Meet the team

Photo of Rue Maharaj - Manager, Information Systems AuditRue Maharaj

Job title: Manager, Information Systems Audit

What I do

I manage and conduct IT controls and risk-based engagements as part of VAGO’s financial audits and targeted performance audits. I’m also the subject matter expert and technical lead for IT security and technology within our group—in this role, I advise on special projects and initiatives, such as VAGO's better practice guide on information and communications technology controls.

About me

Originally from South Africa, I completed my undergraduate degree and then moved to New Zealand where I did my postgraduate studies in IT. After progressing my career in New Zealand, I moved to Australia in 2009. I'm also a certified information security manager (CISM), certified information systems auditor (CISA) and ITIL practitioner.

After a diverse IT career in a ‘Big 4’ professional services and financial services firm, I looked for opportunities in the public sector—something I’m passionate about. This role at VAGO was a great opportunity to consult across Victorian Government agencies and help progress the improvements we all hope for (the ‘someone should do something’ driver!).

As much as I love being a cybersecurity-enthused ‘IT geek’, I also love my life outside of work. My passions include travel (I make at least one big trip every year), cancer support and awareness, animals, scuba-diving, skiing, comedy clubs, motor sports and rugby.

What Rue’s colleagues say about him

He’s an ungeeky IT geek with a lively sense of humour. He loves the human dynamics in a team, harnessing diverse skillsets for an outcome and celebrating our work and life achievements.

 

Photo of Katrina Rogers - Senior Manager, Performance AuditKatrina Rogers

Job title: Senior Manager, Performance Audit

What I do

I review the performance of a range of public sector functions, from prisons to public transport. I look at things like cost-effectiveness, the quality of services, governance and accountability, and a range of other important factors.

About me

I joined VAGO because I believed that the government should be accountable for providing the best possible services to the community. I was keen to broaden my experience and knowledge of different public sector agencies, and I wanted to learn more about how government functions. After reading some of the VAGO performance audit reports, I thought it would be a great way to add some value to the public service.

Prior to VAGO, I worked on a program in the disability sector which focused on increasing the safety of clients in residential care. Before that, I worked in various health, safety and wellbeing roles and human resources more broadly, in both the public and private sector.

What Katrina’s colleagues say about her

She’s interesting and engaged, always up for a lively debate, and willing to challenge conventional wisdom—and we are better for it. She has been a great addition to the office! She’s not only great to work with in a team, but she has enthusiastically taken up projects outside of audit work—in particular contributions to our Business Improvement Projects and efforts in coordinating VAGOs Social Club events.

 

Photo of Zoe Parer-Cook - Analyst, Performance AuditZoe Parer-Cook

Job title: Analyst, Performance Audit

What I do

I work in performance audit, looking at how well government agencies are implementing particular policies or programs and providing advice on how they can improve this. I have been lucky enough to work on some really interesting audits in the justice and environment sectors—I love the variety of subject areas you get to work in as an auditor.

About me

I did an internship at VAGO as part of my Masters. I really enjoyed the performance audit I was placed on, which looked at the regulation of the gambling and liquor industry. The team was really fun and supportive, so I decided to apply for a position at VAGO. This is my first professional job after university. Before auditing I worked in a cafe and bar, and as a swimming instructor. I am obsessed with podcasts including Freakanomics and Planet Money. I have a border collie called Storm who I love more than anything. In my spare time I enjoy hiking and baking.

What Zoe’s colleagues say about her

Zoe is smart, motivated and willing to be challenged, which makes coming to work and working together easy and fun. We can sum up our time working with Zoe in one word: fun. Zoe is a supportive team member who you can share a joke with and also talk through audit findings.

 

Christopher WongPhoto of Christopher Wong - Senior Manager, Financial Audit

Job title: Senior Manager, Financial Audit

What I do

As part of financial audit, I manage teams that conduct the audits of financial statements of public sector entities, as required by the Audit Act 1994. My main responsibilities are to ensure that the quality of the audit work meets the requirements of the Australian Auditing Standards, ensure that the audit is done within the budgeted costs, and keep my team motivated and the client happy.

About me

I originally hail from Singapore and came to Melbourne for my tertiary education. My family liked it here a bit too much and we stuck around. I am a fourth-generation accountant. Prior to VAGO I was at EY for six years where I was involved in audits of banks, insurers and superannuation funds. I joined VAGO in search of a better work–life balance and a sense of purpose, and I have found both. This may sound crazy, but I enjoy what I do—financial audit is one of the rare accounting-related career options that doesn’t tie you down to a fixed location and exposes you to a wide variety of industries and clients. Every day has something different to offer. I also get much satisfaction knowing I play a part in keeping the public sector accountable.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids. I am also an avid recreational ultra-distance trail runner, and on most weekends I can be found in the outdoors, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and suburbs.

