Partners and Consultants

(L to R: Laura Coatsworth, Garry Murdoch, Jason Pengilley, Billy Lacey, Louise Hickman)

Jason Pengilley CA Director
Bachelor of Business


Jason’s experience in corporate and public practice accounting for close to 20 years has paved a strong track record in assisting SMEs improve business performance. Jason’s client base encompasses industries including hospitality, retail, medical, professional services, mining, agribusiness and real estate, with an insight into building and heavy construction businesses being of ingrained interest both professionally and personally.
Jason was made partner at Stewarts in 2008 after nine years on board and during this time Jason has fully embraced the changing role of accounting from working with ‘old numbers’ for reporting and compliance to taking a combined approach to forecasting, data analysis and embracing new technology to improve the overall financial performance for his clients. Becoming a natural extension to clients businesses by virtue of establishing trusted relationships with in depth understanding of their track record has allowed Jason and his team to be in the right position to provide the best advice possible.


Louise Hickman CPA Director
Bachelor of Business Commerce


Louise’s dedication to professional development has provided her with a multitude of skills and insight into the accounting industry, having over 10 years’ experience as an accountant who joined Stewarts in 2004 whilst still completing her university studies. Now a Partner at Stewarts since 2012, Louise’s varied client portfolio includes industries such as urban design and planning, telecommunications, primary production, environmental services and end to end broad acre land development including one of the firm’s largest clients and local business success story – Villawood Properties.

Louise has combined her flair for technology and enjoyment in seeing her clients lives made easier by implementing a range of modern business solutions and using cloud accounting programs, apps and widgets. Her aim to continually improve her clients’ business compliance and reporting is in keeping with Stewart’s values of being progressive with the technology that drives growth and long term success for clients.


Billy Lacey CA Director
Bachelor of Business (Accounting)


Billy has 15 years’ experience working as an accountant with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in public practice accounting in Australia and abroad in the UK and Ireland in industry and financial services. Starting out as a graduate accountant at Stewarts from 2001 – 2003, Billy re-joined the team in 2010 where he was then made partner in 2012. Billy’s client base spans a broad range of industries including manufacturing, IT, agribusiness, retail, hospitality, events management, and property investment.

Billy’s expertise include due diligence reviews for business acquisition, assisting clients to maximise their returns with business disposals, business restructures, succession and retirement planning along with capital gains tax concessions and a strong emphasis on all tax related superannuation matters. Billy also has a breadth of experience working with cloud based technologies including implementation, training and development. Billy thrives on tackling challenges to create positive outcomes and constantly improve the business performance of his clients.


Laura Coatsworth CA CTA Director
Bachelor of Business (Accounting)


With more than 12 years’ experience, Laura specialises in residential property development, entity structuring for businesses and investment, self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and addresses complexities surrounding Human Resources and business cycles. She works across sectors including domestic and commercial building, construction and development, allied health professionals and wholesale manufacturing. Laura joined the team in 2008 following a ‘tree change’ from Melbourne.

A born high achiever and driven by a genuine desire to be part of business success along with her affable nature towards clients and staff alike, Laura was made partner at Stewarts in 2012. Laura is a natural fit for the firm owing to her dedication to her clients through trusted advice and service resulting in many ‘wins’ for her clients throughout her career. Being part of a client’s business success and seeing it not only grow, but thrive is what Laura enjoys most about her role at Stewart’s.


Garry Murdoch CPA Consultant
Diploma of Financial Services


Garry commenced his professional career in Melbourne in 1975, before moving to Bendigo in 1979 and joining Svanosio and Stewarts in 1980. After 10 years in public practice, Garry moved to London where he was based for four years specialising as a Finance Manager for British Rail and returned to Bendigo in 1994. Having such extensive knowledge and experience in the accounting industry in taxation, business advisory and financial solutions, Garry provides service and consultation to a diverse range of businesses including property developers, importers and exporters, manufacturers and viticulturists.

Now after 40 years in the field, Garry’s well earned respect and authority, has seen him become a highly trusted advisor to an extensive client base at Stewarts regarding the issues faced by business and investors in an ever changing economic environment. Garry’s professional wisdom combined with his strong sense of humour and positive outlook is of priceless value to both clients and staff at Stewarts alike.