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Host Officer

Role and responsibilities



  1. The key enabler to the implementation of the ADF Overseas Lateral Recruit Scheme (OLRS) is the successful integration of recruited members transferring into the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the successful integration of their families into the local community.
  2. The attached duty statement is provided as a guide to Command and the appointed Host Officer or Host Organisation (HO), noting the following:
    • The Host Officer should be appointed to these duties under Service orders or equivalent.
    • The Host Officer should be appointed considering the rank, age, family composition and interests of both the Member and the Host Officer.
    • The Host Officer is to act as the initial point of contact for the member and as the conduit between the member, the unit, the wider ADF, the local community and any of the family/sporting/social groups that the member and their family may wish to be connected to.
    • The Host Officer is to perform this role from appointment until Command is satisfied that the member and their family are sufficiently integrated into the ADF and the local community.
Note: A Host Officer should be appointed for at least one month (usually until delivery of the personal and household effects). Air-freight usually arrives within one month; seagoing freight can take six weeks or more. A slightly shorter period may be experienced for New Zealand arrivals.
  1. The process for the movement of lateral recruits occurs in three phases:
    • Pre-removal administration
    • Removals and travel, including appointment/enlistment
    • Reception and induction once in Australia.
  2. Pre-removal administration, removal, travel and the appointment /enlistment process in the home (losing) locality overseas is managed by Australian Defence Force staff (Defence staff) in the respective High Commission/Embassy. Defence staff coordinate removals and travel for all members and their families to Australia and are responsible for ensuring the member and family arrive at the new posting (gaining) locality in Australia.
  3. Command in the gaining locality is responsible for the reception, induction and successful integration in Australia of members and their families.


Prior to Member’s departure from country of origin:

Member’s arrival in Australia:                                              

Arrival tip - No matter where the Member (and family) come from, no matter how much they have researched Australia, they may experience communication difficulties and culture shock almost immediately and will need a little help along the way.

Assess the family’s condition

It is highly likely that the family will be tired and weary—almost certainly jet-lagged. It is possible they didn’t have a good trip having left ‘home’ behind them. Getting them to their temporary accommodation should be the topic of conversation. Where possible, leave ‘work talk’ until after they have rested.

Temporary accommodation

Accompany the member (and family if applicable) to their temporary accommodation and show them how to get to:

Temporary accommodation tip - Depending on the type of accommodation the family has been provided, they may need to purchase items such as vacuum cleaner, kettle, iron, clothes, children’s needs, bedding, general utensils such as cutlery, crockery, mops and buckets to use until their freight arrives.

On completion of rest days:

Member’s march/post-in date:

Tip: Provide an opportunity for the Member’s family to meet other unit families (this will be ship/unit specific).

Contact us

Defence Family Helpline
1800 624 608

Defence Community Organisation Headquarters
PO Box 7921
Canberra BC ACT 2610

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