Melanie Reen

Melanie Reen

Managing Partner

Melanie’s focus at MJA is in developing and managing relationships with key stakeholders both within and external to our business, and in managing the integration of our state branches into a national practice. As Managing Partner her role is to navigate MJA and our clients through the intricacies of the R&D Tax Incentive, while ensuring that MJA continues to deliver a high level of care and attention to detail.

Melanie has been assisting companies identify opportunities to claim government incentives and attract grants for research and development since 2000. She has successfully prepared and defended R&D tax claims for companies of all sizes, from start ups to multinationals, across the full gamut of Australian technology industries. Melanie has also helped many MJA clients to major success in the completion and review of grant applications under the Climate Ready, Commercial Ready, REDI, ICIP, Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund and R&D Start programs.

Melanie was an integral part of MJA’s lobbying efforts in the lead up to the introduction of the R&D Tax Incentive. These efforts included providing assistance on submissions for the Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council, appearing before the Senate Economics Legislation Committee and meeting with senior policy officials from Treasury, the Innovation Department and the ATO.

Melanie holds a degree in biological sciences and a Graduate Diploma in biotechnology. She has also completed a Certificate in Applied Tax, is an Associate of the Tax Institute, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Kris Gale

Kris Gale


Kris is a leading authority on the R&D Tax Incentive and related government assistance programs in Australia. He has specialised in this field for more than 25 years.

His experience is both broad and deep – from assisting companies in mining, software, biotechnology, food and heavy engineering, through to influencing government policy makers and appearing before Senate committees.

Kris is responsible for managing our relationships with clients at the tax manager, executive and board levels. He also leads our ongoing contact with policy makers and administrators in the ATO, AusIndustry and Innovation Australia to ensure that we are always up to date regarding developments in the field, and can advocate for more effective, workable programs.

In addition, Kris is a founding member of the Federal Government’s R&D Tax Incentive National Reference Group (NRG), an author of submissions to several government reviews, and an active member and trustee of CEDA.

Kris is a recognised thought leader on R&D incentives, and a sought-after speaker. He has presented to national conferences on both R&D and tax, and also published many articles in the media. For example, he has:

  • Published an article on the National Innovation System in CPA Magazine
  • Published several articles on R&D tax incentives in Australian R&D Review
  • Appeared on the ABC Radio series “Ideas with wings”
  • Been quoted in numerous articles on innovation in The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and Business Review Weekly
  • Presented at conferences and seminars all round Australia including Corporate Tax Association, CPA, Tax Institute, Minerals Council of Australia and APPEA

Kris holds degrees in Economics (with Honours) and Law from the University of New South Wales.

Sarah Lander

Sarah Lander


Sarah has more than a decade’s experience in R&D claim preparation across many industries. Her main focus is on client relationship management at the tax manager and executive levels and in managing the overall consulting operations of the firm. Sarah also manages reviews and audits for complex corporate groups. She has extensive experience in the delivery of seminars and educations sessions, development and implementation of R&D planning processes and drafting reasonably arguable position papers, tax ruling applications and overseas activity applications.

Sarah has worked closely on MJA’s lobbying effort, helping ensure the new R&D Tax Incentive program remains workable for Australian companies. She has drafted submissions to government on behalf of MJA and for the Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council and prepared presentations for Senate Economic Legislation Committee hearings. She is currently involved in our work to influence the program’s administrative arrangements, so that they are as pragmatic as possible and ease the compliance burden on taxpayers.

Sarah holds degrees in Arts and Law (Honours) from the University of Queensland and is an Associate of the Tax Institute.

Meet the team