VBA Board

The VBA Board was established on 1 July 2013 under section 200 of the Building Act 1993.

A board of commissioners is responsible for the governance and strategic management of the VBA to ensure its effectiveness as a regulator.

The key responsibilities of the Board include:

  • setting the VBA’s direction and priorities
  • establishing performance criteria and monitoring performance against those criteria
  • overseeing delivery of the VBA’s objectives and functions
  • establishing appropriate and effective financial governance and oversight arrangements, including the regular review of the effectiveness of those arrangements
  • overseeing the VBA’s systems for internal control, risk management, auditing and legal compliance
  • selecting and appointing the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • establishing strategic policies for the VBA, subject to any delegation of this responsibility to the CEO.

Commissioners are appointed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Minister for Planning. For information about the terms of appointment for VBA board members, visit Public Board Appointments Victoria.

The Board meets at least six times each year. The CEO, Sue Eddy, attends all meetings of the Board.

The Board is made up of the following Commissioners:

Michelle McLean is an experienced Board Director and an expert in finance, governance and people management.

She is Deputy Chair of the Country Fire Authority and Chair of its Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, and currently serves as a non-executive Director on the boards of East Gippsland Water and FrontierSI.

From 1995 to 2018, Ms McLean was an executive and managing partner of Cornwall Stodart Lawyers, where she held several roles, including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Ms McLean is a life member of the Australian Legal Practice Management Association, where she served as national president from 2002 to 2005.

She also served on the executive council of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and as a Board member of the Mercy Health Foundation.

Justin Madden is a Senior Consultant at Arup, working in the areas of strategic project planning and infrastructure development across Australasia, and the South East Asian region.

His career includes 15 years in the Victorian State Parliament, having held seven Ministerial portfolios within successive Victorian Labor Governments across 11 years including as Minister for Planning from 2006 to 2010. He retired from the Parliament in 2014.

He is also a registered Architect who operated his own practice prior to entering Parliament.

Carmel Coate is a longstanding and highly respected plumbing and fire protection industry leader, who was appointed a Commissioner of the VBA Board in November 2017.

Carmel has extensive experience in the plumbing sector, having been National Executive Director of the National Fire Industry Association for 30 years and a member of the Plumbing Advisory Council for the past 16 years.

With strong experience in project leadership and team management, business planning and systems implementation, her extensive CV sets out a range of positions on boards, committees and advisory groups in the plumbing, fire protection and industry training sectors. Carmel is the 2018 incoming Chair of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre. She is also Chair of Fire Industry Training Ltd, an industry-owned training organisation, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Yvonne von Hartel is a Founding Principal of the award-winning national architectural and urban design practice peckvonhartel. She is a member of the La Trobe University Council and Deputy Chair of the Infrastructure and Estates Planning Committee; a Trustee of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Chair of the Capital Works Committee; a Member of University of Woollongong SMART Infrastructure Advisory Council; a Board Member of the Queen Victoria Market Pty Ltd and a Member of the Audit and Risk Committee and a Board Member of the Land Development Agency of the ACT Government. She is also the Chair of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee.

Yvonne is also a member of a number of Design Advisory Panels, including the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct; Sydney Metro; The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council; Capital Metro Agency; WestConnex and The Land Development Agency of the ACT Government.

In 2007, Yvonne was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for services to architecture, design and building, to the promotion of women in business and to the community.

Kelly Humphreys is a non-executive director and accomplished financial services and risk management professional with executive experience across the public and private sectors in Australia and New Zealand. She has held the roles of Chairman and Company Secretary and is a current director of the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service and Latrobe Health Services.

Kelly has held senior executive roles, including with Aon, Allianz and Liberty Financial. As General Manager – Government with the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority she led the delivery of risk services and advice to the Victorian public sector.

Kelly holds a Master of Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ross Kennedy is a highly respected senior executive and corporate consultant with strong leadership skills, a deep understanding of how to align internal and external business stakeholders to achieve strategic goals, and a trusted governance professional.

Ross is currently principal of Milvian Bridge Pty Ltd, a boutique management consultancy working with dynamic businesses in technology, property and resources. Prior to this, he worked as a senior executive helping to transform St Barbara Limited from a small exploration group into a multi-national minerals producer with operations in Australia and the South Pacific region. In this role, his executive responsibilities included corporate governance and compliance, management of legal affairs, land and indigenous relations, investor and government relations, and risk management.

Ross is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute and a Chartered Accountant. Outside of business, he is a voluntary Director of a medical science research charity and is actively involved in a number of community groups.

Dr Julia Cornwell McKean brings more than twenty years of experience in policy, complaint-handling, investigations, regulation and government.

Julia started her regulatory career at the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in the late 1990s.  For many years Julia was responsible for enforcing spam and telemarketing laws at the Australian Communications and Media Authority.  In this capacity Julia chaired a number of international committees, including at the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum.  In 2015 Julia joined the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to set up and run its cyberbullying complaints scheme for children, which involved close collaboration with global social media providers.

Since mid-2017 Julia has been working as a consultant providing professional advisory services to government and NGOs with a focus on probity, policy review and audit.  More recently, Julia has been providing coaching and mentoring services and delivering training workshops to government and corporate clients.

