ACT Chapter

ACT Chapter News

Message from the Chapter Chair

The ACT Chapter Council’s role is to provide a local forum for ACT members of the Institute of Internal Auditors – Australia (IIA-Australia). We are the primary mechanism for providing ACT members the opportunity to meet as a group and for this group to provide input into the IIA-Australia Board and National Office on member needs and issues. 

As the council in the heart of the nation’s capital, our councillors come from both private and government organisations. We work to promote the profession, provide member services that matter to you, and arrange events and education for ACT members. We organise monthly member meetings on relevant topics, manage a mentoring program, organise events for our Young IIA cohort, contribute to the Commonwealth CAE Forum and APS Internal Audit Community of Practice, and help organise the Public Sector Internal Audit Conference held in Canberra each year. 

 As Chair of the ACT Chapter Council, I encourage you to make the most of your IIA-Australia membership, and engage with the profession through participation in its many activities. Council members are dedicated to serving ACT members so please come and talk to us when you see us – we want to hear from you. Our council meetings have an open door policy for members, so if you are interested in learning more about the council, helping informally, or joining the council we look forward to hearing from you.


Suggestions for Member Meeting Topics
The Chapter Council is more than happy to take your suggestions on possible Member Meeting topics and/or speakers. They are your meetings after all! Please email us  with any suggestions.

Mentoring Program

The IIA-Australia ACT Chapter Council Mentoring Program is committed to providing valuable advice and insights to internal auditors at all stages of their careers. We match mentees with suitable mentors and support them in their relationship during the term of the program. If you would like to be mentored and/or provide mentoring - further information and details are available in the Charter

Favourite Links

Here are some of the Chapter Council’s favourite sources of news and discussion affecting the profession. 

LinkedIn Groups


ACT Chapter Councillor Bios

Chair: Narelle Sheppard PFIIA CIA CGAP CRMA CPA

Narelle is an internal audit professional with over 25 years’ experience in the public and private sectors. Narelle began her career in professional services firms, before moving into federal government and working in entities including the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Defence, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science where she was Chief Internal Auditor. Narelle is currently a senior manager at Synergy Group Australia. 

Did you know Narelle is an artist? She works in watercolour and acrylic and has sold a number of paintings through exhibits over the years. 


Vice Chair: TBC

Chris Puschak PMIIA CIA CGAP
Chris Puschak is the Principal for Governance & Assurance with Synergy 360 Consulting, a boutique consultancy providing support to major Federal Government projects, including departments and vendors in the areas of risk management, project assurance and project governance. Chris joined the IIA in 2004 and has been a Chapter Council Member from 2008-2014 and 2016 to the present.  Chris regularly delivers webinars for the Graduate Certificate in Internal Auditing program and several training courses on behalf of the IIA.
Did you know: Outside of the office, Chris is often using his risk management skills in very different surroundings, leading Scouts aged 8-18 through caves, canyons and other mountainous areas, as an active Guide for the ACT Scouts Rock Team, and a Venturer Leader with the Birralee Scout Group. 

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Experienced audit, governance and risk professional, focussing on government agencies. Demonstrated record of achievement providing timely, accurate, appropriate and quality policy advice to achieve government objectives and priorities, both domestically and overseas. Russell has extensive experience working with senior government executives and stakeholder groups, and a deep understanding of the importance of strong governance, accountability, sound internal control environments and program management. 

Previously the Chief Audit Executive – Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, currently Manager, Governance - Australian Research Council, a graduate of both Macquarie University and the Australian Institute of Company Directors as well as being a Fellow of the Institute of Internal Auditors (Australia), Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) and the Governance Institute of Australia.

Did you know: Russell is also Non-Executive Director - Music For Canberra (ACT), ACT Councillor - the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a part-time PADI Dive Master.   

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Alissa is the Canberra Protiviti Internal Audit Lead. Alissa is the Vice Chair of the ANU Young Alumni Council. Alissa is an internal audit and risk and compliance specialist. Alissa has led the provision of advisory services to over forty entities, including federal and local government, and the financial services industry.  

Alissa has a Master of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Prior to this Alissa graduated with a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the Australian National University. Alissa also has her Advanced 2 Vocational Qualification in Classical Ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance. Alissa has been admitted as a lawyer in the ACT Supreme Court, is a PRINCE2 Practitioner and her work on Corporate Governance has been published.

Did you know: Alissa’s dog Lily loves to fundraise for the RSPCA and Lily is amazing at the Million Paws Walk (her human Alissa also does ok at the walk). 


Contact Us

For more information about the ACT Chapter Council and how to get involved, contact:
Narelle Sheppard  
Chair, ACT Chapter Council