A Wilpena

Today McLeod Governance types into the lexicon of internal controls vocabulary a new phrase – a Wilpena Internal Control.

We predict that the usage of the term will soon go viral and when it does we want you to remember that you read it here first.

Now … before we get to what is a Wilpena Internal Control (some may call it a WIC but we are sticking with the expanded, more pure, form!), firstly one has to take a seat in front of the McLeod Governance film projector and come with the family on a journey into one of the remotest corners of Australia.


To cut a long story short (film nights always drag on), Wilpena Pound is a natural amphitheatre of mountains located 429 kilometres (267 miles) north of Adelaide, South Australia in the heart of the Flinders Ranges National Park. The Pound is the most northern point with access via a sealed road in this part of the Flinders Ranges.

The Flinders Rangers are some of the most stunning natural landscapes that you will ever see (not to mention the many deserted ghost towns along the way) and in mid 2000s Mrs and Mr McLeod Governance were travelling through the Flinders Rangers on holidays.

We soon discovered that one cannot travel through this part of the world without being asked – at every opportunity – whether you have visited The Pound yet.

Whilst we like to consider ourselves seasoned travellers, at the time we had no idea what The Pound was, did or where it was.

But as the days progressed our need to visit something – that days earlier we had never heard of – increased to the point of absurdity.

We just had to get to Wilpena Pound. Just had to.

When we discovered that there was no accommodation left at The Pound we were shattered.The value of our collective lives seemed to drain in an instance.Mrs McLeod Governance had a wonderful idea – to fly over The Pound in a small plane (the story of the flatulent pilot can wait for another day).We did and that is where the inspiration for a Wilpena Internal Control came from.The Pound was nothing more than a collection of half sized hills.

We had spent days agonising over the need to visit something that turned out to be the least interesting part of a fascinating journey.

And into the language of the McLeod Governance family came the phrase “that is a Wilpena”.

It means when one stresses over something that is not important or is disproportionately important only to the participant to the event and of no significance to anyone else.


So what does this have to do with internal controls?

Well – ask yourself; how many times have we identified an internal control deficiency that you are certain is of fundamental and vital importance to the survival of the human race only to discover that there is no one else that shares your concerns let alone your enthusiasm.

Of course there will be times when you have to swim against the tide and speak without fear or favour – but when you are dealing with a Wilpena Internal Control you are not in a life or death situation.

You are dealing with an internal control that – quite simply – no cares about and neither should you.

When you are at that moment – my friend, you have discovered a Wilpena Internal Control.

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