Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee is established by Council for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2020. The Committees role is to provide appropriate advice and recommendations on matters relevant to its Charter in order to facilitate decision making by Council in relation to the discharge of its responsibilities.

Audit and Risk Committee Charter

A Council must prepare and approve an Audit and Risk Committee Charter. The Audit and Risk Committee Charter specifies the functions and responsibilities of the Audit and Risk Committee which include:

  • monitor the compliance of Council policies and procedures with;
    • the overarching governance principles; and
    • the Local Government 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;
  • oversee internal and external audit functions. 

Click here to view the Audit and Risk Committee Charter.(PDF, 145KB)

What are the Audit and Risk Committee's aims?

The Committee has been established to monitor, review and advise Council on the systems and activities of Council in ensuring:

  • Reliable and complete financial and performance reporting
  • High standards of corporate governance
  • Appropriate application of Accounting Standards and Council adopted and Administrative Policies
  • Compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • Effective management and monitoring of all risks, controls and insurances
  • Effective and efficient internal and external audit functions
  • Appropriate measures to provide early warning of any issues affecting the organisation’s financial well-being
  • The level and effectiveness of appropriate Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning
  • Maintenance and fostering of an ethical environment and oversight of related party transactions
  • Fraud prevention, including corruption

What does the Audit and Risk Committee discuss?

Meeting on a quarterly basis, matters commonly discussed by the Audit and Risk Committee include:

  • internal and external compliance reports
  • implementation status of audit recommendations
  • financial and performance statements
  • internal audit performance data
  • risk reporting, including reviews of Risk Management Policy, Risk Registers, Business Continuity and Assurance Reporting
  • reports relating to governance, legislative compliance and information technology
  • other reports from Council officers

Reporting to Council

The Audit and Risk Committee Chair will prepare and present a Chair Report to Council as outlined in its Charter. This report encompasses a summary of the prior 6 months of meetings.

Click here to view the latest Chair Report (December 2022).(PDF, 91KB)

Audit and Risk Committee members

The Audit and Risk Committee comprises five members:

  • Three external independent members
  • Two Councillors

The Chair of the Committee must be one of the external independent members, and not a Councillor or staff member. The Committee to take advantage for the independent member skills, provides all Independent members with the opportunity to chair for one year.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and internal auditor attend all meetings, except when the Committee chooses to meet in camera (privately) All Councillors may attend meetings, and staff and other relevant persons may be invited to advise and provide information.

External Independent Committee Members

Carmen Ridley (Chairperson)


Carmen is an external reporting specialist and an established advisor on International and Australian Accounting Standards.

Carmen is the director of boutique consulting firm based in Victoria providing training and consulting services to local governments, corporates, not-for-profits, and state, territory, and federal public sector entities.

Her areas of expertise are financial governance, systems and controls, audit, sustainability and financial reporting. Carmen is also an accredited Mental Health First Aider.


David Ashmore (Independent Member) 



David is an experienced company director and independent member of Local and State Government Audit and Risk Committees with over 40 years previous experience as a practicing Chartered Accountant. His speciality was Audit and Assurance services where he was the divisional head of that service line and controlled a wide variety of clients in the Public, Private and Not for Profit sectors.

David's experience and skill is ideally suited to the work and responsibilities of the Audit and Risk Committee. He has 5 current committee appointments and has served extended terms at a further 7, holding the role of chair for most of those committees. David has also held several ASX Listed Public Company Directorships and is currently the Chairman of Saferoads Holdings Ltd based in Pakenham.

Jonathan Kyvelidis (Independent Member)

B. Comm (Melb), MBA (Deakin), CA


Jonathan has more than twenty years’ experience across external audit, business management and financial services. This experience has been in Big 4, mid-tier, and boutique professional firms in Australia and internationally. Jonathan has advised numerous entities on financial reporting, internal control environments and corporate governance matters. His most recent experience has been leading the external audit of every Council within Victoria, as Director in charge of Local Government in the Victorian Auditor-General Office’s financial audit division.

Whilst very motivated and outcome focused, Jonathan also enjoys building relationships and becoming a trusted adviser to key business partners.  

Council Committee Members 

Mayor Councillor Annemarie McCabe


Cr Annemarie McCabe was elected to Baw Baw Shire Council in 2020, representing the West Ward, and was elected Mayor in November 2022.

Cr McCabe is a Paramedic working within Baw Baw Shire, Chair of the Myli – My Community Library Ltd Board and has served as president of the Drouin Secondary College council and Drouin Ficifolia committee, along with several general committee appointments across local community organisations.

An advocate for the arts and mental health services, Cr McCabe is passionate about Council delivering infrastructure and services to its growing communities and rural towns with sound financial management and value for ratepayers. 

Deputy Mayor Councillor Tricia Jones


Cr Tricia Jones was first elected to Baw Baw Shire Council in 2008, representing the West Ward, and was elected Deputy Mayor in November 2023.

Internal audit

The internal audit service assists Baw Baw Shire Council in testing and strengthening its internal controls.

The internal audit function provides services in relation to:

  • risk assessment
  • development and management of an audit program
  • conducting audits and reviews
  • reporting audit opinions, findings and recommendations
  • presenting, discussing and providing advice on key issues.

Council’s current internal audit service provider is Crowe (previously Crowe Horwath) and commenced on 01 July 2019. The internal audit service is overseen internally by Council. 

Internal Audit Plan

An internal audit plan is developed by Baw Baw Shire Council and approved by the Audit and Risk Committee outlining current and proposed internal audits.

This plan is a critical element in ensuring a robust internal audit system that focuses on integrating Council’s key risks, published external reports (i.e. VAGO, IBAC) and corporate governance requirements, considering:

  • Business goals and strategy, the maturity of the internal control environment and key strategic and operational risks.
  • Cyclical coverage to provide assurance over core financial and operational processes with a consideration of internal audits concluded over the last three years.
  • Current business initiatives to ensure that the plan focuses on providing proactive assurance over risks associated with key changes to the business.
  • Industry insights over emerging risk areas.

Baw Baw Shire Council works on the precept that a strong internal control environment provides assurances to management that systems are in place to effectively manage in relation to:

  • finance and accounting
  • risk
  • legislative compliance
  • fraud
  • governance
  • performance
  • systems related to information management and security.

External audit

The Victorian Auditor-General is an independent officer of the Victorian Parliament and is responsible for providing assurance to Parliament and the Victorian community about how effectively public sector agencies are providing services and using public money.

The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) appoints an external auditor to audit Council’s financial statements in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and the Audit Act 1994. The objective of the external audit of financial statements is to determine whether, in the auditor's opinion, the statements show a true and fair view in all material respects of Council’s financial position, results of operations, and cash flows, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and the Local Government Act. 

Baw Baw Shire Council's current external auditor is RSD Audit. In addition to the duties outlined above, they also audit fraud, disaster recovery and compliance with financial policies.