Researcher biography

Thea Voogt is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law. She specialises in corporate governance and corporations law, business structure innovation, and income tax law.

Thea leverages her significant business experience in senior executive roles and her background as a chartered accountant in industry projects. She holds a Doctorate in Financial Management and Master of International Commercial Law (UQ).

Thea is an award-winning law teacher. She is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious UQ Business, Economics & Law Faculty Teaching Award. She also received the 2016 Inspired me to learn Award for Teaching Excellence in an undergraduate compulsory course, and the 2015 Award for Teaching Excellence in an undergraduate compulsory course from the UQ School of Law.

Her research focuses on four areas.

Small firm and family firm business structures, focusing on family farming and regional business innovation. UQ Research Impact feature Surviving the dry spell

Thea spends significant time in Central Western Queensland, conducting a pilot study with industry partners RAPAD and RFCSNQ The study is supported by Longreach-based accounting firm Ringrose Button and Walsh Accounting in Barcaldine, and works with farmers, business owners and community leaders. The study is the first of its kind to focus on how the law and accounting intersects in small business structures.

Duties, roles, responsibilities and skills of non-executive directors (NEDs). NEDs dominate listed company boards. Thea's research looks at the tension between the statutory duty of care and diligence of NEDs, and their practical involvement in the day-to-day activities of the corporation and how their role in risk management is framed in contemporary corporate governance codes across the globe.

The impact of income tax law on small business structures. Thea's research focuses on the combination of legal structures that small firms and particularly primary producers use to conduct their business, which is often influenced by income tax law. The project contrasts the legal constraints of different business forms, to participants' practical access to cash. Research into the structure of farm businesses in Australia is an ABARES priority.

Mutual ownership of infrastructure. The key to unlocking the potential of mutual ownership of infrastructure lies in identifying the right business model that suits the different investment horizons and returns that participants seek. A successful business model relies upon a strong foundation that sets out the legal rights and obligations of participants. Thea's research takes a practical approach to mutual ownership of infrastructure, ranging in focus from farm cluster fences, to drone technology investments.

Prior to joining UQ, Thea was the CEO (Principal Officer) of the superannuation funds of the University of Johannesburg, a Professor in Accounting and managed large tenders for this institution. Over the course of her career in South Africa, she was closely involved with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants as sought-after speaker, researcher and umpire for the national qualifying exams for chartered accountants. Thea also held a Ministerial appointment to the Board of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

She is the research program leader for Governance, Regulation and the Law at the Australian Institute for Business and Economics and a Fellow of the Australian Centre for Private Law.