AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES RELIEF TRUST FUND SEVENTY-TWO ANNUAL REPORT
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel
The Trustees of the Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund (AMFRTF), trading as the Army Relief Trust Fund (ARTF), have the honour to submit their report of operations for the year ended 30th June 2020 (the period). This report is accompanied by audited Financial Statements for the period and associated notes which are to be read as part of this report.
The AMFRTF was established by the Services Trust Funds Act 1947. The AMFRTF provides benefits through loans and grants that contribute to the welfare of members of the Australian Army, in particular members who have served in the Australian Army and for the dependants of these members.
Ministerial Directions and Finance Minister’s Orders
There were no Ministerial Directions or Finance Minister’s Orders issued to the AMFRTF during the period.
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
The AMFRTF complies with the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) with respect to:
- reporting to Minister and Parliament;
- content of Annual Report;
- audit of the AMFRTF's Financial Statements by the Auditor-General;
- banking and investment powers of authorities;
- general policies of the Australian Government; and
- conduct of directors and officers, including the civil consequences of any breach of their duties by the directors and officers.
Significant non‐compliance issues with finance law
Section 17AG and 17BE of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule require that Commonwealth entities' annual reports must include a statement of any significant non-compliance issues that relate to the finance law that were reported to the responsible Minister under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the PGPA Act. During the reporting period there were no non-compliance issues reported.
Statutory powers of direction
The AMFRTF is a Corporate Commonwealth Entity and operates within the Defence Portfolio reporting to the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel.
The Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel may, by instrument in writing published in the Gazette, authorise the Trustees to administer other property. This authority was not exercised during the year.
Reviews by outside bodies
The Fund's financial statements are audited annually, in accordance with the requirements of the Services Trust Funds ACT 1947, by the Australian National Audit Office.
Risk Management and Fraud Control
The Trustees have established a risk management and fraud control plan in line with the Commonwealth’s endeavours to make risk management an integral part of everyday business practice. The AMFRTF adopts Commonwealth and Defence best practice for risk management and fraud control to meet obligations to Army members and the Australian Government. The AMFRTF Risk Management and Fraud Control Plan was reviewed and updated in June 2020.
Work Health and Safety
The Trustees and all those who assist the Trustees are either members of the Army, ex-service man and the Australian Public Service (APS). The personnel undertake their duties as part of their service in the Army, volunteering and employment in the APS. The Fund utilises the Department of Defence’s work health and safety protocols, security, training, welfare, reporting and other systems to ensure the health and safety of the Trustees and its APS staff.
Indemnities and insurance premiums for officers
The AMFRTF has taken out insurance coverage with Comcover for directors and officers’ liability, fraud and fidelity, general liability and personal accident. There were no related incident claims during the period.
In accordance with the requirements of the PGPA Act the Fund has established an Audit Committee. The primary objectives of the AMFRTF Audit Committee are stated in the charter at (https://armyrtf.com.au).
The Audit Committee provides advice to the Trustees and its main objectives are:
- review internal controls and ensure adequate procedures are in place;
- review risk management and fraud control practices;
- improve the objectivity and reliability of financial reporting, and
- ensure the Board complies with all governance and other obligations.
Audit Committee Members
Captain Dmitry Khanenkov is the Chair of Audit Committee. He has five year experience in finance and resource management roles in Army. His qualifications include Bachelor of Economics and Graduate Diploma of Accounting. He also completed an Auditing & Compliance Officer training course through Army. (Trustee)
Sergeant John Cox has three year experience in resource management. He is a Regimental Audit Board member and the Non-Public Monies Account Treasurer in Army. (Independent member)
Warrant Officer Alison Huber has eighteen years resource management experience and twenty-nine year serving in Army. Currently she works as a Career Advisor in Career Management Agency Army Headquarters. Warrant Officer Huber also has over twenty year management experience in Non-Public Monies Account aspect in Army. (Independent member)
A summary of attendance for the AMFRTF Audit Committee is listed in the following table:
Number of meetings attended
Total number of meetings
Total annual remuneration
CAPT D. Khanenkov
SGT J. Cox
WO1 A. Huber
Board of Trustees
The Services Trust Funds Act 1947 provides for the establishment of the AMFRTF and the termination and appointment of Trustees by the responsible Minister.
Trustees attendances at Board meetings
BRIG W. Stothart
Chair of Trustees
Appointed 21 Jan 2019
MR T. Heenan
Appointed 02 Jun 2011
CAPT D. Khanenkov
Appointed 01 Jun 2017
WO1 K. Bullman
Appointed 20 Aug 2018
WO1 M. Bates
Appointed 20 Aug 2018
LTCOL C. Kelly
Appointed 11 Jan 2019
LTCOL S. Trim #
Appointed 25 Jul 2019
# TRIM resigned on 17 October 2019
Board Members during 2019 - 20
Brigadier W. Stothart, DSC, AM, CSC
Brigadier 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). 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.
