In here, out there, and coming soon
Welcome to the first edition of dfm for 2009. I am proud to announce that dfm is finally with the
Defence Community Organisation (DCO). DCO was always very much the spiritual heart of the
magazine, but now the magazine is physically and organisationally part of the organisation it will
strengthen dfm’s ability to get information of use to Defence families. We will also continue to
work closely with support organizations such as Defence Families of Australia to provide you with
advice and links to assist you with managing the issues you may face as a Defence family.
A sampling of what‘s in Online Extras!
• Armygeddon: the road behind & the way ahead
• Book reviews – Soldiers‘ Tales and Australians on the Western Front
• Getting the look
• And much, much more!
To get to the Online Extras;
1. Click on www.defence.gov.au/dco
2. Select defence family matters on the left hand menu
3. Click on the link provided.
The dfm webpage also has a handy list of articles by topic from the last few editions. So if you‘re madly trying to think where you read something in dfm, trip over to there and keyword search.
We have one copy of each of the books reviewed online to give-away. See those reviews on how to go into the draw.
Darren Gallagher covers all the action from Avalon Air Show 2009 and has an exclusive interview
with ADF Gap Year participants as the program moves closer to its second successful year of
Message from Mick Callan 3
Whatever You Do… 4
Spotlight: Emergency Support for Families Scheme 6
Supporting ADF families with a community initiative?
Consider seeking Family Support Funding 6
Books by Defence kids for Defence kids 7
It‘s time to plan your next break! 7
Community house and group news 8
National Families Week in May 10
Defence Families of Australia News 12
Farewell to Defence/AFS Scholarship winners 2009 15
Friends of Timor 16
Spotlight on the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund 17 DCO Welcome Days 18
Celebrate Defence Pets ‗N‘ Bubs 19
Celebrate good times, come on! 20
The Defence Child Care Program FAQ 22
Helping ADF members manage their money 23
ADF Pay, Benefits and Conditions Of Service:
what‘s on the agenda for 2009? 24
We‘re rolling out GORPS! 26
DHA News - Government package to provide
hundreds of new Defence homes 28
Same-sex discrimination ends 28
VVCS – providing counselling services
to Defence members and their families 29
Child Support Agency clarifies Defence income rules 30
The Child Support Agency can consider
costs of contact with your kids 31
National study finds no ill health effects
of Solomon Islands deployment 32
Free health care trial for Defence families 34
Operation VIC Fire Assist 35
Remembrance Day: why it is important to me 36
Those magnificent men… the Over the front:
the Great War exhibition at the Australian War Memorial 38
Lake George Remembered 39
Want a University Degree and a guaranteed job?
Then look no further than the Navy, Army or Air Force 40
Origins of the slouch hat 40
In the downtime: Volunteering with the
State Emergency Service 41
Sea Patrol Season Three ...setting sail for Oz TV 42
Community Organisation contact details 44
Advertising in dfm: dfm does not take paid advertising, though we do provide
space for not-for-profit organisations that directly provide services for ADF members and their families. If you‘re looking to advertise your products or
services direct to members then you can‘t go past the Service Newspapers
for reaching that demographic. Please call Geoff Howard for more information on 02 6266 7605 or email email@example.com
Message from Mick Callan
It has been a dramatic start to the year for all Australians. The Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods have shown us destruction on a scale that defies description. My own sympathies are with the thousands of people who have been affected by these tragic events, and I know that I am joined by the rest of the Defence community in this sentiment.
It would be easy to give up in despair in the face of such extraordinary challenges, but it seems that in times of crisis, one characteristic that comes to the fore is that of self reliance. Australians are not prepared to sit around or give up, even when faced with a tragedy that can scarcely be comprehended. Toughness and strength of character are some of the most admirable qualities that Australians possess – and these qualities are not limited to those who have been affected by the recent disasters. I see these characteristics, time and time again, in our ADF members. In particular, I also see them in ADF families and in the Defence community as a whole. Our families continually display wonderful resilience in dealing with the day to day challenges of the ADF lifestyle. We are increasingly seeing this capacity for self reliance as the best source of support for ADF families now and into the future.
