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ABOUT US

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.

Our Charter

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:

Provide financial and consumer education for ADF members

Provide financial and consumer education for ADF members

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.

Provide advice to the Chief of the Defence Force and Service Chiefs

Provide advice to the Chief of the Defence Force and Service Chiefs

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.

Build and maintain relationships with relevant external agencies

Build and maintain relationships with relevant external agencies

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.

Annual Report

The ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre Annual Report describes our activities and achievements for the 2019/20 Financial Year. This report has been prepared by ADF Consumer and you may contact us directly with any questions.

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CENTRE MEMBERS & STAFF

Members

Brigadier Jane Spalding, AM
Chair

Brigadier Spalding joined the Army Reserve as a soldier in 1981 before transferring to the Regular Army in 1983 and commissioning into the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps.

She has filled a variety of logistics, explosive ordnance, training and personnel postings including Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General, Divisional Officer at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Officer Commanding Proof and Experimental Establishment Graytown, Commanding Officer Army School of Logistic Operations, Director General Explosive Ordnance Joint Logistics Command and Chief of Staff Army Headquarters.

Brigadier Spalding has deployed to Timor Leste and Afghanistan.

She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2013 Australia Day Honours and Awards for her service in the fields of recruiting and strategic reform.  She received a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2022 Australia Day Honours and Awards for her service as Commander Task Group Afghanistan.

Brigadier Spalding is a graduate of the Australian Army Command and Staff College, Royal Military College of Science (UK), Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  She holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Human Resource Development) and Masters Degrees in Military Studies, Defence Studies and Strategic Studies. She served as a non-executive Director of the Australian Military Bank during the period 2007 – 2018.

Major General Wade Stothart, DSC, AM, CSC
Head of People Capability

Major General Wade Stothart joined the Army in 1987 and graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy with a Bachelor of Arts in 1989. He graduated from the Royal Military College in 1990 and was commissioned to infantry and posted to the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR). Major General Stothart has served in a variety of regimental and training positions. He had the honour to command 3 RAR, ‘Old Faithful’, in 2008/09.

Major General Stothart has deployed on operations five times. He deployed to Bosnia in 1997/98 on Operation OSIER as part of the NATO Stabilisation Force. He then deployed to East Timor as a Company Commander with 1 RAR on Operation TANAGER in 2000/01. In 2008 Major General Stothart deployed, with the majority of 3 RAR, to Timor Leste in command of ANZAC Battle Group Four on Operation ASTUTE. In July 2013 Major General Stothart deployed to Afghanistan on Operation SLIPPER as Commander Combined Team – Uruzgan 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. Major General Stothart deployed in 2018 to the Middle East on Operation OKRA as the CJ5 in the Headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve with the mission to defeat ISIS.

Notable staff appointments include Staff Officer to the Chief of the Defence Force, Military Assistant to Commander Forces Command and Director General Career Management – Army. Upon return from operations in the Middle East in 2018 he was appointed Director General of Army People Capability and in August 2020 he was appointed as the inaugural Director General of the Joint Transition Authority in Defence People Group. He took up his current appointment as Head People Capability in December 2021 on promotion to Major General.

Major General 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. Major General 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 Major General Stothart was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to Army in command and staff appointments. On Australia Day 2015, Major General Stothart was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for his command and leadership as Commander Combined Team-Uruzgan. In 2018 he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for his service to Army’s personnel capability and on Australia Day 2020 he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service for his service in the Middle East.

He has been married to Susan for 23 years and they have two sons, Hugh (19) and Owen (18). Major General Stothart’s interests include reading, keeping fit and being actively involved in his community.

Commodore Eric Young, RAN
Director General Navy People

Commodore Eric Young joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Maritime Warfare Officer in January 1994 from Central Queensland. Following initial training at the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Naval College, he trained as a Meteorologist and Oceanographer prior to completing his initial warfare training. He was the Dux of both the Principal Warfare Officer course and later the Force Warfare Officer Course, dual specialising in Under-Sea and Above Water Warfare.

He has undertaken sea postings in HMA Ships Stuart (x2), Parramatta, Anzac (x2), Kanimbla, Canberra, Perth and Hobart. Throughout his career, he has had experience in a wide range of maritime, Defence and Whole of Government operations through various postings and operational roles in a number of theatres across the Indo-Pacific and the Middle East. This has included five deployments to the Middle East, incorporating staff roles in United States Navy platforms, the award of the Meritorious Unit Citation while in HMAS Parramatta, multiple border-protection deployments, and numerous Indo-Pacific exercises.

Commodore Young has also served in a variety of staff roles from tactical to the strategic level, which has included Fleet Headquarters, Navy Headquarters, Australian Defence Headquarters, Headquarters Joint Operations Command, Maritime Border Command, Maritime Task Force Headquarters in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East, and the National COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. Notable shore appointments have included Deputy Director Global Plans in Joint Operations Command, Chief of Staff to the Chief of Navy from 2018 to 2020, Director General United States Force Posture Initiatives, and Operational Commander of the Vaccine Operations Centre, where he was the public spokesperson for the National vaccine rollout from March-July 2021.

