Sydney welcomes Defence families

3 April 2024

Defence families were welcomed with open arms at Sydney Zoo for the 2024 Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) Sydney welcome event. 

The event, held in March, brought together families from across Sydney, Richmond and Liverpool to support them in connecting to their communities in new positing locations. 

Area Manager for Sydney Aspasia Iosifidis said the purpose of the event was to provide families who are newly posted to Sydney with a fun, family friendly day at one of the city’s amazing attractions.

“We welcomed over 1100 Defence family members today, making it the largest DMFS event that Sydney, Liverpool and Richmond have ever had,” she said. 

Families accessed information about the services and programs available to them, and met with local exhibitors, sporting associations, support agencies and other Defence families in the area experiencing a similar lifestyle.

Area Manager for Hunter and Richmond Pia Macmillan said that ADF personnel posted to the wider Sydney area were geographically dispersed and might need additional support to connect to their local network.

“This event is pivotal for establishing a solid support network between Defence families, ensuring families feel comfortable and excited for the next step in their life,” she said. 

Navy’s Leading Seaman Codi Kerr and Lieutenant Commander Mitchell Kerr have a blended family of three sons and one daughter. This was the first major event they had attended post-COVID. 

“It was so lovely to see all the families out in the broader community, not just Navy families, but Army and Air Force families as well,” Leading Seaman Kerr said. 

Welcome events support Defence personnel, their partners and children to feel like part of the community and to make friends. 

“The kids were so happy and they couldn’t stop thanking us for taking them to the zoo for a great day out with other Defence families,” Leading Seaman Kerr said. 

“It’s good for the kids to feel they are a part of the wider Defence network. They went to school telling everyone about it.

“We loved sharing this experience with so many Defence families. It will be a highlight for us for a while.” 

The Sydney event was one of the final welcome events for the year. It adds to the activities that took place between January and March, attracting more than 10,000 Defence families from across the country. 



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