First listed on: 04 July 2019

Chief Financial Officer


Defence Housing Australia (DHA) is a Government Business Enterprise established under the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987. Our primary purpose is to provide housing and related services to Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families. DHA delivers its products and services in a commercial environment with a Services Agreement as the contractual vehicle in place between Defence andDHA.

DHA’s revenues in 2017-18 were in excess of $1 billion while earnings before interest and tax was $78.1 million. DHA is a tax paying entity and makes annual dividend payments to the Government.DHAhas more than 650 staff in 20 locations to manage the following business operations:

  • A portfolio of over 17,000 properties in all states and territories of Australia valued at more than $10 billion
  • Housing allocation services for 16,500 ADF members each year
  • Rental Allowance for 14,000 ADF members
  • On-base accommodation for 11,000 ADF members
  • Financing Defence owned properties
  • Property development and construction and
  • A sales and leaseback program to generate capital in the order of $250 million a year.


DHA reports to two shareholder Ministers, the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Finance, and has a Board of Directors appointed by the Government.

The DHA Board comprises of nine directors:

  • A Chairman appointed by the Shareholder Ministers
  • Four directors with expertise in residential property, real estate, building, social planning or finance
  • Three directors nominated respectively by the Chief of the Defence Force, and the Secretaries of the Departments of Defence and Finance and
  • The Managing Director of DHA (also the Chief Executive Officer) appointed by the Board and who is the only Executive Director.

The Board is responsible for ensuring good corporate governance, determining and approving corporate strategy and providing guidance and oversight to senior management.


The Chief Finance Officer (CFO) will assume responsibility for the strategic financial management of DHA and the delivery of improved and sustainable business outcomes through strong fiscal governance and astute capital management. Reporting to the Managing Director, responsibilities will include; internal and external financial reporting, management of regulatory and advisory taxation requirements, oversight of debt and investment portfolios, budgetary and financial advisory services, strategic portfolio and business planning, and valuations and research services functions. The role works closely with the DHA Board, the Board Audit Committee and the Board Property Committee.

Our ideal candidate will have:

  • A proven ability to drive change through an organisation via strong fiscal management and strategy
  • Extensive experience in managing large debt and asset portfolios, large development and construction projects, capital structuring issues, including joint venture and other partnering arrangements, and building robust business models, including managing interest rate risk and knowledge of alternative financing options available from the capital markets
  • Excellent communication skills and be able to negotiate persuasively
  • The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships
  • A demonstrated ability to shape strategic thinking and achieve results
  • Excellent personal drive and integrity.

Some of the benefits of working at DHA include:

  • Generous employee benefits with a competitive salary package
  • Employer superannuation contribution of up to 15.4%
  • Flexible work arrangements, including family friendly provisions
  • Benefits of working for the APS, while in an outcome focused Government Business Enterprise (GBE)
  • A diverse range of interesting projects in high performing and collaborative work environment.


This is a full-time position.  DHA’s core business hours are between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.  DHA operates under flexible working hours and staff may be required to work outside core business hours at times.


  1. Oversee the preparation of DHA’s Corporate Plan, including Financial Forecasts and associated 10 year financial strategy, ensuring alignment with a whole of government agenda and ongoing financial sustainability.
  2. Establish and maintain the strategic direction of DHA’s portfolio holdings, ensuring Defence provisioning requirements are met, whilst optimising financial returns.  Support the Senior Executive Group with strategic options for housing delivery, through strong financial and risk analysis and market research.
  3. Oversee DHA’s financial reporting requirements, including the preparation of both statutory for-profit and whole of government financial statements in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards and the Commonwealth’s Financial Reporting Rules; and submissions to whole of government Portfolio Budget Statements and internal budgeting and forecasting.
  4. Manage DHA’s capital structure, incorporating both large debt and investment portfolios, and ensure overall funding requirements are optimised and sustainable.
  5. Oversee DHA’s taxation obligations as commercial GBE; ensuring strong tax governance frameworks are in place that optimise returns whilst meeting all compliance obligations.
  6. Provide executive level advice to the Managing Director and Board in relation to ongoing strategic financial and planning issues and support the Managing Director and Senior Executive Group in the development of business strategies for DHA.
  7. Manage key relationships with the Department of Defence and Department of Finance in relation to the financial governance activities and operations of DHA.
  8. Provide a high level leadership and management for the operation of the CFO group.


Based on the duty statement, in 1000 words, please tell us how your skills and experience are relevant to the role and describe the contribution you can make to DHA.


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