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Defence Community Organisation

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

History of DCO

Defence family support was first clearly articulated in the Hamilton report, Supporting Service Families, in April 1986. Key issues raised in the report underpin DCO's support for Defence families to this day, including family stability, dealing with absence, and disruption to partners’ careers and children’s education.

Defence Community Organisation was formed in 1996, bringing together the three individual Services’ family support organisations and the Australian Defence Families Information and Liaison staff.

In 2009, DCO streamlined its services to focus on five outputs: absence support (where an ADF member is away from the family for Service reasons), mobility support (where the family relocates due to posting), critical incident support, self-reliance support, and management and policy advice.

In 2012, DCO launched the Defence Family Helpline on DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au or 1800 624 608, a national intake line and centralised point for Defence families to access support, advice or referrals.