Australian intern at the Israel Securities Authority

February 14, 2012 by Adam Ross
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Sydney accountant has swapped the field of international tax at for a new set of challenges at the heart of the Israeli economy.

Daniel Barnett(26) quit a career in international tax at Deliotte Sydney to take up a professional internship at the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) in Jerusalem. He now finds himself attending key meetings with the Bank of Israel and the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem along with Israel’s top economists discussing capital market activity and how to keep the Israeli economy healthy and well positioned vis-à-vis the international economy.

Daniel Barnett

The ISA itself is charged with drafting and initiating virtually all primary and secondary legislation pertaining to securities law in Israel.  In addition, it cooperates with government industries in formulating policies and laws pertaining to capital market activity.
Daniel grew up in Johannesburg until age 18 when he moved to Sydney. He is the only non-Israeli at the ISA.

He explains: “At the ISA I report directly to the head economist of the department, and my work is concerned with the state of the Israeli economy, both current and forward looking, what issues the market may be facing now and in the future.  We look at what issues such as investor safety and security concerns; trends in finance, economics and corporate governance; regulation and reform. Having seen what the South African government system is like, and then, in stark contrast to that, the Australian bureaucracy, I must admit that I was unsure of what the work environment was going to be like. I was confused as to what to expect, and so it was such a relief to arrive on day one to find that my team is full of ambitious, smart and dynamic people. Living in a new country, and learning to adapt to a new system is always a challenge and one which I believe really develops a person’s character. Moving cities, let alone countries is such a great opportunity to remind oneself that having an attitude open to the new, being flexible to the unexpected, and not sweating the small stuff can make all the difference to your experiences in life.”

The Israel Government Fellows selects and screens suitable candidates from the diaspora aged 21-30 and places them in key ministries and government authorities.  The program was established in 2007 and is run by the Menachem Begin Heritage Centre bringing to life the vision of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin to connect the diaspora with the heart of life at all levels. Most interns join the program after graduating, or following a few years gaining experience in their field.
Currently the majority of interns are from North America and Europe and the program is keen to encourage applications particularly from Australia and South Africa.

Paul Gross, IGF Programme Director said: “Ideally we would like to see greater numbers of Australian and South African candidates applying for government internships with us. Most countries are not rushing to bring foreign nationals into key ministries, however we believe that one way to connect diaspora Jews with Israel is to provide them with the opportunity to be involved with the decisions being made at the highest level in Israel.”

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