Air Commodore Robert Brown AM, independent chairman of the Australian Defence Force Financial Services Consumer Centre, will take part in a new body aimed at boosting the advancement of financial capability across Australia.
The new body, which is yet to be named, is a not-for-profit public company that will manage and distribute the $40 million in community benefit payments that form part of the settlement agreements between the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), ANZ and NAB, relating to the manipulation of the Bank Bill Swap Rate, and $10 million committed by the government to developing women’s financial capability in the federal budget.
AIRCDRE Brown AM will be joined by Paul Clitheroe AM, one of Australia’s leading voices and advocates on financial literacy, who will chair the body, and Elaine Henry OAM.
The body will administer grants and improve financial capabilities among Australians. It is expected that the board will be the largest of its kind in Australia and seek deductible gift recipient status in order to enable it to receive tax-deductible donations from the public.
"Financial literacy and capability is critical for economic empowerment, including for Australian women and young and older Australians," said Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer.
"This new body will be a game-changer, a lasting institution that will support consumers and build financial capability for all Australians no matter what their circumstances."
AIRCDRE Brown AM, a RAAF specialist reservist and economics graduate, has been a driving force behind the ADF's work in financial literacy since the Financial Services Consumer Centre began in 2006.
The centre's activities include a wide range of financial education programs and published materials that have been especially designed for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel (some 70,000 members and their families). The education programs are held throughout members' careers, and include basic budgeting for recruits, pre/post deployment financial training and transitioning into the private sector.
AIRCDRE Brown, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, has had over 30 years' experience, much of it self-employed, in the accounting profession and in the wider financial services industry, especially in the areas of financial planning and superannuation.
Throughout that time he has had a particular interest in the technical and policy aspects of superannuation. In 1994, he was the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds' inaugural Trustee of the Year.