Robert Brown is Independent Chairman of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Financial Services Consumer Centre. He has been a driving force behind the ADF’s work in financial literacy since the Centre began in 2006.
The Centre’s activities include a wide range of financial education programs and published materials which 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.
Robert is a Royal Australian Air Force specialist reservist, an Economics graduate and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand. He 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. At various times over the last twenty years, Robert has held a range of honorary offices in his professional body, the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand, including serving on the national board and chairing the National Financial Planning and Superannuation Committees.
Robert has written extensively about the financial services industry through his regular columns in Charter and Professional Planner magazines. In 2006, he authored a paper for Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand titled “Reinventing Financial Planning”, which examines the industry’s structure, the consequences of conflicts of interest and recommendations for lasting and genuine reform.
Robert has a particular interest in contributing to the Australian community’s understanding of the consequences of investment risk and personal debt, and the importance of a written financial budget as the foundation for building financial literacy, discipline and independence.