AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES RELIEF TRUST FUND SEVENTY-THIRD ANNUAL REPORT
Minister for Veterans' Affairs 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 2021 (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' Affairs and Defence Personnel.
The Minister for Veterans' Affairs 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 2021.
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/wp-content/uploads/AMFRTF-Audit-and-Risk-Committee-Charter-
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 number of years' 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 number of years' 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 extensive experience in resource management and serving in Army for over three decades. Warrant Officer Huber also has over twenty years management experience in Army’s Non-Public Monies Account aspect. (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. Board members received no remunerations from the Trust. The Board met three times in Canberra during FY2020-21.
Trustees attendances at Board meetings
BRIG W. Stothart
Chair of Trustees
21 Jan 2019
MR T. Heenan
02 Jun 2011
CAPT D. Khanenkov
01 Jun 2017
WO1 K. Bullman*
20 Aug 2018
WO1 M. Bates
20 Aug 2018
LTCOL C. Kelly
11 Jan 2019
WO1 R. Sheppard
23 May 2021
Board Members during 2020 -21
Brigadier Wade Stothart, DSC, AM, CSC. Brigadier Stothart joined the Australian Regular Army in 1987 and completed operational service in Bosnia, East Timor, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. Brigadier Stothart holds a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts (International Relations), Master of Management and completed the Company Directors Course in 2019.
Warrant Officer Class One Michael Bates, OAM. Warrant Officer Class One Bates joined the Australian Regular Army in March 1988 and has completed operational service in Namibia, East Timor, Middle East, Timor Leste, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Captain Dmitry Khanenkov. Captain Khanenkov joined the Australian Regular Army in June 2015. Captain Khanenkov holds a Bachelor of Economics, Graduate Diploma of Accounting. Masters of Strategic Human Resource Management.
Mr T. Heenan. Mr Heenan graduated from the Officer Cadet School Portsea in December 1978 into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He served a variety of regimental and non-corps postings, undertook Technical Staff Officer training at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham UK in 1990, and in 1993 attended the Army Command and Staff Course at Queenscliff. Tim left the Army in March 2000 to serve as a Defence Public Servant. This service included a three year exchange posting with the US Department of Defence in Washington DC and an 11 year tenure within Defence’s Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force. He retired from the Public Service in 2019.
Warrant Officer Class One Ken Bullman, OAM. Warrant Officer Class One Bullman joined the Australian regular Army in March 1984 and has completed operational service in Bougainville, Iraq and Afghanistan. Ken’s overseas representational duties have included exchange and regimental duties in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, France and Belgium.
Lieutenant Colonel Caroline Kelly, CSC, CSM. Lieutenant Colonel Kelly, CSC, CSM joined the Australian Army in 1991. Lieutenant Colonel Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) and a Masters of Business; both from the UNSW.
Warrant Officer Class One Racheal Sheppard. Warrant Office Class One Sheppard joined the
Australian Army in Oct 2002 and has completed operational service in East Timor and the Middle
East. Warrant Officer Class One Sheppard holds a Diploma of Paramedicine and a Diploma in
Funding Assistance Provided
Loans assistance provided
The Fund has provided loan assistance totalling $84,327,383 to serving members since its inception in 1947. Loan assistance provided by the Fund in the last 10 years is as follows:
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
1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
Hardship grants assistance provided
The Fund has provided hardship grant assistance totalling $123,702 to eligible members and family since its establishment in 1947. This included an approximate total of 1,911 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 four hardship grants to the value of $13,222.
These included funeral cost for an Army member's deceased wife, settled rent, utilities bills, vehicles' registrations for two ex-servicemen, and dependent child's school fees.