MEET MICHAEL

Welcome…

Hi, I’m Michael Kaff, Gold Coast-based Independent Senate Candidate for Queensland, at the next Federal Election.

About me…

Before I tell you who I am, let me tell you who I am NOT…

I am NOT a career politician. I am NOT linked to a political Party. I am NOT subject to manipulation or influence by factions, groups or party politics.

I do NOT tolerate insincerity, dishonesty, manipulation or the use, abuse or disrespect of others to get what you want.

I AM educated, experienced, mature-aged, professional, very down to earth, a proud parent of two adult boys and someone who wants to give back and help make a positive difference without bias or agenda.

My history…

High School, Army Cadets and sport: I attended Fort Street Boys High School (Sydney) and followed my passion for the military by joining the Army Cadets where I rose through the ranks to Senior CUO (Officer). I played Rugby Union for the school and Western Suburbs juniors. After a few bad knocks, which happens, I focussed on competitive squash, which I still play socially to this day. This experience taught me discipline, leadership, fairness and teamwork which I utilise and pass on at every opportunity.

Tax accountant, business and personal mentor: When I left high school I trained as an auditor and accountant and gained a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). I slowly built a clientele and eventually started a full-time tax accounting practice at Harbord (Sydney). Initially working on my own (micro-business), I was later able to employ 7 people over time, including a trainee. I prepared tax returns and financial statements for people from all walks of life and income levels, from Individuals to Companies. I mentored and trained people on how to manage and grow a successful business whilst maintaining balance with their social and family lives. It’s never all about work!

“…experience has taught me discipline, leadership, fairness, and teamwork…”

My time as a small business owner and advisor has given me further experience, knowledge and insight into business management, finances, taxation, budgeting and entrepreneurship. Many wonderful people came into my business life and trusted me with their finances.  Respect, integrity and trust allowed me to gain great insight into peoples’ businesses, lives and dreams. I was put in a position of great responsibility and confidentiality, which I enjoyed. After a few years I stopped advertising as word-of-mouth continued to grow my practice. You know you’re doing the right thing when that happens.

Army Reserve Officer: Just before starting my full-time practice, I joined the Army Reserves and trained to become an Officer (Lieutenant) and acting Captain. This was a wonderful experience where I increased my management, leadership and team skills. I realised that I could go way past my perceived personal limitations. You never know what you can achieve until you push yourself past your perceived limits!

Trainer/teacher: I later sold my practice and moved into business training, eventually becoming a full-time Management and Accounting teacher at TAFE NSW (Albury), gaining a Graduate Diploma in Technical Education at UTS and later a Cert IV in Training and Assessment.

I coordinated, ran and taught on many courses, including Retail, Small Business and Music of all things, but specialised in Small Business Management and Accounting, where I helped many start-ups and existing business owners.

“You never know what you can achieve until you push yourself”

Sole parent: When I moved to the Gold Coast as a single parent with my two young sons in 2004, life became challenging as there was not much work around, even at TAFE. Times were financially tough and as funds ran out I was forced to call on family and Centrelink payments to help pay the bills, all the while seeking as much work as I could, but there was never quite enough. So you see, I know what it’s like to do it tough, have trouble finding employment and worry how you will survive and provide for your family, especially as a mature-aged worker.

Helping Baby Boomers: Later I started a training business helping Baby Boomer job seekers to prepare for work and to gain confidence in themselves and raise their self-esteem. I thought I was just helping them prepare for a job, but I quickly realised they needed personal help and support in addition to job seeking skills. The employment preparation course had close to 100% attendance rate, which is unheard of for such courses. I believe that if you respect and look after people, unconditionally, they will believe in themselves and in turn, give back. See my Baby Boomer page for more insight.

Stage performance and screenwriting: Music, performance and singing have always been a huge part of my family, with my older brother and sister-in-law being professional singers/entertainers, I naturally wanted to follow suit. I gained principal roles in various amateur stage productions and later co-wrote a TV sitcom and movie screenplay. We filmed the pilot of the sitcom, in which I acted in a lead role. Interest in film and television now extends to my son, who is an award winning cinematographer, and my own involvement in the local Gold Coast Film/TV network.

“…if you respect and look after people, unconditionally, they will believe in themselves and in turn, give back”

Current day: My sons are now independent adults and doing well. One has his own media business and the other is a retail shop manager…..and I am a very proud dad.

I currently teach business, accounting and management to domestic and international students, which I thoroughly enjoy. I love finding out about other cultures, traditions and religions, including the truth about the more controversial religions and governments.

My Greek heritage: I am Australian born, of Greek descent, which helps me to understand and relate to the difficulties experienced by the migrant population. My four grandparents were predominantly from Kastellorizo, a small Greek island (3) and Athens (1).

Giving back: When I was starting out on my own as an accountant way back when, a practitioner offered his facilities to me saying that as long as I did his work first, I could use his office facilities to run my business and build my clientele. I asked him why he was being so generous? He said that someone did the same for him when he was starting out. So you see, what you give out comes back to you. I have always followed that philosophy!

“…what you give out comes back to you. I have always followed that philosophy”

Please go to my FB feed page on this site to see my activities, photos and stories….and to find out more!