends with his family. 

Alan Geldard (B. Bus, FIPA)

Alan has a Bachelor of Business Degree. After completing his business studies at University of Southern Queensland he obtained FIPA status with the Institute of Public Accountants and is also a registered Tax Agent. Alan joined the practice in 1968 and has serviced local Mackay businesses well through the peaks and troughs of the regional economic cycle. Always abreast of the consequences of the ever changing tax legislation, Alan has provided a mentoring role for many of the practice's junior accountants. A staunch Cowboys supporter he is and always will be!

Rino Sacchetti (B.Bus (Acc), CPA)

Rino has a Bachelor of Business Degree and is a member of CPA Australia.  He joined the practice in 2003 and has 30 years of both taxation and commerical experience. He has a diverse portfolio of clients including primary production, retail industry, building & construction, transport services& medical practitioners. He enjoys all forms of sport, in particular Rugby League and Parramatta Eels and enjoys time with his wife & family.

Catherine Harris (B. Bus (Acc), CPA)

Catherine completed her Bachelor of Business Degree through CQU in Rockhampton in 1994. She worked as a commercial accountant prior to commencing her employment with Whitson Dawson in 2001. Catherine is a qualified CPA specialising in Superannuation and is an Authorised Representative of SMSF Advisers Network, AFSL No. 430062.

Catherine loves spending time with her family and enjoys travelling.

Chris Breckell (B. Com, CPA)

Chris is a born and bred local from a business family. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce Degree through James Cook University in Townsville in 1990 and is CPA qualified since 2010. Chris has been with Whitson Dawson since 1999. He is experienced in Individual, Partnership, Company and Trust accounting for a variety of industries, as well as Audits. Chris has a down to earth approach to all client matters. Chris married Annette in 1994 and has two lovely children and loves anything to do with the outdoors.

Vanessa Erasmus (Office Manager)

Vanessa was born in South Africa and immigrated to Australia with her husband and children in 1998. Vanessa is a highly motivated person with an extensive experience in Administration, Human Resources, Customer Service and Bookkeeping.  She has gained her experience from a variety of business sectors, these include banking, commercial development, engineering, mining and accounting. Vanessa always encourages her staff to be positive and enthusiastic and to work as an effective team. She loves working for Whitson Dawson as they value their clients and staff. During her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband, children & grandchildren, cooking, reading and travelling overseas.