On this website you will find a range of educational materials and links to other useful information from trusted resources. Our aim is to keep you informed so that you are in a position to make the best decisions possible for yourself and your family.
The ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre (ADF Consumer) is a Department of Defence entity established in 2006. We exist to serve ADF members and operate under a Charter issued by the Chief of the Defence Force. Our role is to:
To offer, in consultation with appropriate regulators, impartial financial education (not personal advice) and relevant resource material to all ADF personnel in order to assist them to make informed decisions and plans about their financial affairs, and empower them to improve their financial capability throughout their careers.
To act as an internal source of expert advice to the Chiefs on consumer matters related to the financial services industry. For the purposes of this Charter, ‘financial services industry’ generally describes organisations that offer banking, insurance, lending, superannuation and investment products and services.
To develop, foster and maintain a professional and positive relationship with regulators, particularly Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, relevant industry associations and participants in the financial services industry.
Robert Brown is a Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reservist. He brings a wide range of practical experience and technical knowledge to the work of the Centre. He practised for many years as a Chartered Accountant in Sydney, specialising in taxation, superannuation and financial planning.
His views on the financial services industry are published widely in trade and general media. He is a monthly columnist in the Institute of Chartered Accountants professional journal Charter and in Professional Planner magazine.
In 1997 he was voted as inaugural ‘Superannuation Fund Trustee of the Year’. Robert is a regular speaker at conferences on matters both of a technical and policy nature relating to the financial services industry. In 2009 he received a Meritorious Service Award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in recognition of outstanding services to the profession.
In 2011, Robert was awarded a Chief of the Defence Force Commendation for his contribution to the financial education of ADF personnel. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Australian Government’s Financial Literacy Board which provides advice to Government and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on financial literacy issues.
In 2013, Robert was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for his work in superannuation and financial services.
Major General Natasha Fox entered the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1988 and graduated from the Royal Military College in 1991. Her early foundation appointments were in logistics specialising in combat supplies, logistics planning, and in training positions culminating with her being the Commanding Officer/Chief Instructor at the Australian Defence Force Academy for which she received a Conspicuous Service Cross.
Major General Fox has been employed across the Australian Defence Force in Forces Command, Joint Logistics Command, Special Operations Command, Training Command – Army, and Defence People Group. She has deployed to Lebanon, Syria, and Israel and was the Chief of Staff for Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East where she was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service.
Major General Fox is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College, and the Defence and Strategic Studies Course. She has completed numerous degrees including Masters of Business Administration, Master of Politics and Policy, and Masters of Management in Defence Studies. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy (Singapore) and The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania).
Major General Fox is married to Captain Andrew Willis, MVO, RAN and has two young boys that keep her busy!
Matt Buckley was born in February 1972 in Sydney Australia, before moving while in primary school to Helensburgh, NSW. He joined the Royal Australian Navy in Jan 1990 and graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy in December 1992. As a Junior Maritime Warfare Officer he initially served in Surface Combatants before specialising as a Submariner in 1996. Matt completed his Junior Warfare Officer Postings serving in Oberon class submarines home ported in Sydney, and later on exchange with the Royal Canadian Navy as a Submarine Navigator based in Halifax Nova Scotia. Matt returned to Australia in 2001, completing the Submarine Warfare Officers course, receiving the Sword of Excellence for Warfare Skills.
As a Lieutenant Commander, Matt served as the commissioning Operations Officer, and later as Executive Officer, of HMAS Rankin. This tenure included the submarine being recognised as the best unit in the Fleet receiving the Duke of Gloucester Cup in 2004. Matt completed the Netherlands Submarine Command Course (Perisher) and the United States Navy Submarine Command Course in 2006. He was selected for Command of HMAS Collins, which he undertook on promotion to Commander throughout 2007 and 2008. Matt served as Commander Sea Training Submarines for eighteen months before commencing his tenure as Executive Officer of the Navy’s Maritime Warfare Training Establishment HMAS Watson from July 2010 to September 2012.
Promoted to Captain in October 2012, he served as the Director Submarine Capability in Navy Strategic Commander for two years, before assuming Command of the Australian Submarine Force in September 2014. He completed this very rewarding appointment in November 2016. Matt completed the Defence and Strategic Studies Course in 2017, receiving the Secretary – Chief of Defence Force Award. He was promoted to Commodore on completion of the course and was posted as the Director General Maritime Operations in December 2017. After two years in this position, Matt will shift his focus to the people space assuming the role of Director General Navy People in December 2019.
Matt Buckley was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2015 for his contribution to the Submarine Capability.
He has been awarded a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Strategy and Policy from the University of New South Wales, and a Masters of International Relations from Deakin University.
Matt is married to Ingrid and they are blessed with three sons (2005, 2008 and 2009). Matt maintains an interest in global affairs and enjoys casual BBQ’s with family and friends. He is an enthusiastic participant in a range of outdoor adventure sports and activities.