Commodore Young was recognised for his time as Chief of Staff to the Chief of Navy, with the award of a Conspicuous Service Cross on Australia Day 2021. He has also been recognised with commendations from the Chief of Navy, Commander Australian Theatre, Chief of Joint Operations and Commander Joint Task Force 633. In addition to his broad Navy career, he has diverse Federal Government experience, including a mid-career break to work in Industry, where he completed roles as a Principal Consultant, Account Executive and as an Account General Manager.

On 19 July 2021, Commodore Young completed his secondment with the Department of Health’s Vaccine Operations Centre, and returned to the Department of Defence as the Strategic Adviser to the Chief of Navy, advising on key strategic issues and special projects. He has been selected as the next Director General Navy People from September 2021.

He is married to Jodette, and together they have four children.

Brigadier Troy Francis, CSC
Director General Army People Capability

Brigadier Troy Francis has enjoyed a broad range of tactical to strategic experiences throughout his career including combat engineering, individual soldier promotion training, joint strategic military planning and policy development, strategic intelligence collection and exploitation, international relations, cultural reform, workforce modernisation and career management.
 
Brigadier Francis has been seconded to the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and served at the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation. Brigadier Francis has also served at Military Strategic Commitments Branch in global operations section for Afghanistan/Pakistan. From 2013-2016, Brigadier Francis commanded the Warrant Officer and Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.
 
Post command, Brigadier Francis was the SO1 Cultural Reform in Army Headquarters, developing and leading the implementation of the Chief of Army’s cultural renewal and change management strategies. In December 2017, Brigadier Francis assumed the role as Division Chief of Coalition Strategy Division in the Transregional Threats Coordination Cell (T2C2) of the Directorate for Strategy, Plans and Policy on the U.S. Joint Staff. In this role, he led his team as part of the T2C2 cross-functional team for countering violent extremism across the U.S. interagency and joint force. Colonel Francis joined the CMA team in 2020, as the Director of the Directorate of Soldier Career Management – Army.
 
Brigadier Francis has qualifications in Management and Business, including two Masters-level post graduate degrees in Applied Science (Research) and Arts (Strategy and Management).
 
Brigadier Francis is supported by his wife Peita of almost 20 years, a physiotherapist and their children Elly and Max. He enjoys keeping fit, reading, current affairs and going to the beach. He is a keen supporter of Australian Rules Football and Rugby Union.

Air Commodore Karen Ashworth, CSC
Director General Personnel – Air Force

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

VIEW STAFF PROFILES

Margot Kropinski-Myers
Director

Margot Kropinski-Myers has over 20 years’ experience in the public sector, human resources (HR) and working in the Defence environment. During that time she has lead a number of specialist teams in the areas of learning and development, strategic leadership, industrial relations, recruitment, governance, cultural reform and change management.  Her educational qualifications include an Advanced Diploma of Government (Human Resources), Graduate Certificate in Management (Learning). Margot has represented Defence at international conferences and presented papers on a number of HR topics.

Margot is a driver of culture reform, through increasing people’s commitment to improve business outcomes, innovation and with a focus on a customer centricity. Key to this is building effective and positive working relationships as well as making connections across Defence, government and other sectors.

Early in the ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre’s development, Margot provided professional administrative support to the team and redesigned the financial aspects of the ADF Transition program. She also produced the design concepts for the Centre’s financial educational material.

Margot is extremely committed to enhancing the Centre’s financial literacy programs, services and activities ensuring they are practical, relevant and meet the interests and needs of ADF members and their families. She has a strong commitment to driving behavioural change and implementing better ways to improve business outcomes. Throughout her career, Margot has delivered multiple services; and developed new policy and programs that build on people’s capabilities.  She has a strong focus on meeting customer needs.

Margot enjoys mentoring and coaching others, to be the best they can be. She is married to Adam and between them they have 3 children and 4 amazing grandchildren.

Frank Lilley
Manager Operations

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.

Ms Dina Bricknell
Executive Officer

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.

Ms Nicky Hoschke
Training Designer & Educator

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.

Squadron Leader Daniel Mendoza-Jones
Staff Officer - Legal & Financial Services

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).

Select Publications:

  • Daniel Mendoza-Jones, ‘Reform of the Financial Advice Industries in Australia and the United States’ (2013) 31 Company and Securities Law Journal 261.
  • Daniel Mendoza-Jones, ‘Superannuation Trustees – Governance, Best Interests, Conflicts of Interest and the Proposed Reforms’ (2012) 30 Company and Securities Law Journal 297.
  • Daniel Mendoza-Jones (ed), ‘Australian Military Law’ (2005) 28(2) University of New South Wales Law Journal.

Wing Commander Richard Gration
Financial and Consumer Educator – Financial Services and Seminars

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.

Mr Duncan Poulson
Seminar Presenter - Northern Territory (Regional Commissioner NT, ASIC)

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.

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