Julia is also a member of the Merit Protection Boards, an independent statutory body established to hear grievances, appeals and reviews from employees of the Department of Education and Training.

Anna Skreiner is a compliance professional with a background in financial services and regulation. Anna has extensive legal practice and government experience and has held senior roles at MinterEllison, ANZ Banking Group Limited and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, where she managed a wide range of regulatory investigations, outcomes and court proceedings.

Anna's experience as a non-executive director spans government and not-for-profit organisations in the Health and Arts sectors. Anna is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute.

Sam has 40 years’ experience in the Melbourne metropolitan water industry having held numerous senior management positions associated with asset management, growth planning (incorporating Integrated Water Management), asset operations, land and sub divisional development and corporate governance.

He has served on a number of not-for-profit boards supporting regional growth.

He holds Civil Engineering qualifications, a Post Grad in Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) assists the Board to fulfil its governance and oversight responsibilities by independently reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of the VBA’s systems and controls for financial management, performance and sustainability, including risk management.

The ARC’s key responsibilities are to:

  • review and oversee internal audit, including strategic and annual internal audit planning, reviewing internal audit reports, advising on the appointment of the internal auditor and meeting with the internal auditor
  • review financial management and compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including reviewing annual financial statements and the report of operations
  • maintain effective communication with external auditors, considering recommendations made by internal and external auditors, and reviewing the implementation of actions to resolve issues raised
  • review and oversee the effective operation of the risk management framework.

Members of the Audit and Risk Committee are appointed by the Board, usually for a three-year term, and are subject to the Committee’s charter.

Meetings are held quarterly and at any other time on request of a Committee member or the internal or external auditor.

People and Culture Committee

The People and Culture Committee assists the VBA Board to fulfil its governance and oversight responsibilities by:

  • ensuring compliance with the Victorian Government Public Entity Executive Remuneration (GPEER) Policy
  • assisting the Board in determining policy and practice for executive remuneration and individual remuneration packages for executives, taking account of Victorian GPEER rules and guidance
  • reviewing and advising the Board regarding the CEO’s remuneration package
  • reviewing the CEO’s performance and providing regular feedback to the CEO through the Chief Commissioner
  • reviewing and supporting the CEO’s management of executive performance across the VBA
  • reviewing and supporting the CEO’s monitoring of executive development and succession planning, including the identification and development of future leaders
  • monitoring development and maintenance of a positive culture and adherence to shared values, including in relation to customer service, professional and determined regulation, continuous learning and purposeful collaboration within and outside the VBA.

Research and Innovation Committee

The Research and Innovation Committee assists the Board with conducting, promoting and reporting research relating to the regulation of the building and plumbing industries in Victoria by:

  • recommending to the Board the VBA’s annual research priorities and research budget
  • overseeing development of the VBA’s research capability and development, as well as refinement of the VBA’s ongoing research program
  • endorsing and recommending to the Board research projects requiring expenditure from the research budget over $25,000 and any research partnerships/sponsorships with external research bodies
  • ensuring the Board is kept informed of research projects and partnerships, findings, outcomes and relevant developments that bear on the VBA’s strategic objectives, strategic risks and corporate reputation
  • monitoring and examining research project progress and approach at quarterly Committee meetings
  • reviewing draft research reports and communications strategies as they are produced, and providing feedback to management where required
  • maintaining a focus on innovation, including in emerging technologies, and providing a point of reference to and from VBA management’s Innovation Sub-Committee.

Meeting attendance during 2019–20

Name Meetings attended Maximum possible
Dr Owen Donald
Chair (until 31 January 2020)
Retired 31 January 2020
5 5
Justin Madden AM
Chair (from 1 February 2020)
9 9
Carmel Coate 8 9
Kelly Humphreys 9 9
Ross Kennedy
Appointed 1 March 2020
3 3
Natalie MacDonald
Appointed 1 October 2019
5 6
Julia Cornwell McKean
Appointed 1 March 2020
3 3
Anna Skreiner
Appointed 1 March 2020
3 3
Sam Torre
Appointed 1 March 2020
3 3
Yvonne von Hartel AM 8 9
Dr Lynne Williams AM
Retired 29 February 2020
6 6
Name Meetings attended Maximum possible
Dr Owen Donald 3 5
Kelly Humphreys
Chair (from 1 March 2020)
5 5
Dr Lynne Williams AM
Chair (until 29 February 2020)
Retired 29 February 2020
3 5
Julia Cornwell McKean 2 2
Anna Skreiner 1 2
Ross Kennedy 2 2
Dianne Azoor-Hughes1
Resigned April 2020
4 4
  1. In accordance with the Standing Directions 2018 Guidance, an independent member of an Audit Committee is not involved in the day-to-day management of the agency and may be sourced from non-executive directors of the Board.
Name Meetings attended Maximum possible
Justin Madden
2 2
Dr Owen Donald 2 2
Yvonne von Hartel AM 2 2
Name Meetings attended Maximum possible
Dr Owen Donald 2 4
Yvonne von Hartel AM 4 4
Carmel Coate
4 4
Kelly Humphreys 4 4
Natalie MacDonald 1 3