Brigadier 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 Brigadier Stothart deployed, with the majority of 3 RAR, to Timor Leste in command of ANZAC Battle Group Four on Operation ASTUTE. In July 2013 Brigadier 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. Brigadier 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.
Notable staff appointments include Staff Officer Policy to the Chief of the Defence Force (2006), Military Assistant to Commander Forces Command (2010) and Director General Career Management – Army (2015-2017). Upon return from operations in the Middle East in 2018 he was appointed Director General of Army People Capability.
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, Brigadier Stothart was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for distinguished command and leadership as Commander Combined Team-Uruzgan. On Queens Birthday 2018, he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for his service to Army’s personnel capability. On Australia Day 2020 he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service for his service in the Middle East.
Brigadier Stothart’s interests include reading, current affairs and being actively involved in his sons sporting and school communities. He is a Richmond supporter and basking in the glow of the 2017 and 2019 AFL premierships.
Lieutenant Colonel C. Kelly, CSM
Lieutenant Colonel Kelly entered the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1991 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) in 1993. She subsequently graduated from the Royal Military College in 1994 into the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps after which she completed a number of logistic roles at the rank of Lieutenant and Captain. In 2001 Lieutenant Colonel Kelly transferred to the Army Reserve to concentrate on raising her family.
During the period 2006-2009, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly undertook project work in Unrecovered War Casualties – Army (UWC-A) where she worked to locate, identify, repatriate and reinter the remains of soldiers from past conflicts. Lieutenant Colonel Kelly was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2009 Queens Birthday Honours for her work during this period.
In Jun 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly was promoted to the rank of Major upon re-enlistment into the Australian Regular Army and worked in Career Management. After completing a Masters of Business full time in 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly was employed in Army Culture and Diversity before being promoted and assuming her current roles as the Chief of Staff Career Management –Army.
She is married to David, a serving Army Officer, and has two children aged 18 and 20.
Captain D. Khanenkov
Captain Dmitry Khanenkov was born in Volgograd, Russia, on 16 May 1986. He migrated to Australia in 2008, and acquired Australian citizenship in July 2014.
Captain Khanenkov enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on 30 June 2015 and was posted to Headquarters Army Financial Services Unit. In 2016 he was posted to the Operations Cell of the Army Compliance and Assurance Unit. In January 2019 Captain Khanenkov was posted to Resource Management —Army cell of Directorate of Preparedness in Land Operations Branch of Army Headquarters.
Captain Khanenkov is a member of the Audit Committee of Army Relief Trust Fund.
Captain Khanenkov has a Bachelor of Economics and Graduate Diploma of Accounting; and also holds associate membership with CPA. He is currently studying a Masters of Strategic People Management at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
Lieutenant Colonel S. Trim
Lieutenant Colonel Trim enlisted as a Reservist, into the Australian Intelligence Corps completing training at Kapooka, Wagga Wagga over 1998/99. Posting to the 7th Task Force Headquarters, in Brisbane as an Intelligence Analyst. She commissioned and completed the Reserve General Service Officer training, into the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Corps. Posting to a range of positions in Brisbane balancing university and international work opportunities. After completing a Bachelor of Business (Professional Accounting) at the Queensland University of Technology, she travelled and worked abroad. She transferred to the Royal Australian Army Pay Corps in 2004 and accepted a fixed period of service with the 4th Royal Australian Regiment (Commando), as the Unit’s first Resource Manager completed in early 2007.
Lieutenant Colonel Trim is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), with the Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146) qualification for financial advisers. She has a range of post graduate qualifications complimenting her military service and industry experience. Lieutenant Colonel Trim is nearing completion of a Masters of Business with the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), from the University New South Wales (UNSW).
Lieutenant Colonel Trim has fulfilled a range of Reserve and Regular positions in Army and Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC). She has a range of civilian finance employment across the banking and financial sector, public practise tax and government. Her military operational experience extends across the Middle East Region, regionally in Papua New Guinea and domestically, in finance adviser roles, governance and contract management.
Currently Lieutenant Colonel Trim serves in Army Headquarters, in resource management for Army. She will take up Unit Command in 2020 of the Army Compliance and Assurance Unit (ACAU).
She has been married to Scott for 13 years and they have two young children, Amelia (8) and Declan (7). The family share interests in snow sports, hiking, biking, camping and water sports. Lieutenant Colonel Trim enjoys yoga, music, cooking, gardening and leisure travel at every opportunity.
Warrant Officer Class One M. Bates
Warrant Officer Michael Bates enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on 9 March 1988. After recruit training he was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers and posted to 7th Field Squadron in Enoggera, QLD.
After deploying to Namibia in 1989 he was posted to 18th Field Squadron in Townsville, QLD. After completing six years at 18th Field Sqn and later 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment he was posted to the School of Military Engineering as an instructor.
Warrant Officer Bates has had further deployments to Kuwait, East Timor, IRAQ, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands. In Dec 2007 he posted to the Counter Explosive Hazards Centre in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, USA for 24 months.
