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Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee

The Council of AFTRS established the Finance, Audit and Risk Management (FARM) Committee in compliance with section 45 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and section 17 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

The main objective of the FARM Committee is to assist the Council to perform the following functions for AFTRS:

  • Review the appropriateness of Council’s:
    • Financial reporting;
    • Performance reporting;
    • System of risk oversight; and
    • System of internal control;
  • Provide a forum for communication between the Council, senior management and the internal and external auditors;
  • Consider other matters, as referred to the FARM Committee by Council.

The Committee convened four meetings in 2019–20:

  • 2 September 2019
  • 29 November 2019
  • 21 February 2020
  • 25 June 2020.

Duties and Responsibilities

The FARM Committee may consider any matters relating to AFTRS’ financial affairs and risk management.

The FARM Committee duties include:

Financial Reporting

  • to examine the Annual Report before submission to Council, focusing particularly on:
    • Any changes in accounting policies and practices;
    • Areas where significant judgement is required, such as provisions or contingent liabilities;
    • Significant adjustments resulting from the audit;
    • Compliance with accounting standards;
    • Compliance with Government and legal requirements; and
    • Reports prepared by management for release to the stakeholders;
  • to provide any other advice to the accountable authority about the accountable authority’s obligations under the PGPA Act and other relevant legislation;

Performance reporting

  • to satisfy itself that AFTRS has an appropriate performance reporting framework linked to its objectives and outcomes;

System of risk oversight

  • to review the process for identifying major risks to which AFTRS may be exposed;
  • to review all significant transactions that do not form part of AFTRS’ normal business;
  • to review any current and pending litigation which could pose a significant financial risk to AFTRS;
  • to consider significant cases of employee and student conflict, misconduct or fraud;
  • to evaluate AFTRS’ exposure to fraud;
  • to consider the internal audit program and ensure the internal audit function is adequately resourced and has appropriate standing within AFTRS;
  • to promote co-ordination between management and internal and external auditors;
  • to review any significant matters reported by the internal auditors and ensure management’s response is adequate;
  • to ensure the internal auditors are independent of the activities they audit;
  • to discuss with the external auditor the audit’s nature and scope before it commences;
  • to discuss issues and/or reservations arising from the interim and final audits;
  • to consider the external auditor’s management letter and management’s response;
  • to request and review special audits or investigations as may be necessary;

System of internal control

  • to verify that the internal control systems are adequate and functioning effectively;
  • to discuss and review with management its philosophy with respect to business ethics, corporate conduct, the AFTRS Code of Conduct and values;
  • to review with management or the internal auditors or both the philosophy with respect to controlling the AFTRS’ assets and information systems, the staffing of the key functions and the plans for enhancement of operations; and
  • to consider compliance with any regulatory or statutory requirements.

Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee Charter

FARM Committee Charter link


The FARM Committee consists of up to five members but no less than three members, who have appropriate qualifications, knowledge, skills, or experience to assist the Committee to perform its functions.

The FARM Committee may include Council members (excluding the Chair of Council and the CEO as the ex officio Council member), AFTRS’ officers and employees (excluding the CEO and CFO) and independent members as may be determined by Council from time to time.

The majority of the FARM Committee members must not be AFTRS’ employees.

The Chief Executive Officer, Head of Strategy and Governance, Company Secretary, Director of Finance and Technology, Head of Financial Services, and Director of School Resources have a standing invitation to attend FARM Committee meetings as observers. The internal and external auditors are also in attendance.

Details of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee during the reporting period Current Report Period (2019–20)

Member name

Membership type

Qualifications, knowledge, skills, or experience


Number of meetings attended/total number of meetings applicable to term

Total annual remuneration

Ms Carole Campbell

Council member of the FARM Committee

Bachelor of Economics (Macquarie University)

Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA)

Graduate Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)

Ms Campbell is an experienced Non- Executive Director, CFO, and corporate adviser with over 30 years’ experience in a range of industries including professional services, financial services, media, mining, and industrial services.

Ms Campbell is currently a Non-Executive Director of:

  • FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL);
  • IVE Group Limited (ASX: IGL);
  • Southern Cross media Group Limited (ASX: SXL); and
  • The Sydney Film Festival

Third term:

1 July 2019 – 4 April 2021

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Mr David Sturgiss

Independent member of the FARM Committee

Bachelor of Commerce UNSW Australia

Mr Sturgiss is a Non-Executive Director and Chartered Accountant working in the Higher Education sector with over 40 years’ experience. Mr Sturgiss is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, an Associate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Certified Finance & Treasury Professional.

Mr Sturgiss is currently:

  • University of Canberra: Council Member, Finance Committee Chair, Investment Committee Chair and Campus Development Board member;
  • The Social Research Centre Pty Ltd: Director;
  • ANU Enterprises Pty Ltd, Audit: Committee member; and
  • Corporate Trustee AMTT Ltd: Director and Finance Committee Chair.

First term:

12 October 2018 – 11 October 2021

4 / 4


Mr Don Cross

Independent member of the FARM Committee

Bachelor of Arts in Accounting University of Canberra

Master of Business Administration University of Canberra

Mr Cross was a senior partner at KPMG and a lead partner for KPMG’s key strategic government accounts. Mr Cross has experience in government program delivery and reform, financial statement audit and internal audit for policy, regulatory and service delivery agencies. Mr Cross holds professional memberships in accounting, fraud control, business, and auditing and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Certified Practicing Accountant.

Mr Cross is currently:

  • DJX Advisory: Director;
  • Department of the Treasury: Audit Committee Chair;
  • Department of Home Affairs: Audit Committee Member;
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: Audit Committee Member;
  • Australian Fisheries Management Authority: Audit Committee member; and
  • Organ Transplant Authority: Audit Committee member.

First term:

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2022

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Immediate past members (2019–20)

Ms Annabelle Herd

  • Council member of the FARM Committee
  • Term: 15 May 2019 – 2 July 2019
  • Interim member until new FARM Committee member could commence
  • Meeting attendance (2019–20): Nil meetings attended in reporting period/Nil meetings applicable to term in the reporting period