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Defence Community Organisation

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Employment assistance

Defence recognises the military lifestyle can present challenges for ADF families. Challenges like partner employment, when families relocate to a new location on posting or when ADF members transition for medical reasons.

We provide funding for initiatives aimed at contributing to the employability of ADF partners when they are relocated as a consequence of their partner’s service, or if their ADF member is transitioning for medical reasons.


Partner Employment Assistance Program

Our Partner Employment Assistance Program (PEAP) provides funding towards initiatives to assist ADF partners with the difficulties of finding employment when the member is relocated on posting or medically transitioning.

Due to effects of the COVID-19 health crisis on the employment market, certain eligibility conditions, including the requirement for a partner to have relocated with the member on posting or have joined the member in the posting location in the previous two years, have been temporarily suspended. These changes will be reviewed by April 2021.

Eligible partners of ADF personnel can apply for up to $1500 funding to access the following employment-related initiatives:

  • Mandatory fees for professional re-registration required under legislation
  • Professional employment services:
    • Development of a personalised resume and/or resume coaching
    • Identification of transferrable skills
    • Employment options and job placement advice
    • Job search techniques and strategies
    • Development of an online employment profile
    • Application and selection criteria coaching
    • Preparation and presentation coaching for interviews
How to apply

Interested partners should read the PEAP guidelines before completing the PEAP application form . A quote from your chosen provider must be provided as part of your application.

Applicants should anticipate that it will take up to 28 days from receipt of a complete application (including completed application form and required attachments) for an assessment to be made. Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application.

Funding is not guaranteed and is subject to the availability of sufficient funding in the relevant financial year.

More information

If you’ve read the guidelines and still have questions, contact the PEAP team at or the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

Other employment support

Education support

Partners wishing to undertake higher education courses can apply for funding support through a range of Government-funded programs.

Tertiary education loans

The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) is a loan scheme provided by the Australian government to assist higher education students to meet the tuition costs of their studies.

HECS-HELP is the loan program that assists students in commonwealth supported places (most undergraduate students at Australian public universities are enrolled in commonwealth supported places) with paying their student contribution amount. HECS-HELP can cover all or part of a student’s student contribution amount.

FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that helps eligible fee-paying students to pay their tuition fees. FEE-HELP can cover all or part of a student’s tuition fees.

An eligible course of study for FEE-HELP is a subject that is part of a program leading to a higher education award (such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or masters by coursework).

Through HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP, the Australian Government pays the amount of the loan direct to the tertiary institution. Students repay their loans through the taxation system once their income is above the minimum repayment for compulsory repayment. Voluntary repayments can be made at any time regardless of your income.

Vocational education and training loans

The VET Student Loans Program is an income contingent loan offered by the Australian Government that helps eligible students pay for some vocational and education training (VET) diploma level or above courses.

Your VET Student Loan becomes part of your Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt and must be paid back at the relevant repayment rate when your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold.

For more information on HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP and VET student loans:


Jobactive is an Australian Government initiative that connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of Jobactive providers in more than 1700 locations across Australia.

To find out more about Jobactive and to find your local provider, visit the Jobactive website

Starting a small business

If you are a Defence partner already running or looking to start a small business the following information and websites may be of assistance to you.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science provides a free Grants and Assistance tool to help you find support, funding, assistance packages and loans for your business from all levels of government:

Job seekers interested in running a small business may be eligible to participate in the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme as part of the Government’s Jobactive initiative. It is a program delivered by a network of 21 providers who provide individualised help for job seekers to become self-employed business owners. For more information see

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides information about taxation and other important consideration when starting your own business:

There’s also information for small business operators whose main office is in their home:

Operating a business from a Defence Housing Australia property

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) supports tenants, wherever practicable, in the operation of a business from home. If you are a recognised dependant of a serving member and wish to operate a business from home from your DHA property, you must apply in writing to your local regional office. Details: