Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) is an independent body established in accordance with the Standing Directions 2018 under the Financial Management Act 1994. The ARC is an independent advisory committee reporting directly to the Secretary.  The Secretary appoints all committee members based on their qualifications and experience to ensure that the committee can adequately discharge its duties. The Chief Finance Officer and the Chief Audit Officer attend all ARC meetings. The ARC meets six to seven times a year as determined by the Chair.

The ARC provides the Secretary with independent assurance on the department’s:

  • financial and performance reporting
  • risk oversight and management
  • internal control systems
  • legislative and policy compliance.


The ARC comprises three independent members (including an independent Chair) and two internal members.

Peter Lewinsky (Chair)

Peter Lewinsky is the Chair of the department's ARC since January 2022. He is also an independent member and the Deputy Chair of the department’s Integrity Committee.

Peter has an extensive experience with a wide range of boards in the ASX listed, private, not for profit and government sectors. Peter is currently the Chair of several government audit and risk committees including the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Ambulance Victoria, Essential Services Commission, and the Environment, Planning, and Strategic Development Directorate (ACT).

Peter is a fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australia, and Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Deirdre Blythe

Deirdre joined the ARC as an independent member in December 2023.

Deirdre's career spans over 30 years in senior executive and non-executive roles across the commercial, government, and not-for-profit sectors. Having served as the Chief Operating Officer at Arts Centre Melbourne for eight years until August 2023, she provided enterprise leadership through both significant growth and highly challenging periods. She led a broad range of functions including finance, IT and digital, data and insights, risk management and compliance, legal and governance, and facilities management and development in a period of transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

Deirdre is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA). Currently serving as a Non-Executive Director at Cell Therapies Pty Ltd, she contributes to the growth of this pioneering biotechnology company. Deirdre has recently completed her term as a Non-Executive Director at the public health service Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she chaired the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Carole Alt

Carole joined the ARC as an independent member in December 2023.

Carole is a Director of GreenFleet and past director of Wimmera Health Care Group and Women in Film and Television Victoria where she was Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and Vice President respectively.  She is a Governance Consultant and presents courses for the Governance Institute of Australia on governance, risk and director duties.  She has worked with large and small organisations including ANZ Banking Group, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and Cancer Trials Australia.

Carole is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and Chartered Governance Institute and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  She holds qualifications in governance, business, education and health.

Nanette Fitzgerald

Nanette is the member of the department's ARC since 2019.

Nanette is the Associate Deputy Secretary of Industry Development and Manufacturing Sovereignty within the department and is responsible for the development and implementation of policy, strategies and initiatives to drive economic growth through local investment, jobs, employment, inclusion and trade outcomes. Nanette also oversees the government’s Local Jobs First Policy.

Prior to this Nanette was responsible for the department's response to the closure of the automotive industry and support to industry through the volatility of gas and electricity prices.

Nanette has worked across government in multiple agencies including land and emergency management roles within Parks Victoria and the State Control Centre.

Max Coffman

Max Coffman is the member of the department's ARC since December 2023.

Max is currently serving as the Deputy CEO of Creative Victoria. Max has held leadership roles in planning and infrastructure portfolios for the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority which delivers the Metro Tunnel and other transport megaprojects.

Originally from the United States, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, Washington, DC and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University, Oregon. Max is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Page last updated: 19 January 2024