Twice yearly, Australia Post delivers care packages to our deployed troops sent by the public, including many community groups, organisations, schools and individual households. Every year Defence is overwhelmed by the generosity of Australians, receiving many more packages than the number of troops deployed on operations overseas.

This is testament to the generous nature of many supporting organisations and individuals in the Australian community.

To balance this generosity, we ask that you consider supporting those that support us, especially those that assist our returned troops, veterans and their families in Australia, as well as federal and state police forces and emergency service workers.

There are a range of different organisations in Australia that provide ongoing services to returned troops in the areas of mental health, employment support, training, and individual and family welfare.

The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a list of ex-service organisations in Australia; donations to these organisations help provide ongoing support to those who have served Australia.

Another way to show your support is to donate to the RSL Australian Forces Overseas Fund, which prepares care packages that are dispatched to Defence personnel deployed on operations in time for Christmas Day and Anzac Day.

These packages contain non-perishable items and a letter of appreciation on behalf of all Australians. Importantly, the packages are prepared specifically to meet all Defence and host nation transport and import requirements.

Donations can be made online to the RSL Australian Forces Overseas Fund. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and every donation is individually acknowledged by the RSL.

For more information about current Defence Force Operations visit the ADF on Operations website.

The window for Australia Post to accept parcels for deployed personnel from the public for Anzac Day 2022 closed on 1 April 2022.

Defence was once again overwhelmed by the generosity of Australians, receiving more packages than the number of troops deployed on operations overseas.

The Christmas 2022 mailing window dates will be published once confirmed

(Note: Family and friends are able to send addressed parcels at any time).

Other ways to express your support and thoughts for our troops is to send an email or “Postcards to the Troops.”

Emails sent are widely circulated to deployed personnel from all three services and are very much appreciated by ADF members on operations. “Postcards to the Troops.” are popular among children who put in great effort to decorate and design their cards. The troops appreciate the messages of goodwill and proudly display the handicraft.

Send an email:

Postcards to the troops can be sent to:

Messages to the Troops
39th Operational Support Battalion
Locked Bag 7005
Liverpool NSW 1871

While ADF personnel serving overseas enjoy receiving messages from home, they also enjoy sending messages. In preparation for Anzac Day, troops send video messages home to family, friends, and the Australian public. These messages, once available, can be viewed on the Defence YouTube channel.

Additional guidance for all postal items

To prevent spoiling, please ensure packages do not include perishable goods, and are robustly packed. Providing gender-neutral items will ensure an equitable distribution of parcels among our deployed personnel.

Parcels cannot contain tobacco, alcohol, pornography or culturally offensive or inappropriate written material.

A customs declaration must be attached to all parcels sent to an Australian Forces Post Office.

Packages must be under 2kg in weight, actual or cubic weight.

If using Australia Post's packaging their largest box that has a cubic weight under 2kg is the "Medium" box.

If using your own packaging please ensure that both the actual weight and the cubic weight is under 2kgs. Australia Post staff will check both the actual and cubic weight.

Unfortunately, Defence cannot accept care packages for military working dogs or explosive detection dogs due to strict care requirements for both their diet and training programs.

In general, all parcels must be made up and packed to a standard that will:

  • Prevent injury to the person handling the parcel;
  • Prevent the contents escaping, leaking and damaging other postal articles;
  • Prevent damage to equipment and vehicles, particularly aircraft;
  • Protect the contents from loss or damage caused by the stress of handling and carriage; and
  • Protect the contents from loss or damage caused by the extremes of climate.

Australia Post provides a very detailed guide that covers suitable packaging for all types of goods. It can be found on the Australia Post website and should be referred to prior to posting items to ensure that they are packaged appropriately.

Items that are packaged inappropriately may be returned to the sender, or may need to be destroyed.

Prohibited goods

Certain items must not be posted in the domestic and or international postal system. This includes items such as dangerous goods, items prohibited by the International Aviation Transport Association and items that are prohibited by individual countries.

Australia Post's Dangerous and Prohibited Goods and Packaging Guide is the best reference to use to ensure that you do not send any prohibited items.

If in doubt, seek advice from Australia Post staff at your nearest retail outlet.

Liquid articles

We strongly discourage sending liquid articles. However, if you must send a liquid product, it must be enclosed in a leak-proof container made of metal, plastic or similar material with secure closures. A suitable example of this would be a zip lock bag, placed inside another. The outer package must be strong enough to withstand large volumes of weight.

Furthermore, the package must contain sawdust, cotton-wool or another protective material to absorb the liquid should the container break.