Comcare - Australian Government
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Senior management committees

For the purposes of the CAC Act, the CEO is the sole director of Comcare. The CEO is assisted in his corporate governance functions by Comcare’s executive team. The team consists of the CEO, Deputy CEO and General Managers, forming two committees.


This committee is a decision-making forum that meets monthly. The CEO, advised by the Executive, will oversee and make decisions on significant and strategic issues concerning:

  • overall business performance
  • conformance with federal laws
  • risk and assurance frameworks
  • organisational health, including emergent issues and resolve significant issues concerning competing organisational priorities
  • Comcare’s policies recommended by Internal Comcare forums
  • strategic environmental developments and stakeholder relationships
  • work health and safety, people, place and financial issues.

Executive Operational Forum

This committee is a decision-making forum that meets fortnightly and is responsible for the effective operation of Comcare. This committee monitors business performance and compliance to the 2015 Plan in terms of improving financial performance and ensuring financial integrity.

Audit Committee

The CEO of Comcare established the Comcare and Seacare Authority Audit Committee in compliance with section 32 of the CAC Act. The objective of the committee is to provide independent assurance and assistance to the CEO on the organisation’s risk, control and compliance framework, and its external accountability responsibilities.

The CEO of Comcare is responsible for the appointment of committee members. The Audit Committee consists of up to three members and not more than five independent members in total. Members are appointed for an initial period of two years after which they are eligible for extension or re-appointment.

From July 2010 to June 2011, Comcare’s Audit Committee comprised four members, including the Chairperson. Comcare’s Deputy CEO, Comcare’s Financial Officer, the internal audit provider (outsourced to Oakton) and the ANAO regularly attended Audit Committee meetings as observers.

Comcare acknowledges the contribution of former committee members Sean Hughes and Vanessa Fanning. A profile of each of the current committee members is provided below.

Claire HigginsClaire Higgins (Audit Committee Chairperson)

Claire Higgins has substantial governance, management, finance and accounting experience with major national and international corporations including BHP, OneSteel Limited and major Belgian corporation NV Bakaert. Claire is currently a Director of Manidis Roberts, Board Chairperson of the Victorian State Emergency Services, a Board Director of Ambulance Victoria, and Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Country Fire Authority. She is an active member of the Audit Committees of these organisations. Her previous memberships include Barwon Water, Barwon Health, Committee for Geelong, Barwon Health Foundation, and Victorian Health Service Management Innovation Council.

Claire holds a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Certified Practicing Accountant and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Graham-BashfordGraham Bashford

Graham Bashford is the Managing Director of Bashford Consulting, a company specialising in strategic advice and business development to both private sector and public sector organisations. Before this, Graham was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Centrelink for many years with responsibility for running its network of 26 000 employees, delivering $64 billion worth of benefits to 1.6 million customers annually. Graham has been a research officer, a technical assistant to service operations and quality control. He has also been a management consultant, a senior operational auditor, a principal project officer and an Executive Development Scheme officer.

Graham has worked for the NZ Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and has expertise in the government insurance sector. His contribution to the Audit Committee is from a government insurance operational perspective, having led the operational recovery of the ACC for two years. Graham is an independent Member of the Audit and Review Committee of the ACT Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. He also holds a Bachelor of Science Honours in Physical Metallurgy.

Geniere-AlpinGeniere Aplin

Geniere Aplin was appointed to the Audit Committee in January 2011. Ms Aplin was recently appointed to the role of General Manager, Workers Compensation Insurance (Operations) for the WorkCover Authority NSW. Geniere was formerly the Chairperson of the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW and was a director of the WorkCover Authority NSW. Geniere has extensive experience in legal, workers compensation and general insurance industries. She brings valuable insights regarding change management and strategic value-chain management. Geniere holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of NSW and a Bachelor of Laws, Queensland University of Technology.

Trevor-BarrengerTrevor Barrenger

Trevor has had extensive experience in the delivery of business solutions and technology systems in a number of global consulting organisations. This experience supports his ability to deliver solutions to meet business needs and customer service outcomes, while minimising business risks. Trevor is currently the General Manager of WorkCover Queensland’s Business Solutions division. Trevor is responsible for the determining and implementing the most appropriate, cost effective and practical methods for the delivery and maintenance of ICT solutions that address business needs. Trevor takes a keen focus quality assurance and governance, information privacy and security, and systems disaster recovery and business continuity.

Trevor holds a Bachelor of Arts, in Computing Studies and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Table 4: Attendance at Audit Committee meetings 2010–11

NamePosition in ComcareEligible to    attendAttended
Claire HigginsIndependent Chair of the Audit Committee55
Graham BashfordIndependent Member of the Audit Committee55
Trevor BarrengerIndependent Member of the Audit Committee44
Geniere AplinIndependent Member of the Audit Committee22
Sean HughesIndependent Member of the Audit Committee33
Vanessa FanningIndependent Member of the Audit Committee11