Brigadier Wade Stothart joined the Army in 1987 and graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) with a Bachelor of Arts in 1989. He graduated from the Royal Military College (RMC) in 1990 and was commissioned to infantry and posted to the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR). Brigadier Stothart has served in a variety of regimental and training positions. He served as a Company Commander in 1 RAR in 2000/01 and had the honour to command 3 RAR, ‘Old Faithful’, in 2008/09.
Operational service has included a tour in Bosnia 1997/98 as part of the NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR). He deployed to East Timor as a Company Commander with 1 RAR in 2000/01 and returned in 2008, with the majority of 3 RAR, in command of the ANZAC Battle Group. In July 2013 Brigadier Stothart deployed to Afghanistan as Commander Combined Team – Uruzgan (CT-U) until its end of mission on 15 December 2013. During this tour he was responsible for the transfer of responsibility for security in Uruzgan Province to the Afghan National Security Forces and the withdrawal of Coalition Forces. Brigadier Stothart is currently deployed to the Middle East as the CJ5 in the Headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, based in Kuwait.
Staff appointments have included Strategic Operations Division, Personnel Branch, Future Land Warfare Branch and Chief of Staff Branch in Army Headquarters. In 2006 Brigadier Stothart was the Staff Officer Policy to the Chief of the Defence Force and in 2010 he was the Military Assistant to Commander Forces Command. He was appointed as the Director of Officer Career Management – Army, on promotion to Colonel, in 2011. In March 2015 he was promoted to Brigadier and took up the role of Director General Career Management – Army. He will take up his next appointment as Director General Army People Capability in February 2019.
Brigadier Stothart completed a Master of Arts in International Relations from Deakin University in 2001. During his attendance at the Australian Command and Staff College course in 2002 he completed a Masters of Management through the University of Canberra, and for his performance at Staff College was awarded the Governor General’s Prize. Brigadier Stothart attended the Centre for Defence Studies in 2014 and completed a Masters of Politics and Policy from Deakin University and was awarded the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Prize. On Australia Day 2013, Brigadier Stothart was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to Army in command and staff appointments. On Australia Day 2015, he was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for distinguished command and leadership as Commander Combined Team – Uruzgan. On the Queens Birthday in 2018 Brigadier Stothart was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for his contribution to Army people capability.
He has been married to Susan for 19 years and they have been blessed with two sons, Hugh (16) and Owen (14). Brigadier Stothart’s interests include reading, current affairs and being actively involved in his sons sporting and school communities. He is a keen supporter of Australian Rules Football and supports Richmond.
Brigadier Stothart was appointed as the Director General in 2019.
GPCAPT Ashworth joined the Air Force as an Administrative Officer in 1991. After completing three years of training and a Bachelors Degree at the Australian Defence Force Academy, she was posted to Base Squadron at RAAF Base Wagga. Her junior officer postings included Administrative Officer roles at RAAF Base Wagga and Number 34 Squadron at RAAF Base Fairbairn in Canberra, the Management Services Team at RAAF Base Richmond, and the Management Services Team and Military Support Organisation at RAAF Base Amberley. She was posted to Canberra to Air Force’s Personnel Branch in 2001. After completing tours in Personnel Planning and Air Force Career Management, she was then posted to Adelaide as the Senior Administrative Officer (SADMINO), and, on promotion to WGCDR, as the Staff Officer Personnel (SOPERS) for Aerospace Operational Support Group.
In 2008, she completed Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra. On graduation from Staff College, she was posted as the Director of Personnel – Reserves Air Force. When the Directorate of Personnel – Reserves and the Directorate of Personnel were amalgamated in mid 2009, she became the Executive Officer of the Directorate of Personnel – Air Force. In 2012, she was posted as the Defence Adviser to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade at Parliament House. This rotational liaison role offered a unique opportunity to observe the workings of the Committee System within the political process.
In December 2012, she was posted as Commanding Officer, Number 28 Squadron. Her responsibilities in this role included managing components of Air Force’s Strategic Communication capability, and the Administrative Commanding Officer for all Air Force personnel posted to Canberra. Karen was promoted to Group Captain in April 2014, and posted to Defence People Group to assist with the development of the people components of the Defence White Paper. In January 2015, she became Chief of Staff of Air Force’s Personnel Branch. In November 2016, she was posted to the role of Director Strategic Issues Management – Air Force within Air Force Headquarters.
GPCAPT Ashworth deployed in 2018 as the Director Support for Operation Accordion returning to commence studies at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in February 2019, where she completed a Masters of Strategic Studies. In May 2020 she was promoted and posted as Director General Personnel – Air Force.
In January 2014, she was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross on the Australia Day’s Honours List for her contribution to strategic personnel reform in Air Force.
She is married to David, a retired Air Force Officer, and they have a son, Jamie
Frank’s professional background is ideally suited to his current role managing the Centre’s programs, projects and diverse team of educators. He has served in the Australian Regular Army in various roles, during which time he completed a law degree. He has also, since leaving full time service, spent some years with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Consumer Affairs Victoria and in private practice as a lawyer. All of this experience, combining military service and consumer protection and education roles, ensures that the Centre’s programs and activities are practical, relevant and clearly focused on the interests and needs of members of the ADF and their families.