It has therefore been incredibly heartening to see how many Australians have got involved in response to the recent national disasters, volunteering their time and expertise in supporting those many thousands of people who have been affected. There is a real sense of volunteerism with people from all across the country selflessly pitching in and helping each other. This is
another admirable Australian characteristic, and one which is clearly evident in the Defence community. In this very magazine are some great examples of Defence people getting involved and helping out. The article on the Thrift store at RAAF Williams is a great story about a dedicated group of volunteers working together to build a fantastic resource for their community. Defence people also volunteer in the emergency services – on page 35 you‘ll see our very own
Helen Marshall, who normally works as a Family Liaison Officer at DCO Wagga, doing her bit as a St John‘s Ambulance volunteer. And on page 41 Justin Cox talks about his experiences in the
State Emergency Service. All throughout Defence, we see ordinary people achieving extraordinary things in support of others.
The Defence Community Organisation is committed to fostering self reliance in ADF families and in the ADF community as a whole. We‘re keen to help families not just survive in the Defence environment but to thrive in it. We especially want to harness this great spirit of volunteering and use it to support ADF members and their families. My goal is to assist Defence families to meet the challenges of Defence life and seize the opportunities that come with it, while also supporting families when they face challenges and crises.
Mick Callan is Director General of
the Defence Community Organisation.
Whatever You Do…
By Chaplain Christine Senini RAN
Hello and thank you for your time. You may remember from our last edition that I was recently deployed to the Gulf. Any major operation like that attracts VIP visitors and the Prime Minister, staff from the Australian War Memorial, and many others visited us. One of the highlights for me was the visit by Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP and the Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.
The reason I found it such a highlight was that they both sat down with me for twenty minutes and we were able to talk about life at sea, chaplaincy, and the navy. They asked me intelligent questions, and I did my best to give intelligent answers back. What struck me most though, is that they both genuinely cared, they were interested, and they were concerned about Ship‘s Company and their families. There were no photographers, no political mileage, and nothing in it that was media worthy. They simply asked, listened, and cared.
Consultation is a funny thing. For some it means making a decision that affects your life and family, and then sending you an email to tell you they have done it, to ensure you turn up at the right spot, on the right day. ‗You‘ve been consulted; I told you what I decided.‘ For others, it‘s going through the motions, they sit down with you and whatever you say, they hear ‗blah, blah‘ blah‘. ‗You‘ve been consulted; we had a meeting.‘ Then there are people who get it right, who include you in the process. They use your talent, your skills and knowledge, your ingenuity, to work with you and to achieve what‘s best for the organisation. That‘s consultation.
One of my favourite quotes is from Lieutenant Commander Graham Spencer. In 2007, he retired in his 40th year of service. Navy News asked him ‗what was the most important lesson that Navy
gave you?‘ His reply, ‗Communicating up front, boldly, clearly and being straight forward with everybody is the way to go.‘ I have never met Graham but what he said stuck with me.
Consultation is a two way process. If you are asked what you think, do your part to be up front, speak boldly and clearly. Of course, you must be respectful, but an intelligent, informed response goes a long way. If you take the time to think things through, read up on the ‗rules‘, to ask
questions, watch others, get advice; to understand what you do better than anyone else, you will be amazed at what you can achieve. You are the best person to be the subject matter
expert on what you do! When your supervisor, team leader, or manager asks you what you think and they genuinely care and listen to what you have to say, can you imagine what a powerful combination that will make; the problems that you will both be able to solve, and the things that you can achieve?
If you have a boss that doesn‘t know how to consult, don‘t give up. Talk with them, teach them, get help, but whatever you do, don‘t give up. You are too important. Believe in yourself, talk with people you trust, get advice, but whatever you do, don‘t give up.
If the Minister and the CDF can set aside twenty minutes to talk with someone ordinary because they care about a Ship‘s Company and their families, then I am filled with great joy and optimism. People care, people believe in you. Believe it!