Upon his return from the USA, he was promoted to Warrant officer Class One and appointed as the Regimental Sergeant Major of 21st Construction Regiment. During his tenure at 21st Construction Regiment Warrant Officer Bates deployed to CTF635 Operation Anode-Solomon Islands as the Regimental Sergeant Major for that Task Force. In 2014 he was appointed the Regimental Sergeant Major of 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment and in his second year deployed to Vanuatu as part of Operation Pacific Assist.
In January 2016 Warrant Officer Bates was appointed as the Career Advisor for Combat Engineer and Explosive Ordnance Disposal trades. In January 2018 he was appointed as the Regimental Sergeant Major Ceremonial – Army. As at January 2020 Warrant Officer Bates was appointed the Prohibited Substance Testing Program and Alcohol Testing Coordinator for Army.
Warrant Officer Class One K. Bullman, OAM
Warrant Officer Class One Ken Bullman was born in 1966 and raised in Sydney until enlisting in the Australian Regular Army in March 1984. After graduating from Kapooka, he was allocated to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and initially served in the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment until transferring to the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police in 1988.
Warrant Officer Bullman was posted to numerous domestic and field policing units in Sydney, Brisbane, Wagga Wagga, Bandiana, and Townsville including an instructional posting at the Australian Defence Force Academy Canberra.
After successful completion of the Regimental Sergeant Major Course he advanced to the rank of Warrant Officer Class One and commenced his regimental appointments in 2006 as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 1st Military Police Battalion followed by the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Defence Police Training Centre in 2008.
In 2010, Warrant Officer Bullman graduated from the Australian Command and Staff College Canberra. This saw the commencement of his formation level appointments as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Royal Military College Duntroon in 2011, the Royal Military College of Australia in 2012 and the 4th Brigade in 2015.
In 2017, he was appointed as the Command Sergeant Major of Training and Doctrine at Forces Command followed by his current appointment at Career Management-Army in 2018.
Overseas representational duties have included exchange and regimental duties in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, France and Belgium.
Operational experience includes Operation Relex II Border Control operations in 2002; Operation Bel Isi Bougainville in 2003; Operation Catalyst Iraq in 2005; and Operation Slipper Afghanistan in 2013-14.
He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for meritorious service during successive appointments within the 1st Military Police Battalion. In the 2012 Bravery Council Honours List he was awarded the Commendation for Brave Conduct for his role in a building fire at the Royal Military College Duntroon. In 2014 he was awarded the United States Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during Operation Enduring Freedom with the 205th Coalition Advisory Team and the US 4th Infantry Division Afghanistan.
Warrant Officer Bullman is married to Valda and together they have three adult children who are all serving soldiers in the Australian Regular Army.
Mr T. Heenan
Tim graduated from the Officer Cadet School Portsea in December 1978 into the Royal Australian Infantry. He served a variety of regimental and non-corps postings with 5/7 RAR and various training and headquarters units. In 1990 he undertook Technical Staff Officer training at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham UK, and in 1993 he attended the Army Command and Staff Course at Queenscliff.
During his later tenure with the ADF he served in Force Development (Land) within Headquarters ADF, and from 1997-1999 served as Project Manager of the Ground Surveillance Radar program within Project NINOX.
Tim left the Army in March 2000 to join the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), initially to coordinate development of the Naval Shipbuilding and Repair Sector Strategic Plan submitted to Government in mid-2002.
In August 2002, Tim took up a three year exchange posting within the Office of the US Under Secretary of Defence (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics) located within the Pentagon in Washington DC.
In April 2006 Tim was seconded to the ADF’s Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, initially responsible for developing and implementing Defence’s bilateral and multilateral Improvised Threat information sharing framework and developing and implementing related strategic policy documentation. In this capacity he also coordinated a number of programs to develop and implement protective enhancements for deployed personnel and international allies.
Tim retired from Department of Defence in December 2018.
Funding Assistance Provided
Loans assistance provided
The Fund has provided loan assistance totalling $81,571,353 to serving members since its inception in 1947. Loan assistance provided by the Fund in the last 10 years is as follows:
1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011
1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012
1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013
1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014
1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015
1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017
1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019
1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
Hardship grants assistance provided
The Fund has provided hardship grant assistance totalling $110,480 to eligible members and family since its establishment in 1947. This included an approximate total of 1,907 individuals or households who were determined to be financial hardship or necessitous circumstances. These circumstances have varied from bushfire, drought, flood relief, medical emergency, funeral and or helping with general living expenses.
During this reporting period, the Trustees approved two hardship grants to the value of $2,885. These included a part payment funeral cost for an Army member and settled some utilities bills for a member’s family.
The Trustees are responsible, under the PGPA Act, for the preparation and content of the report of operations in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015. This report of operations is made in accordance with a resolution of the Trustees and is signed for and on behalf of the Trustees.