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Danijela brings an intimate understanding of the ins and outs of managing day-to-day accounting and bookkeeping, honed over years of working with startups, SMBs and enterprises alike. With an energy that's infectious, Dani is the first point of contact for many founders as they embark on their journey with KPMG High Growth Ventures.

I'm most proud of...

By far the most challenging and equalling, the most rewarding thing I’ve been lucky to do was to emigrate to Australia from South Africa.

Saying ‘goodbye’ to my home, friends and, naturally, my comfort zone, was one of the most daunting and uncomfortable experiences I’d faced to date. On the other side of that experience, however, was an enormous amount of personal growth as well as access to more opportunities than I ever thought possible – from kicking early career goals by earning my CA ANZ accreditation, to meeting incredible people and developing intentional and authentic relationships. 

The most valuable lesson I've learned was...

I started my professional career with KPMG in Feb of 2020. Six weeks into my new role, I was told to work from home for the foreseeable future, which turned out to be the next two years. Throughout this time, I discovered the value of two particularly underestimated skills: discipline and connection.

I believe discipline is a muscle everyone should continually work on building. In my opinion, great leaders are distinguished by their ability to reject impulse and stave off distraction. If you aren’t able to manage yourself, how can you be trusted to manage others?

Finally, the pandemic taught me that connection to others is a fundamental part of life, and that the richest of workplaces and teams are built on strong inter-personal relationships. 

In the startup ecosystem, I'm most passionate about...

Climate/cleantech. It excites me seeing Aussie founders build solutions to tackle our global issue of climate change and build a better future for all.

In addition, I’m passionate about the health and wellness industry. As someone who values exercise and the importance of wellbeing, I love understanding new developments and learning what solutions are being built to make this space accessible to more people. 

I believe the most important thing for founders in today's environment is...

Keeping an open mind. Passion for your idea or business is wonderful, but it can often come with reluctance to let go and listen to advice. The environment we live in is ever-changing and it would be naïve and unreasonable to assume we’re across everything, all of the time.

Learn to listen and accept help when offered and conversely, be someone who is generous with their knowledge and expertise. 

My words to live by

I couldn’t choose, so here’s both: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” and “If you’re not grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you’ll be happy with more?” 

"great leaders are distinguished by their ABILITY TO REJECT IMPULSE AND STAVE OFF DISTRACTION."

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