Emergency Support for Families Scheme
Defence has developed an Emergency Support to Families Scheme (ESFS) to provide short term practical assistance to a member‘s family during an emergency or crisis situation, when the member is absent from home for Service reasons.
The scheme is designed to provide confidence to the serving member and their dependants that if an emergency occurs in the member‘s absence, their dependants will be supported
Measures of assistance available under this scheme include respite, child care and home help that may assist to restore the family‘s well being following a family crisis when the member is away on exercise, training or deployment.
The assistance can be provided for up to five days to a combined maximum
assistance level of a total of $2,500 in total. This assistance is FBT reportable.
How to Apply for Emergency Support
The ADF member, their dependants or the Commanding Officer of the member‘s unit can apply for emergency support by contacting:
• During business hours - their local DCO office; or
• After hours - the National Welfare Coordination Centre on 1800 801 026
For further information on the Emergency Support to Families Scheme contact your local DCO office or visit the DCO web site.
Supporting ADF families with a community initiative?
Consider seeking Family Support Funding By DCO HQ
The Defence Family Support Funding Program, or FSFP, provides grants to community organisations and incorporated groups of Service families for self help projects that assist in overcoming the effects of mobility. The FSFP allocates $1 million in grant funds each financial year.
Grant applications close on 30 April each year, and funding is available early in the next financial year. Seeding grants are available throughout the year for new projects subject to funds availability.
Any incorporated non profit group can apply, for example community groups, Defence family support committees or voluntary Associations - provided they represent the interests of ADF families.
FSFP grants are not limited by the type of projects, as long as they assist in reducing the effects of mobility and meet the needs of the families.
For example, the following projects have previously been funded.
• Establishment and operation of a neighbourhood house, family or community centre
• Establishment and operating expenses for a local ADF family‘s welcoming group, craft group, skills course or spouse support group
• Assistance with establishment/operational costs of a Defence family newsletter
• The subsidy of a youth activity program for teenage dependants of serving members
This year DCO is committed to progressing a long term strategy of self reliance for Defence families. This strategy is intended to ensure Defence families integrate with and thrive in, their local communities. Therefore, high priority will be placed on activities that involve families participating more with their local community.
For information on the grants process, and previous grants which have been funded, please see the following DCO website.
the grant close date is 30 April 2009.
Books by Defence kids for Defence kids By the DCO Directorate of Retention Programs
In 2007, the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) organised a nation wide competition called ‗Defence Kids Helping Defence Kids‘. Three books and two separate postcards featuring navy
welcome home signs have been produced as a result of the competition. These products are available for dependants of ADF members and schools to support the educational, social and emotional needs of Defence children.
Emily Bristow of North Nowra Public School wrote My life as a Navy Submarine. The book stars
Ollie the submarine and follows the many adventures Ollie has during his time in the RAN - from sneaking up on ships, helping other subs in distress, and seeing who can dive the deepest.
Shannon Groves of Tomaree Primary School authored My life as a jet fighter … Angel Pig, which
tells the story of a girl named Saraphina who moves to Amberley and is assisted in her new start by a friendly F111.
Sarah Wilson of Puckapunyal Primary School (now attending Mawson Lakes Primary School in Adelaide) wrote Max the Helicopter. Max and his family are Army helicopters. Not only does Max grapple with relocation he heroically flies into danger to search for his dad.
The books are available at your local DCO office and are free to Defence families. See the back cover of dfm for the contact details for the office nearest you, or contact Joan Gilbert for further information.
It‘s time to plan your next break!
By the RANCCF
Holidays are always too short and too far apart. That is why we at SALT Vacation Club believe that we should assist you today to plan your next break.
SALT Vacation Club is a Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Fund (RANCCF) initiative and is aimed at providing all Navy and Defence members with value for money holiday experiences at exciting locations.
For over 30 years the RANCCF has been providing its members with holiday accommodation. For the past two years through our association with organisations such as Affordable Holidays we have expanded the options for Navy members with value holiday packages at destinations around Australia.
