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Independent non-executive director and chair, originally a practising accountant

Key strengths include financial and non-financial external reporting, including strategic thinking, risk management, understanding operational drivers and corporate governance issues

Merran has considerable experience in the work of audit, risk and compliance committees

She has a particular interest in aligning performance management with corporate strategy

Industry experience includes financial and professional services, insurance, superannuation, health, education, contract management and utilities


B. Com. (Hons.), FCPA, FCA, MBA, FAICD, FFin

Career Summary

Merran is an experienced, independent non-executive director and chair with expertise in finance, audit, risk, and compliance. She has a strong focus on corporate governance including financial and non-financial external reporting to include strategy and risk management and aligning performance management with strategy. Merran has worked with numerous types of organisations, including member based and those delivering public interest outcomes.

In CPA Australia, Merran has worked closely with the President and Board in turnaround of governance, brand and reputation, including new CEO appointment, significant member consultation and strategy development. Board focus has moved to monitoring and measuring delivery of digital transformation strategy and risk management, overseeing major reinvestment to optimise member value and benefits and to effect cultural change and capability uplift. She is involved in a significant ongoing Board driven member engagement program.

Merran is the former Chairman and CEO of the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) and Member of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). These organisations develop auditing standards in the public interest to assist maintaining confidence in capital markets and the integrity of financial and external reporting, whilst balancing potentially differing stakeholder views. In these roles, she led numerous round tables and individual meetings on many topics both in Australia and internationally to gain stakeholder input on both domestic and international policy matters and technical issues. At IAASB Merran chaired the Integrated Reporting Working Group (IRWG) that issued consultation papers internationally on credibility and trust, including assurance.

She was also a Member of the IAASB Innovation Working Group charged with identifying emerging international issues requiring board attention that resulted in the formation of the IRWG and the Data Analytics Working Group.

Merran gained experience in resolving customer complaints and alternative dispute resolution as the inaugural Chairman of the Public Transport Ombudsman and as a Commissioner at the Taxi Services Commission in Victoria.

She has undertaken significant complex engagement including industry, customer, community and government liaison with members/stakeholders influencing policy and strategy in a number of large mutual organisations, including CPA Australia, Cuscal, Superpartners, Taxi Services Commission, RACV and the Public Transport Ombudsman.

Merran has developed a strong interest in disruptive technology and business models and potential impacts of digitisation transformation on existing business. A fact finding visit to Silicon Valley in 2016 developed her understanding of the critical role of the digitisation strategy delivering customer and member benefits.

She previously spent over 20 years in public practice. Her industry experience includes financial and professional services; insurance; superannuation; health; education; contract management, utilities and major infrastructure projects, including the water industry. Merran is an experienced executive coach and has worked in various listed companies.


Current Board Appointments

CPA Australia Ltd, Director & Deputy President from October, 2017

RACV Limited and subsidiaries, Director since 2008

Melbourne Water Corporation, Director & Deputy Chair since 2015

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood,  Director  since February 2020

CareSuper,  Director  since April 2020

TarraWarra Museum of Art Ltd, Honorary Director since 2016

Qualifications and Awards

Professor of Practice at the School of Accounting, UNSW Business School 2019

Fellow, CPA Australia 2011

Meritorious Service Award, Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2007

Australian Institute of Company Directors – FAICD, Residential Program 2004

Melbourne University M.B.A., 2000

Member Institute of Chartered Accountants 1979, Fellow 1991

Melbourne University B Com. (Hons.) 1975


Employment History

2004–2017 Chairman and CEO, Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) for Australia

2011–2016 Member, New York based International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)

1997 Independent Company Director

1989–1996 Partner in Charge: Business Services Division of BDO Melbourne

1987 Appointed Partner, BDO

1976–1987 Various positions with BDO (formerly Parkhill Lithgow & Gibson)


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