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Defence Community Organisation

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Your Community

Defence families are strongest when they are connected with their local communities. We provide a number of support and information services to help you connect with and contribute to your community, and to engage the wider community in support of Defence families.

Relocation due to posting is an integral feature of Defence life, which means you may periodically be required to move away from your established support networks and familiar resources.

Getting out into your new community can help you to:

  • access existing support mechanisms in place in the community,
  • create new support networks for yourself,
  • be informed about local resources, services and goings­on,
  • get orientated more quickly and smoothly,
  • have a richer experience in your new home,
  • build on your skills and develop strategies for managing challenges,
  • find people with like interests or experiences,
  • have fun,
  • and make a difference.

Community groups

There are a wide variety of community groups and organisations which may benefit Defence families, including toy libraries, playgroups, Defence partner support groups, craft groups, sporting clubs and many more. Key national support organisations, such as the Defence Special Needs Support Group, also operate on a local level, holding meetings and activities for families.

Defence maintains community centres and neighbourhood houses around Australia, where community group meetings or family­orientated activities can be held. Joining local community groups can help you to make friends and create new support networks, and provides a forum for Defence families to share their experiences, skills and strategies.

Community events

Attending events run by these community organisations or by local authorities is a great way to expand your social network and get out into the community. DCO also holds a variety of local events, such as welcome events at the start of the new posting cycle, celebrations of National Families Week, workshops, information sessions and social and family activities.

How to connect

We have information and resources available to guide you to what community access points - such as groups, organisations, events or opportunities- might suit you best. Our specialised team members - Family Liaison Officers (FLOs) and Community Development Officers (CDOs) - have extensive knowledge of the local community and region and can provide you with advice and information, before or during your posting. FLOs and CDOs can also refer you to appropriate community agencies or resources you may need. Call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 to get personalised advice from your local FLO or CDO.

Regional Education Liaison Officers (REDLOs) are teachers available to provide you with information and advice about the local education system and schools. For more information, click on the REDLOs tab in our Support for children’s education section, or call the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 to connect with your local REDLO.

Call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 to get personalised advice from your local FLO, CDO or REDLO.

Contributing to your community

Communities are enriched by the skills, experiences and ideas Defence families bring to them. You might choose to contribute to the community by volunteering in a local organisation or school, participating in a community group or starting your own. Having an active presence in your community will also help to raise awareness of the Defence lifestyle and thus support in the wider community.

Find opportunities to contribute to your community by contacting the Defence Family Helpline at  defencefamilyhelpline@defence.gov.au or on 1800 624 608 to connect with your local advisory staff. Or visit the Volunteering Australia website for Australia-wide information for volunteers.