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Our Charter

The Australian Defence Force Financial Services Consumer Centre (ADF Consumer) was established in 2006. ADF Consumer is an expert and impartial entity that has three tasks under a Charter issued by the Chief of the Defence Force. The three tasks include:

Annual Report

The ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre Annual Report describes our activities and achievements for the 2022-2023 Financial Year. This report has been prepared by ADF Consumer and you may contact us directly with any questions.

Centre Members

Brigadier Jane Spalding, AM


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 Military Personnel

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 Letitia van Stralen, AM, CSC, RAN

Director General Navy People

CDRE Letitia (‘Tish’) van Stralen, AM, CSC, RAN was born in Katoomba, New South Wales and was educated in northern New South Wales and Queensland. She completed a Bachelor of Laws Degree at Queensland University of Technology in 1994 and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1995.

Despite having legal qualifications, CDRE van Stralen joined the Navy as a Maritime Warfare Officer to gain broader Navy experience. Her seagoing postings included HMA Ships Tobruk, Darwin, Newcastle and Brisbane

After completing postings as an Officer of the Watch, Assistant Principal Warfare Officer, Intelligence Watch Officer and Training Officer, CDRE van Stralen gained her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and was admitted as a lawyer in New South Wales.

CDRE van Stralen transferred to the Navy Legal Service in 2003 and performed various legal roles in the ADF Warfare Centre and Headquarters Joint Operations Command before deploying to the Persian Gulf as the Legal Officer for Commander Task Force 158 in 2006. CDRE van Stralen undertook further legal postings as the Deputy Fleet Legal Officer and Maritime Lawyer in HQJOC.

In 2010, CDRE van Stralen assumed the role of Fleet Legal Officer at Fleet Headquarters and was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross. Subsequently, CDRE van Stralen was appointed as the Executive Officer of HMAS Creswell in 2013, and returned to a legal role in 2015 when posted as the Director Legal, HQJOC. 

CDRE van Stralen was appointed as the Chief of Staff to the Chief of Navy in December 2016, working for both Vice Admiral Barrett and Vice Admiral Noonan in a two year period. CDRE van Stralen was subsequently appointed as the Director Navy People and Career Management Agency in October 2018. 

In 2021, CDRE van Stralen completed the Defence Strategic Studies Course at the Australian War College and later assumed the role of Chief of Staff Australian Defence College. She became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2022, and was promoted to Commodore, serving as the Chief of Staff, Navy Headquarters until October 2023. On 17 October 2023, CDRE van Stralen commenced her tenure as Director General Navy People.

CDRE van Stralen is married to Aaron (a former Army member) and they have a daughter (Zara). The family home is on the south coast and she enjoys travel, boxing (for fitness) and time with her family.

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