Webinar #2 – Why self-care makes business sense and how to be good at it

Our panel of industry experts discussed real-life examples of common stressors for small business owners and business advisers; shared practical advice and tips on self-care and strategies for incorporating a culture of wellbeing in your workplace.

Counting on U Webinar #2 – Why self-care makes business sense and how to be good at it

Video recording from 7 February 2023 | 12pm AEDT

The effects of the pandemic are continuing to linger. This along with the crippling effects of natural disasters and the state of global affairs and the economy have resulted in a rather gloomy outlook for 2023. Businesses and business advisers have been doing it tough for a while and uncertainty about the future may add to continued financial and emotional distress. Looking after one’s own mental wellbeing becomes all the more necessary and so, we bring you the second Counting on U webinar on the what, why and how of self-care.

The start of a new year is a good time to reflect on our health and wellbeing, set intentions for the coming months, and put in place coping mechanisms. In this webinar, learn about self-care from a workplace mental health perspective and find out how taking care of yourself first helps you also look after your clients, your team, your business, and your community.

Listen as our panel of industry experts discuss real-life examples of common stressors facing business advisers and small business owners. You will come away with practical self-care advice and tips from Lawrence Atkinson, NewAccess for Small Business Owners program coach, and gain strategies for incorporating a culture of wellbeing in your workplace from Kate Figgins, Co-Director of HumanEx in New Zealand. Finally, add to your wellbeing toolkit when ICB Australia CEO Amanda Linton shares her lived experience of mental health challenges whilst running her bookkeeping business, and her journey back to wellness.



CoU Research Fellow at Deakin Business School

Dr Sophie Bromfield is a research fellow at Deakin University’s School of Business. She obtained her PhD in psychology in 2020 investigating influence processes in organisations. She has a background in social and organisational psychology and is experienced in mixed-methods research designs. Her recent work has focused on workplace wellbeing, with projects covering small business owner mental wellbeing and bullying and incivility interventions in workplace settings. Other projects she has been involved in include ethical considerations in the use of screening tools in research, mental health and the media, and stress and coping in adults with autism spectrum disorders.


NewAccess for Small Business Owners Coach and Small Business Mentor

Lawrence has held senior executive and director positions in several medium-sized professional services firms, along with senior roles in two major executive search firms. He currently runs his own management consulting business with his wife. His 27-year career with Westpac saw him working in such diverse locations as the UK and Europe, the Middle East, Papua New Guinea, and Australia during which time he was mostly involved in business development and sales roles in international trade, retail and business banking.

Lawrence has held Fellowships with the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and the Australian Institute of Management. He has a love of helping others and working together to find the best solution. This has helped him tremendously in his current role where he assists small business owners suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.


CEO, ICB Australia and Director – Freedom Connect Systems Pty Ltd, Freedom Accounting Support, Love Your Numbers Pty Ltd

Amanda’s dedication to empowering bookkeepers and business owners alike in best practice and efficiencies is demonstrated by the successes and opportunities that she has enjoyed over her career.

After working with Hobart businesses as an Administration Manager, Accounts clerk & Bookkeeper and Business Services Accountant for over ten years, in 2004 Amanda established “Freedom Accounting Support”, a bookkeeping and MYOB consulting company, in Hobart, Tasmania.

Appointed as a Director of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers in October of 2010, Amanda has a very rounded view of the challenges facing SMEs, adding to her own ‘hands on’ experience. This has also given Amanda the ability to interact with members of government and various financial services providers in the quest for a workable, professional framework within which the Australian bookkeeping industry now operates.

Amanda was a finalist in the 2008 Telstra ‘Business Woman of the Year’ awards and was also named as MYOB’s 2012 ‘Partner of the Year’.

A change in the direction of Amanda’s career has seen her appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer for the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers in November 2017. Still maintaining a small client base of her own, Amanda believes in the importance of keeping her feet on the ground.  As of that year, she is also part of the Beyond Blue Ambassador & Speakers Bureau, as a way of giving back based on some of her experiences.


Co-Director, HumanEx New Zealand and accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor

Kate has over 20 years’ experience working in complex service delivery and solution design organisations across both commercial and not for profit enterprises. She has a strong focus on strategic development and business transformation and is passionate about purposeful and measurable change.

She has worked in a range of diverse sectors and including international logistics, travel and tourism, event management, FMCG and professional services both here in New Zealand and Australia.

She has a sound understanding of Board Governance obligations and fiduciary responsibility, and has direct Boardroom experience as both a Chief Executive and Director.


We looked at a range of issues a range of issues regarding mental health duty care – what does duty of care mean – is it a legal responsibility? Is it a moral obligation? Who is practising this duty of care? What is our duty of care to protect and promote our own wellbeing…