Trustees of a patriotic fund can be individuals, an incorporated association or company.
The obligations of patriotic fund trustees are set out in:
- Part 4 of the Veterans Act 2005
- the trust deed that establishes the patriotic fund
- the Trustee Act 1958.
As a trustee, you must:
- exercise your power under the trust in good faith and in the best interests of the beneficiaries
- not allow a conflict of interest and duty
- perform and adhere to the terms of the trust
- keep and render accounts.
You can be criminally liable if money or other assets are misappropriated, and personally liable for any losses from a fund due to negligence, incompetence or irresponsibility.
Tips to help you comply with the law
As a trustee, you have a number of responsibilities in order to comply with the law.
To help you comply:
- keep the Veterans Act 2005, Veterans (Patriotic Funds) Regulations 2008 and the Trustee Act 1958 handy for reference
- safeguard all valuable documents related to the patriotic fund. These include all licences, permits, land titles, asset registers, approvals issued by the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria and the trust deed, objectives and rules
- make sure all buildings, furniture, fittings and equipment are adequately insured and maintain a register of fund assets
- ensure publicity for fundraising activities clearly identifies the patriotic fund that will benefit. For example, raffle tickets, pamphlets and advertisements should carry the exact title of the fund
- operate and record the transactions of each patriotic fund as a separate entity
- deposit all patriotic fund money within seven days, into an authorised deposit-taking institution account that bears the exact title of the fund
- make sure the patriotic fund account is operated by at least two people and that all payments accord with the fund’s purposes and the Veterans Act 2005
- get approvals from the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria and, when necessary, the Governor in Council before making any donation or transfer from a patriotic fund
- use Consumer Affairs Victoria’s forms for approvals, notifications, annual statements or other reporting
- notify the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria of any change in trustees, the secretary or treasurer of a patriotic fund
- provide the annual audited statement of income and expenditure and a balance sheet of the fund to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
For information about how we enforce the law, view the How we enforce patriotic funds law page.