$1.5 million in grants to support ADF families

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The Hon Darren Chester MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel

Media contacts

Rachel Tharratt (Minister Chester’s Office): 0419 034 302

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31 July 2020

Organisations that support Australian Defence Force (ADF) families across Australia will share in $1.5 million to deliver programs and services within their local communities.

Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Family Support Funding Program (FSFP) enables defence families to connect and interact with each other and the community in a variety of ways. 

“Defence families make incredible sacrifices and this funding contributes to a strong sense of community and a support network for those feeling the disruption and change from posting to a new location,” Mr Chester said.

“These grants will support defence families’ wellbeing and promote the sharing of ideas and information to help manage the demands of military life and allow families to settle into their local communities.

“Congratulations to the 44 grant recipients and thank you for all you do for our Defence families.

“I encourage any defence family that would like further information on accessing community resources and support to call the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.”

The funding provided through the FSFP is available to community organisations to deliver support and services of value to defence families and the community they live in. The grants are managed by the Defence Community Organisation which provides a wide range of programs, information and assistance for defence families.

For more information about the grants program and this year’s recipients visit the Defence Community Organisation website at: www.defence.gov.au/DCO/Community/FSFP/Current-recipients






Funding description


Nutrition Australia ACT


Nutrition Australia ACT supports Defence teens by offering project ‘Operation Dinnertime for Teens’, a nutrition and food skills cooking program that will enhance the capacity of teenagers to adapt to and maintain the Defence way of life such as transitioning into a new location and building strong relationships. Funding will support a project officer, food costs and other associated administration costs.


Australian Military Wives Choir (AMWC)


AMWC brings together choir members from across the country to sing as part of a larger national choir, providing personal development opportunities and increase vocal confidence. The choir offers a no audition policy to ensure membership is open and rehearsals are held once a fortnight regionally to accommodate the challenges of the military lifestyle when members are absent from home. Funding will support national performances, music leadership training, promotion and community connection and to establish a new choir group in Newcastle and HMAS Cerberus.


Defence Special Needs Support Group (DSNSG)


DSNSG supports Defence families who have a dependant with special needs by providing assistance, information and being an advocate on problems and issues that arise in the day to day living of a special needs family managing the Defence lifestyle. Funding will support various programs for recognised DSNSG families including information workshops, computer courses, drive safe training and family events.


Duntroon Community Centre


Duntroon Community Centre seek to achieve 'a place to belong' for Defence families and a sense of community for them during their time in Canberra. Support activities include playschool, playgroup, a collaborative workspace, family connections, health and wellbeing and family friendly events.


Gungahlin Defence Families Playgroup


Gungahlin Defence Families Playgroup offer a support network and platform for education and developing community connection, through the running of a playgroup. Funding will support playgroup activities, wellbeing courses, a welcome event, venue hire and to replenish supplies.


*funding amount provided over multiple financial years.





Funding description


Integra Dogs Limited


Integra Service Dogs offer service dogs to serving and ex-serving veterans to reduce the risk of self-harm, suicidal ideation, and to support and reconnect with their families. Funding supports the sourcing, initial training and placement of dogs, and ongoing support to the handler to allow the dogs to be registered and branded as qualified assistance animals.


Shoalhaven Defence Families Association Incorporated


Shoalhaven Defence Families Association provides a hub with services and support to promote networking, personal growth and learning opportunities to Defence families posted to the area. Funding will support the facilitation of regular activities, replenishment of resources and equipment and other costs associated with the delivery of services.


Holsworthy Community Group


Holsworthy Community Group offer a safe meeting place to deliver services and programs of benefit to Defence families. Support activities include youth zone, coffee and chat, playgroup, craft classes, health and wellbeing workshops.


Sutherland Shire Family Services


Sutherland Shire Family Services deliver the Defence Family Support program which provides specialised casework, parenting programs, youth and family caseworker services, aboriginal support programs, and domestic violence support services. Referrals are identified through social work pathways within Holsworthy Barracks and Defence services. Families can access a coffee group, playgroups, therapeutic services, occasional childcare and youth services.


