Whitehorse City Council has established an Audit and Risk Committee (Committee) pursuant to Section 53 of the Local Government Act (Act).
The primary role of the Committee is to support Council in discharging its oversight responsibilities related to financial and performance reporting, risk management, fraud and corruption prevention systems and controls, maintenance of a sound internal control environment, assurance activities including internal and external audit, and Council’s performance with regard to compliance with its policies and legislative and regulatory requirements.
The Committee is an advisory committee with no delegated authority or decision-making abilities.
In accordance with the Section 54(1) of the Act, Council must prepare and approve an Audit and Risk Committee Charter ( PDF 230.83KB). The Charter specifies the functions and responsibilities of the Committee including the following:
- Monitor the compliance of Council policies and procedures with:
- The overarching governance principles; and
- This Act and the regulations and any Ministerial directions.
- Monitor Council financial and performance reporting;
- Monitor and provide advice on risk management and fraud prevention systems and controls; and
- Oversee internal and external audit functions.
The Charter was last reviewed and endorsed by the Committee at the November 2022 meeting, and approved by Council on 30 January 2023.
What does the Committee discuss?
The Committee meets five times a year. The schedule of meetings is developed annually and agreed by members. The scheduled meetings for 2023 are:
- 20 March
- 15 May
- 28 August
- 25 September
- 20 November
Matters commonly discussed at meetings include:
- internal and external audit reports
- implementation status of audit recommendations
- financial and performance statements
- risk register
- reports relating to governance, legislative compliance, cyber positioning and transformation
- other reports from Council officers
The Committee comprises five members – two Councillors and three external, independent members, all of whom have full voting rights. The chairperson is an independent member.
Below are our current independent members.
Lisa Woolmer (Chair)
Lisa has a background in professional services advising on governance, risk and assurance frameworks, and conducting internal, external and compliance audits in the ACT, Victoria, Tokyo and New York.
In her professional services career, Lisa worked with federal, state and local government agencies across areas such as health, education, emergency services, construction, water and gas. She has also led compliance and internal audits in the financial services sector including with local and overseas banks and fund managers.
Since leaving professional services eight years ago, Lisa has been an independent audit and risk committee, or board, member for organisations including four Victorian councils, the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions, Adult Community and Further Education Board, ASIC, Comcare and Orygen. Lisa is also currently on the Board of the Yarra Golf Club Ltd.
Lisa is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a qualified accountant. She holds a Bachelor of Economics and Diploma in Japanese Business Communication from Monash University, and a Graduate Diploma in Employment Relations from the University of Canberra.
Jonathan joined the Audit and Risk Committee as an independent member in March 2021.
His career includes senior executive positions at the Victorian Auditor General’s Office as Director for the Local Government sector, as well as the Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources sector, the Superannuation and Insurance sector, and the Public Hospitals sector.
Jonathan is also an independent member of the audit and risk committee for Manningham City Council, Darebin City Council, Country Fire Authority, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Baw Baw Shire Council.
Jonathan is a Chartered Accountant, an ASIC registered company auditor and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
He holds a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.
Binda Gokhale (FCPA, GAICD)
Binda joined the Audit and Risk Committee as an independent member in October 2022. An experienced executive and non-executive director, Binda is committed to driving strategic and performance outcomes for organisations through leadership in Corporate Finance, Strategic Planning and Governance.
Binda’s financial and operational experience is supported by directorships and committee roles held with a number of corporate, statutory, and not-for-profit entities. Currently these include Monash City Council, Melbourne Polytechnic, Benalla Health, Trust for Nature, Victorian Disability Worker Commission and Satellite Foundation.
She has previously worked at Wyndham City Council and Telstra in senior executive roles. Binda also currently participates as a member of the CPA - Public Sector and Not for Profit Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Victorian Local Government Finance Professionals (FinPro), engaging in policy and professional development.
Binda is a graduate of the Melbourne Business School. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University.
Should you require any further information on the Audit & Risk Committee, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Coordinators Audit & Assurance on 9262 6354 or 9262 6168.