Dina provides executive, administrative and secretariat support to the Centre’s Chairman, members and staff. Her role includes managing the production of educational materials, coordinating financial administration and overseeing the scheduling of all ADF Financial Education seminars.
Dina studied Chinese Language & Culture at Taipei National Normal University in Taiwan and came to Australia in 1980 to study Modern Asian Studies, majoring in Chinese at Griffith University in Queensland.
Dina’s professional career began in the private sector after she completed a Basic Accounting Course and then worked in Connecticut, USA. After gaining additional administrative experience in a wide range of roles, she worked as the Assistant to the Managing Director of ITL Limited, a company that manufactures medical devices and procedure packs for global healthcare markets. Dina remained at ITL for five years before joining the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as Executive Assistant / Branch Coordinator to Assistant Secretary, ICT Services, Systems Division in 2005. That position led to her role as Senior Executive Assistant at the Defence Materiel Organisation, which in turn led to her transfer to Defence in August 2012 as the Executive Officer for the Centre.
Dina’s interests include travel, good wine, dancing and relaxing with her two cats, Bobby and Unyil.
Nicky has joined the Centre on long-term secondment from ASIC, where she has spent the last nine years developing resources for ASIC’s MoneySmart website. Her background is in accounting, corporate finance, financial planning and consumer education.
Nicky holds an Accounting diploma, Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning), and Master of Adult Education, with an e-learning and social change focus, from the University of Technology Sydney. Nicky studied part-time, while working full-time and raising two boys.
Nicky is passionate about financial literacy and helping others manage their money well to make the most of what they have. She has a wealth of personal experience to draw on when helping others.
Nicky loves to travel and explore new cultures, is a lover of sun and sand, enjoys good conversation over a glass of red, and is in denial about being old enough to have two adult children.
Daniel is the Principal of Mendoza Legal & Consulting and a Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve. His areas of professional practice include financial services and government business. He assists the Centre with its legal and financial services projects and also presents education seminars.
Daniel qualified as a solicitor at Allens Arthur Robinson in Sydney where he worked in the Insurance, Financial Services, Mergers & Acquisitions and Communications Media & Technology practice groups.
Daniel attended the University of New South Wales where he was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws specialising in corporate and commercial law. He later attended Harvard University where he was awarded the degree of Master of Liberal Arts, Extension Studies (General Management).
Wing Commander Richard Gration joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1981. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree at the RAAF Academy in Melbourne in 1983 and his pilot training in 1984, he undertook various flying tours, including DHC-4 Caribou tactical transport and Hawker-Sidley 748 VIP aircraft.
In 1992 he undertook civil schooling at the University of NSW (Canberra) studying a Master of Information Science degree, including management science techniques; systems development methodologies; Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) systems; and knowledge-based expert systems.
In 1995, Richard left the RAAF to serve in the Australian Public Service for five years as a senior Information Technology manager, including in the Commonwealth’s Year 2000 Project Office responsible for coordinating and managing a Y2K compliance program.
While in the APS, Richard studied part-time for a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Australian National University. After graduating in 2000 he joined a Sydney law firm as a solicitor specialising in telecommunications, information technology and intellectual property law. In 2006, he received a specialist accreditation in commercial litigation law from the NSW Law Society and in 2008 he completed a Master of Laws degree at the University of NSW.
Since 2009, Richard has practised as a barrister specialising in commercial litigation, including in relation to financial services, corporations law, insolvency and bankruptcy laws.
In 2011, Richard re-joined the RAAF as a Specialist Reserve Legal Officer and his duties have included providing legal assistance to members suffering financial hardship, and sometimes discipline or administrative action, as the consequence of poor decision-making about their personal finances.
Richard completed a Graduate Diploma in Military Law in 2017 and continues to provide legal support and advice to Air Force command as the Deputy Legal Panel Leader at Headquarters Air Command at Glenbrook, NSW.
Tony is an independent professional speaker, writer, and researcher on areas related to the financial services industry. He is Managing Director of Financial & Technical Solutions Pty Ltd which he founded in 2001.
He is author of The Essential SMSF Guide 2018/19 which is published by Thomson Reuters and endorsed by Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ). He is also Superannuation Advocacy Leader for CA ANZ.
For over 13 years he wrote a weekly column mainly about superannuation for The Australian Newspaper.
Tony has 30 years experience in the financial services industry in which he has previously held a number of senior positions.
He is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Business Systems from Monash University. He also has a Diploma in Journalism and an Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Superannuation). He is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia).
He is married with four children.
Duncan Poulson joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in October 2000 and was appointed ASIC’s Northern Territory Regional Commissioner in December 2005.
Mr Poulson holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania and was previously a lecturer in Commercial Law and International Business at the University.
He has worked for ASIC in a number of roles and, in recent times, has focused on financial consumer protection activities in the Northern Territory, with particular emphasis on boosting financial literacy.