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'Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.'

Currently the Executive Director in Advisory Services at EY's (formerly Ernst & Young) Melbourne office, Peter Niblett has been an active member of the Deakin community for over 30 years.

He was awarded Alumni of the Year 2015 recently, adding to an already extensive list of personal and professional achievements.

We had the opportunity to find out about his time as a student, his professional journey and some tips for students embarking on their professional career path.

Why did you choose Deakin University?

It was regionally based.  As a mature age student (first in family) I had the freedom to study part-time with flexibility.

I also like how innovative learning experiences and choices offered by Deakin continue to 'stretch' the paradigms of a traditional university education.

Why did you choose to study a Bachelor of Commerce?

It provided me with the greatest number of career options post-university – the course content and electives were both nimble and dynamic to enable me to direct my career path and achieve my personal goals.

What inspired you most while studying at university?

The values of my lecturers and tutors, many of whom remain friends today.  The value of a university education was always my key driver.

What is your favourite personal/professional achievement thus far? 

Clearly being acknowledged for ‘Outstanding contributions to the Profession and Community’ by being awarded the Deakin University Alumni of the Year Award for 2015.

What do you currently do?

I am an Executive Director in Advisory Services at EY's (formerly Ernst & Young) Melbourne office, having returned from their London office in September 2006.  I'm a Client Service Partner (CSP) for the Emergency Services Cluster of accounts (ESTA, CFA, MFB and SES), the Victorian Auditor-General's Office, Tasmanian Government, TAC and WorkSafe.  In this role, I'm responsible for all aspects of EY's service delivery, including a focus on strong engagement and relationship building with key stakeholders.  I have over 36 years public and private sector experience within Australia and Europe and my UK client base included British Airways, SABMiller, Thales (Defence) and LOCOG (London Olympics).

During my time in London, I coordinated the technology activities for EY in the UK Government Sector with responsibilities for delivering large scale ICT projects and Shared Services across all Government Agencies in the UK.

What motivates you today?

Mentoring, coaching and counselling young people in all aspects of their lives.  I'm also honoured and humbled to be the Patron of Encompass as we strive to create 'real' social inclusion and diversity for all.

What do you feel strongly about?

Delivering a quality experience and outcome to my clients and staff – you need to make a difference!

How would you sum up success?

Embodied in this quote from Albert Schweitzer – 'Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.'

How did studying at Deakin help you with your career?

I joined a second tier Chartered Accountancy Partnership in Geelong (post Deakin) and continued to study for many years both in Australia and the United States.  My Bachelor of Commerce degree from Deakin was the precursor to the following professional qualifications and my employment at EY:

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (CA)

Fellow CPA Australia (FCPA)

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) - USA

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) - USA

What’s the most important thing in life?

Your health!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like travelling, cooking, gardening and spending time with my family and friends.  As an avid Collingwood (AFL) supporter, I’m encouraged by the fact that there are only two types of supporters – those that barrack for Collingwood and those that wished they did!

What advice would you give students currently embarking on their professional career path?

Stay positive, focussed and have fun and remember that your personal brand is the most important aspect.