What Christopher’s colleagues say about him

Chris is calm, respectful, a leader, smart, meticulous, knowledgeable, patient and approachable.

 

Sally BaskoroPhoto of Sally Baskoro - Auditor, Financial Audit

Job title: Auditor, Financial Audit

What I do

I am a financial auditor within the education sector. As financial auditors, we work in a team and our main goal is to provide assurance that public sector agencies’ financial statements are not materially misstated (or, in other words, that the public can trust what the financial statements say).

About me

Auditing wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind when I finished high school. I always wanted to be an architect so I could design and build my own dream house. However, given my poor drawing skills, I ended up studying commerce. Accounting quickly became my favourite subject since it was the most ‘black and white’ (yes, I am risk averse!). I had never heard of VAGO before I saw a graduate position in March 2015, but once I researched more about VAGO, I knew I wanted to work here. VAGO has a very unique client base­­, some of which we encounter in our day-to-day life, and no private firms could match these unique experiences. VAGO also offers various study support options, which is essential for graduates.

I was born and raised in Indonesia. My choice to study accounting led me to Melbourne in 2013. I love cooking and baking, but I don’t like doing the dishes, especially after work. So my hobby lately has turned into visiting cafes to try out pretty dishes and desserts.

What Sally’s colleagues say about her

She’s an amazing person as a workmate as well as a team mate. She is friendly and helpful to everyone. She possesses great knowledge of her work. Quiet, friendly, resourceful, intelligent and helpful. She is punctual and pays great respect to time, which is great attribute in both work and personal life. In two words—‘Super girl’.

 

Melisa KuruPhoto of Melisa Kuru - Auditor, Financial Audit

Job title: Auditor, Financial Audit

What I do

As a financial auditor, I assess client-specific systems and processes during the planning stage of an audit and conduct control and substantive testing throughout the financial year, as required. This is to form an opinion of whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

About me

Before VAGO, I was a full-time uni student and worked in retail as a casual sales assistant. I wanted to join VAGO because I believed that it would be a great opportunity for me to be exposed to so many different sectors.

I love cooking and baking, reading, listening to music, swimming and playing volleyball. I can work/study better with music in the background as it helps me concentrate. I was born in Freilassing, Germany, where I lived until I was six years old. I then lived in Turkey where I studied until Year 9 and then I moved to Australia.

What Melisa’s colleagues say about her

She is the most optimistic person in the team. She is famous for her supportive and very inspirational memes. She drives change, team spirit and continuous improvement in the team. She is always there when we need her especially for her fashion inspiration as well!

 

Peter DaviesPhoto of Peter Davies - Assistant Manager, Reports and Communications

Job title: Assistant Manager, Reports and Communications

What I do

My team is responsible for editing and formatting VAGO’s Parliamentary reports and then tabling them in Parliament. We also look after communications activities, such as preparing slides and presentations, developing infographics, managing VAGO’s website and intranet, and coordinating internal communications activities.

About me

Before starting at VAGO, I worked in editing, publishing and communications roles across education, the legal sector, and architectural and design magazines. This role at VAGO appealed to me because of the varied content—it’s a great education into the inner workings of the public sector—and the opportunity to contribute to an organisation that plays an important role. Alongside work, I also study part-time—I’m currently completing a Master of Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. I have another few subjects to complete, and I’m toying with the idea of doing a PhD some time in the future.

What Peter’s colleagues say about him

Peter is a great communicator and project manager, so our team morale and our work-flows are in very capable hands! He combines a calm personality with a strong work ethic. He has a keen eye for design and—with smart use of colour and graphics—can transform a dry, text-heavy document into something that catches and holds the interest of readers.

 

Shantelle DawePhoto of Shantelle Dawe - Auditor, Financial Audit

Job title: Auditor, Financial Audit

What I do

I am involved in financial audits in the whole-of-government portfolio. In this portfolio, I have been exposed to some interesting engagements, including the audit of the state financial report and the review of the state annual budget. Before moving into this team, I was in the local government portfolio. This meant that I got to travel across Victoria and visit many council offices.

About me

I grew up in Nagambie, in regional Victoria, before moving to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor or Economics at university. VAGO is my first corporate job, and I started here straight after university. Before VAGO, I worked as a swim instructor, a cashier and also as a chef. I actually completed my chef’s apprenticeship, so I am a fully qualified! I joined VAGO because I wanted to work somewhere that had a positive impact on the community. VAGO provides the community with assurance over financial statements of the state government and its entities.

I love to sew. I find making clothes really rewarding. I love to take already-made clothes and alter them, meaning there is no additional environmental impact! Most nights of the week I go to dance classes. I love dancing for fitness—it is so beneficial for my mental health and physical fitness.

What Shantelle’s colleagues say about her

She’s a vibrant young lady bursting with personality. She has an eye for detail and a commitment and passion for the public sector which can be seen in the quality of her work.