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Internal Audit & Risk

Our expert Risk, Insurance and Internal Audit team manages key governance and risk services for the Church and its agencies, such as schools, camps, AgeWell and Uniting.

Our Internal Audit team provides professional expertise to presbyteries and congregations to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities in relation to financial and non-financial risk management.

Reporting to the Synod’s Audit and Risk Committee, the role of Internal Audit is essentially to provide independent advice for key activities and processes across the Church.

Internal Audit provides insights and guidance to help ensure activities are conducted appropriately, effectively and efficiently and that related risks are minimised.

Differing from external audit, whose focus is primarily on the accuracy of the annual report and financial statements, internal audit provides insights and support across a range of areas important to the Church’s mission and operation.

Internal audit is a review activity, which seeks to work alongside the different Church councils to:

  • understand the strengths and weaknesses of processes and provide guidance and expertise to support improving such processes and activities while reducing risk.
  • ensure Church councils fulfil all relevant requirements.
  • develop, implement and oversee strong internal control practices.
  • establish a point of contact to support and educate the Church in internal controls, risk management and compliance.

Internal Audit program

An annual Internal Audit Plan is developed and approved by the Audit and Risk Committee and includes a number of internal audit projects across presbyteries and congregations.

The Internal Audit team will contact relevant stakeholders to advise of upcoming internal audit projects in the months preceding the planned activity and will seek to identify a suitable time to undertake the review.

Generally, there are four key steps of an internal audit process, as detailed below:


  • Development of scope document
  • Discussion of scope with key stakeholders
  • Confirming audit timing


  • Review of information and documentation
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Process walkthroughs
  • Controls testing


  • Discussing initial findings with key stakeholders
  • Drafting and finalising findings and recommendations


  • Monitoring implementation of agreed actions
  • Reporting on implementation to Audit and Risk Committee

Generally, the scope of an internal audit at a presbytery or congregation will consider key activities in relation to:

  • Compliance
  • Financial management
  • Governance
  • Ministry management
  • OH&S
  • Trust and bequest management


Tamika McLaren
Senior Advisor – Audit and Risk Management
03 9116 1902
[email protected]

Ellena Graham
Internal Audit Advisor
03 9116 1901
[email protected]

Our Risk Management team is responsible for supporting all areas of the Church in identifying, assessing and helping to manage key risks. It works with other Synod teams and church councils and its scope includes a wide range of areas, such as:

  • Environment
  • Finance and property
  • IT/cybersecurity
  • Legal/compliance
  • Missional/operational
  • People/vulnerable people
  • Reputational

Risk management generally considers the following questions:

  • What could prevent objectives?
  • What could make the above happen?
  • If something did go wrong, how bad could it be?
  • What is being done or could be done to prevent things going wrong, or to minimise the impact when they go wrong?

We recognise effective risk management across all church councils is a key contributor towards achieving our missional and operational objectives and mitigating unwanted negative events.

Effective risk management supports sustainability and safeguards mission, people, reputation, operations, and finances; ultimately supporting the ongoing pursuit of our vision and mission.

To support presbyteries and congregations in their risk management activities, a risk management framework has been prepared that is available for presbyteries and congregations.

Fire safety

To ensure you are properly prepared for the fire season we recommend you download and complete the CFA Bushfire Survival Guide and the CCI Surviving Bushfire Checklist.

For support on emergency preparation and management, contact our Synod Safety Officer.


General enquiries: [email protected]

Tamika McLaren
Senior Advisor – Audit and Risk Management
03 9116 1902
[email protected]

Elnura Dulakovic
Synod Safety Officer
03 9116 1949
[email protected]


Internal Audit

Risk Management