Meet the Team

The Garis Group is a professional family owned and operated financial services firm that aims to build a strong and continuous relationship with our clients built on our valuable, personal, technical and knowledgeable expertise.

We help create a beautiful financial future for our clients, their families and the people around them so that together we create a huge and lasting impact in our world.

Our team is committed to building a financial services firm that our friends and family would choose and recommend.

The Garis Group are also proud partners of B1G1-Business for Good.
B1G1 is a Social Enterprise and non-profit organisation with a mission to create a world that’s full of giving. Unlike conventional giving models, B1G1 helps small and medium sized businesses achieve more social impact by embedding giving activities in their everyday business operations to create unique Giving Stories. Every business transaction (and as a result, your everyday activity) can impact lives.

We believe that small businesses and small everyday transactions can change our world when we come together through the sense of giving and caring. Belonging to B1G1 puts the ‘WHY’ back into businesses and brings back a sense of greater meaning and purpose. B1G1 let’s you create that joy and share it…habitually.

See how we’ve helped our world below!

The Garis Group Team
John Garis

John Garis | Director
BCom – University of Newcastle
Registered Tax Agent
Certified Xero Adviser

John Garis joined The Garis Group in December 2004 as a trainee accountant under the guidance of principal and founder Jim Garis and has progressively increased his experience and knowledge at the firm over the past 12 years and now holds the role of Director at The Garis Group.

John during this time completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting at the University of Newcastle. John is a registered tax agent and also holds membership with The Tax Institute of Australia.

John is a born and bred Novocastrian having lived in the great city of Newcastle all his life and has a great passion for helping individuals and small businesses thrive in our community so they can achieve all their financial goals!

“Our purpose here at The Garis Group is to help our clients create a beautiful financial future for themselves, their families & the people around them so that together we create a huge & lasting impact in our world”

John & his lovely wife Aylin were married at the Burwood Rotunda in Whitebridge overlooking Dudley beach in Oct 2011 and are also very proud parents to their son Charlie who is now 3.

Jim Garis

Jim Garis | Consulting Accountant
BCom – University of Newcastle
Associated Member Chartered Accountants

“After 40 years as a financial advisor I have come to understand what keeps our clients awake at night from a financial perspective. We care about our clients and we want to help them create a beautiful financial future. This is who we are, and what we do.”

“We are not the traditional accounting business, we reach beyond just doing your tax. We can look at all the areas of your financial life to create and sustain wealth.”

Jim’s areas of expertise are effective growth and strategic planning for you and your business as well as Self-Managed Superfund advice & strategy.

Something you may not know about Jim – “I’m a keen Rugby enthusiast, and I played against the All Blacks back in 1974.”

Di Garis | Property Investment Advisor
B.A (Hons) Dip Ed
PIAA Accredited Property Advisor
Licensed Buyers Agent (NSW)

As a long term property investor herself, Di has assisted clients for more than 10 years to develop the skills and knowledge to build their portfolio and create their own beautiful financial future. As a lifetime partner of Business for Good (B1G1), all the work Di undertakes with her clients will benefit those less fortunate to build a better future.

Di specialises in property advice to investors within Self Managed Superannuation funds and holds PI Insurance for Property Investment Advice.

Areas of expertise:

  • Supporting and advising both new and experienced property investors.
  • Developing a clear investment strategy for her clients based on their goals and financial needs.
  • Assisting other professional organisations deliver a property solution to their clients.

Something you may not know about Di – “My passion is family and traveling, good food, even better wine! Merewether baths holds a special place of significance for me. This is where I learnt to swim and spent most summers with my dad growing up. I still have that image of him swimming his 1000 metres every day well into his later years.”

Emma Zajac

Emma Zajac
Marketing Co-ordinator & Administration Support

Emma joined the team at The Garis Group as Receptionist in May 2014 and is now our Marketing Co-ordinator and Administration Support.

Emma has 10 years’ experience in administration and with this experience, Emma is looking forward to delivering services to both clients and colleagues, above and beyond all expectations

Prior to working with The Garis Group, Emma spent 4 years working in Administration for a local Construction Company, whilst also working in the Health and Fitness industry for 5 years as a Fitness Instructor.

Emma loves living on the coastal stretch of Newcastle for its amazing beaches which made for an unforgettable backdrop when husband Nathan, proposed at their favourite spot on Merewether cliff in 2014. Emma and Nathan and are now proud parents to their beautiful daughter, Indie.

Heather Moore

Heather Moore
Client Relationship Manager

Heather comes to the world of Accounting after a long career in Hospitality.

As Owner/Operator of ‘County Dining’, Owner/Operator of Hospitality Consultancy Firm ‘H for Hospitality’, Restaurant Manager of SMH Hatted restaurants such as ‘Subo Contemporary Bistro’ and ‘Bacchus Restaurant’, along with experience in Event Management, Heather now implements her honed Customer Service skills as Client Relationship Manager for The Garis Group.

Proud step-mum to Samuel and new mum to baby Oscar, Heather and her Hospitality focused partner Nigel are a busy family unit striving to do it all (including following their passion for all things food and wine related).

Melissa Barry

Melissa Barry
Junior Accountant

Melissa joined The Garis Group in May 2017 as a junior accountant after previously working as a trainee accountant at a local Newcastle firm for 18 months.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle in 2016, and previously studied Media and Communications at Southern Cross University in Lismore.

Melissa grew up nearby in Bulahdelah, and officially moved to Newcastle for study in 2012. In her spare time she enjoys playing on various sporting teams, going to the beach, and supporting local farmers and producers at the markets.

Samantha Neilson

Samantha Neilson
Junior Receptionist

Sam joined The Garis Group in May 2017 as Junior Receptionist.

Prior to working with The Garis Group, Sam completed her High School Certificate in 2016. During her studies she was employed at a small Accounting firm in Morisset as a Junior Receptionist.

Within the next year Sam aims to complete her Certificate 3 in Business Administration.

In her spare time, Sam enjoys spending time with her friends and family along the amazing coastal stretch of beaches and cafes that Newcastle has to offer.