RANCCF‗s association with Affordable Holidays provides all Defence members, both uniformed and civilian, with a holiday accommodation team totally committed to negotiating the very best deals. The RANCCF is further committed to seeking and developing innovative new benefits and partnerships that will greatly enhance value for our members.
Navy and Defence members are invited to contact Ms Sharon Johnson for a discounted value holiday package with great variety, choice and flexibility.
Phone: 1300 797 577
For more information about what the RANCCF has to offer ADF members, please see the
Community house and group news
If you would like your community house or group profiled in dfm, let us know. Our Winter deadline is 21 May 2009. dfm: firstname.lastname@example.org
RAF Williams, Laverton VIC
RAAF Williams has a number of supporting groups on base to assist local ADF members and their families. Two main organisations are the Community House and the Family Centre.
Williams Defence Community House
The Williams Defence Community House can sometimes be your home away from home. It is a place where you can come along, have a cuppa, meet others and join in the activities which we have on offer. We aim to provide Defence members and their families with a central venue that offers activity groups such as Craft, Meditation and Playgroup just to name a few. The facility caters for all ages and has disabled access for those who may need it, and our friendly team of volunteers are always available to lend a hand or a shoulder.
The groups operating within the facility run during the school term with the occasional weekend activity also available. The house is fully equipped with the inclusion of a large shaded playground and a bike track for the young ones.
We have internet access and photocopying services available to our members. There is a large assortment of information brochures for local and DCO services.
Williams Defence Community House is supported by the Family Support Funding Program and the ongoing support of volunteers. New members are always welcome. Please see below for the House‘s contact details.
Address: 12 Sir Richard Williams Avenue,
RAAF Williams, Laverton Vic 3027
Phone: 03 9369 1916
RAAF Williams Defence Family Centre
Thrift shops came into being after World War Two when the Comforts Fund ceased. This fund supplied goods such as socks, cakes, soap etc, to troops overseas.
The Point Cook Thrift shop was originally run by RAAFWA, then Point Cook Social Club and eventually it became part of the RAAF Williams Defence Family Centre. It moved from Point Cook to Laverton in 2001 and is now situated on Tangmere Road.
The Thrift shop is run by a small band of volunteers who give their time to run the shop and also organize a sausage sizzle every Thursday. Goods are taken into the shop on consignment and when sold, the Thrift shop takes a ten per cent commission which is then distributed to Defence-related charities. Many items are simply donated to the shop and the proceeds from these sales go to charities such as Special Needs, Cancer Council, Overseas Charities and many more.
The Thrift shop also provides volunteers to assist at several RAAF Williams activities including the Children‘s Christmas Treat, Christmas Carol Service and family days.
The Thrift shop makes a substantive positive contribution to the morale of the Defence community. They ask for your continued support to ensure that this valuable asset to the community is not lost. If you have items - no clothes please - in good condition which you no longer require, they will be happy to sell them for you. Bring them to the Thrift shop on Thursdays, or, if not convenient, telephone and leave a message with your telephone number and you will be contacted as soon as possible.
Phone: 03 9256 2299
Address: Building L30 Tangmere Road RAAF Williams Laverton Vic 3027
Thrift Shop Donation On Thursday,12 February, the Thrift shop
sausage sizzle proceeds were donated to the bushfire appeal. The Thrift shop matched the amount raised dollar for dollar. The response was overwhelming and we were able to donate $750 to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire appeal and $750 to the Country Fire Authority which is volunteer based. Many thanks to all those who took part and partook.
Defence Community and Recreation Centre, Cairns
The Defence Community and Recreation Centre (DCRC) in Cairns QLD have some very exciting news. They are very proud to announce that they have created a webpage - a first for DCRC in Australia.
DCRC Website: www.dcrc-cairns.com
The site details who they are and what they do, including links to their programs like Playgroup, Bellies Bubs and Mums, Extreme Tuesdays and Tinker Tailor. There are also links relating to DCO, HMAS Cairns, Defence Housing Authority and 51FNQR.
