RMA Newsletter - August 2015

RMA Newsletter - August 2015

Event Highlights

August is traditionally a busy month in the RMA calendar.  After a one or two week mid year break many of our members are back at work and consequently, attendance at our events spikes.

The August Dr Pat McConnell events in Sydney and Melbourne on People Risk have attracted high numbers of registrations. Similarly, the Bill Evans Westpac Economic Update this September was fully booked within 24 hours.

In September, Macquarie University risk expert Professor Elizabeth Sheedy will again generate large numbers in Sydney and Melbourne, as she is expected to give an update on her groundbreaking research on risk and corporate governance.

Senator Dastyari Q & A

One of the highlights of our events schedule this year was the special RMA Q & A with hard hitting NSW Senator Sam 'dasher' Dastyari. We thank NAB's Government Relations GM, Dallas McInerney for hosting and presiding over this event. We also thank the Senator for his candour and insight into our industry. His comments on credit card charges and financial advice delivery were especially of interest at this event.

Regulatory and political risks are truly on the risk management radar, and RMA will endeavour to bring these issues to members. It is worth repeating some of the feedback quotes from the Dastyari session:

  • "The topic and speaker kept me engaged";
  • "I liked the interactive nature of the QandA session as this allows audience participation";
  • "An excellent event. Great engagement by the speaker"; and
  • "It is rare to access people like the Senator so thank you for organising it."

A new President for RMA - 2015 AGM

The Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 11 August 2015 resulted in the election of new President, Catherine Thrum, Westpac. Catherine will certainly be a busy person during the next year as the RMA President. Catherine holds University qualifications in Business, is the mother of 3 wonderful children, and ran the City to Surf in 62 minutes. Her position in the Westpac Risk Team is Head of Credit Policy, Governance and Strategy. Catherine joined Westpac in 1993 and along the way has worked in both business and line roles including in Risk Strategy, Credit Policy and Risk Governance and in the structured asset-backed finance and debt capital markets businesses within the Institutional Bank.

Howard Silby our previous chair has led the RMA Board with distinction. During his tenure, RMA convened two quality CRO Events, revamped our website, entered the social media, convened special events for our new entrants and women in risk and has the member base in double digit terms. Thanks Howard it's been inspiring to be part of your team.

Current RMA Board member List

Changing of the Guard - Operational Risk Forum

Since its formal incorporation in the RMA network, the Operational Risk Forum has indeed been active and inclusive. It's quarterly meetings attract 20 participants from 10-12 institutions. Its agenda covers the full gamut of operational risk issues. It has produced two landmark documents on operational risk which have been sought after by local and offshore risk exponents.

The foundation chair and key driver of the Forum during its formative years, Tony Petkovski, will be moving into a new role at CBA heading up an Operational Risk Review Function and will step down from his RMA work. We thank Tony for his vision and drive over the many years and wish him well in his new role.

The current chair of the Forum, Oliver Leung from Westpac will also be stepping down following his move to Head of Regulatory Affairs at Westpac. Thank you too Oliver.

The new chair of this Forum will be Susan Mackenzie, Group Head of Operational Risk and Compliance & CRO St Andrews.


The key message here for budding risk professionals is this; never miss an opportunity to grow your career either within your institution or with RMA. Those who succeed can always point to 'going the extra mile', as going on the expanded journey brings new angles, better networks and superior knowledge.

Most importantly be a regular attender at our events and bring your colleagues, it'll be fun and well worth the effort.

Catherine Thrum

Richard Gilbert
Executive Director 


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