Institute of Internal Auditors-Australia appoints Sandra Birkensleigh as Chair of the Financial Services Committee

by Tony Rasman | Aug 13, 2019

The Institute of Internal Auditors-Australia (IIA-Australia) has appointed Ms Sandra Birkensleigh to the Chair of its newly created Financial Services Committee, which will develop best practice internal audit guidance for the financial services sector.

IIA-Australia Chief Executive Officer Mr Peter Jones said “It’s a critical role and I am delighted Sandra Birkensleigh has accepted. Ms Birkensleigh brings a wealth of internal audit experience to the role. The Chair is required to drive the creation of our own guide, which we expect the financial services sector to adopt.”

He said the UK developed its model in conjunction with the finance industry and regulators, after a series of financial sector scandals and Parliamentary enquiries.

“The UK model ‘Effective Internal Audit in the Financial Services Sector’ (The Code) provides the Committee with a good starting position. We have to apply the nuances of the Australian financial services sector to the Guide, if it’s to have relevance and acceptance in this market.”

“After the Hayne Royal Commission, it is clear that governance frameworks need to be improved, and the adoption of an internal audit guide is a vital step in that direction”, he added.

He said that the Institute had discussed the model with regulators ASIC and APRA, and had their support.

“The Internal Audit Guide will be voluntary, but if the UK is any example, then the financial services sector will embrace it as it is designed to improve governance frameworks”, he said

Mr Jones said Sandra was formerly a partner with PwC in their Governance, Risk and Compliance practice. Her current appointments as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the audit committees includes Auswide Bank Limited, Horizon Oil Limited, MLC (Insurance) Limited, National Disability Insurance Agency, and 7-11 Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries, and an independent member on the audit committee of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Members of the committee to be appointed are Ms Nicola Rimmer-Hollyman – former President of Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (UK) and now Head of Audit for AMP Bank, Wealth Management and New Zealand, Jon Tyers, Head of Internal Audit MLC Life Insurance, Amanda Morgan ,Chief Audit Officer, Rabobank Australia & New Zealand, Richard Knox, Head of Professional Practices, Macquarie Group, and Professor Elizabeth Sheedy, Applied Finance Centre, Macquarie University.

The next step is the first meeting in September for the Committee to begin developing the Guide.

The Guide is expected to be completed early 2020 following an exposure period for industry to comment.

For further information contact: Tony Rasman 0418 208 770 or

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