Tropic Topics – their monthly newsletter - will be uploaded to the site for everyone to view along with the committee meetings, times and dates. This idea has been reviewed in the past but it was the recent committee members that put the plan into action with much help from DCO.
It will also help new families posting to Far North QLD on what they offer at the centre. So please get behind the DCRC and look out for their website. There will be pictures so have a look and see if you know anyone. As most of you know, DCRC is very family oriented and is looking forward to this new stage within the centre.
Families Week in May
The seventh National Families Week will be held during the week commencing 10 May 2009. This week is organised annually by Families Australia on behalf of the Department of Family and Community Services. Families Australia is Australia‘s peak independent, not-for-profit
organisation dedicated to promoting the needs and interests of families.
Families Australia: www.familiesaustralia.org.au
The theme for this year‘s Defence National Families Day is ‗Thriving in the Defence Community‘ –
reflecting the importance of building networks and linkages within the Defence and local community and increasing awareness of the support systems and services available to families.
As in previous years, Defence will be supporting this special week in recognition of the important role families have in supporting the Defence members and Defence.
The Defence Community Organisation (DCO), in partnership with Command, will host family events nationally. This is a great opportunity to take time out to enjoy some entertainment and celebrate being part of the Defence family. The days are great fun for the whole family with plenty of activities and entertainment for everyone.
A program of events is listed below. Please note that many of these activities require you to book if you wish to attend. Contact your local DCO office at the earliest opportunity for more information on the activity in your area and to book your attendance.
Please note times and locations could potentially change after publication of dfm. Please check
the DCO website to confirm details at least one week before the event.
See you there!
National Families Celebrations
ACT Activity Date Contact
Family Fun Day at HMAS HARMAN Canberra Saturday 16 May 02 6265
Meet new people and make new friends through fun 09 8777
activities such as People Bingo. Family
entertainment includes Jumping castle, Life be in it
Games and adventure activities for all ages and Live
music. BBQ lunch and drinks provided.
Luna Park. Free rides for children and discounted Sydney Sunday 17 May 02 9377
rates for adults. Morning tea provided. 09 3314
Luna Park. Free rides for children and discounted Liverpool Sunday 17 May 02 8782
rate for adults. Morning tea provided. 09 4864
Multicultural Drumming Show at Holsworthy High Liverpool
School. Entry to the show and BBQ Monday 11 May 02 8782
Luna Park. Free rides for children and discounted Richmond Sunday 17 May 02 4587
rate for adults. Morning tea provided. 09 1130
Nowra Animal Park. Free entrance, animal shows, Nowra Sunday 17 May 02 4421
BBQ lunch, soft drinks, activities and games. 09 3855
Maitland Super Strike. Free game of bowling, Hunter Sunday 17 May 02 4964
sausage sizzle and a drink. Lolly bag for the kids. 09 6973
Oasis Aquatic Centre. Free entry, water slides, drinks Wagga Saturday 16 May 02 6931
and supper. 09 0011
Ettamogah Wildlife Sanctuary. Free family entry Albury/WodSaturday 16 May 02 6055 onga and afternoon refreshment. 09 2130
Territory Wildlife Park. Wildlife displays, fun Darwin Saturday 16 May 08 8935
activities and sausage sizzle/drinks provided. 09 7902
Picnic in the Park. Activities provided by YMCA Tindal Saturday 16 May 08 8973
and concert by local band. 09 6188
QLD Activity Date Contact
Family Fun Day in Queens Park in partnership with Amberley Saturday 16 May 07 5461
the Ipswich City Council. Family rides & activities, 09 1671
Defence displays, RAAF Amberley Band, Camel rides Brisbane
and community info stalls. Sunday 17 May 07 3354
Australian Army Band concert. Gallipoli Barracks, 09 0500
BYO picnic, ice cream, popcorn and softdrink provided.
Magician for interval entertainment.
Picnic on the Grass. Country and Western singer, Canungra Sunday 17 May 07 5541
bouncy castle, face painting 09 6405
Old Fashioned Family Fun. Food and entertainment Darling Sunday 17 May 07 4631 Downs provided. 09 4470