Singleton Defence Families & Community Inc


Singleton Defence, Families and Community offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for Defence members and their families to access social support, build connections, share information and manage the challenges associated with Defence postings. Funding will support the delivery of weekly and on-occasion activities including coffee and craft, playgroup, family events, family relationship education, spouse entrainment and wellbeing courses.


Anklebiters Playgroup (Randwick Family Centre)

Kingsford Smith

Anklebiters Playgroup offer a safe place for families and serving members of all ages to come and connect with like-minded people. The funding supports weekly playgroup costs as well as the expansion of services including Friday drop-ins, fitness sessions, after school activities, book club and wellbeing and family events.


The Australian Navigators (Solid Rock)


Solid Rock offer dignity and value to every female partner of serving Defence personnel. They provide small group support and encouragement at various locations around Australia to offer community, stability, pastoral care and practical support to Defence female spouses and families. Funding supports the employment of a national coordinator and two area leaders, advertising, supplies for welcome bags, the national weekend retreat and course sessions.


Hunter Defence Support Network


Hunter Defence Support Network offer community assistance to families posted to the Hunter region. Funding supports the cost of venue hire, catering, guest speakers, courses, family and community events and health and wellbeing activities.


Williamtown Defence Family Group Inc


Williamtown Defence Family Group offer Defence families in a tri-service area a safe place where everyone is treated equally and can find new friendships and participate in programs and activities. Funding will support the replenishment of supplies, delivery of events and assist the organisation to relocate to another facility.


Williamtown Playgroup Inc


Williamtown Playgroup offer a social network for Defence spouses with children aged 0-5 years to come together for playgroup and reduce isolation. Funding supports excursions, first aid courses and to update and replenish supplies.


Kapooka Neighbourhood House


Kapooka Neighbourhood House builds self-esteem and resilience of Defence families in the Wagga region. Funding will support the establishment of a community garden, weekly activities including playgroup and craft sessions, wellbeing activities and family events.


The RAAF, Army, Navy Community House (The RANCH)


The RANCH offers a safe and welcoming place for Defence partners and families to connect and socialise, to establish and maintain links with the community and continue to grow friendships. Support activities include playgroup, craft sessions and health and wellbeing events for families.


Defence LGBTI Information Services (DEFGLIS)


DEFGLIS deliver ‘DEFGLIS Day Out’, a family day and picnic in the park, creating a safe and inclusive event for Defence families, particularly families of diverse sex, sexuality and gender to feel welcome and included within the community. The day will foster Defence families to engage in community-building, through the sharing of experiences that bring people together. The event will include activities, entertainers, food and drink stalls to bring the Defence community together and support and encourage the inclusion of families often marginalised and excluded by regular programming. Funding will support the hire of service providers such as family entertainment, catering and venue hire.


*funding amount provided over multiple financial years.




Funding description


Amberley Defence Families Inc


Amberley Defence Families Inc support Defence families with services and community connections to address their challenging and unique lifestyle including playgroup, family events, youth workshops, health and wellbeing activities.


Amberley Support Hub Inc


Amberley Support Hub supports Defence families located near RAAF Base Amberley. Their objective is to support individuals, partners, and families living the Defence lifestyle by offering opportunities for the development of support networks, friendships and sharing of knowledge. Funding will support the start-up costs including venue hire for a safe space for families, office supplies, equipment, resources and costs to cover family events and social connection activities.


JOII Community Limited


JOII Community Limited deliver TRACTION, an early intervention program that empowers vulnerable young people, helping them to discover, connect and experience their own positive and successful futures, through mentor-led, action-based programs. Funding supports this mobile community outreach program targeted for Brisbane communities with large populations of Defence families, particularly where there is limited local support available.


Gallipoli Barracks Community Centre


Gallipoli Barracks Community Centre supports Defence members and their families in a high tempo period of exercises, training and deployments. Support activities include playgroup, kids club, craft classes, school holiday activities, family and community events.


Toowoomba Defence Families Support Association


Toowoomba Defence Families Support Association offer social and emotional support for Defence families posted to the Darling Downs region. Support activities include playgroup, craft mornings, workshops, book club, health and wellbeing programs and social events for the community. The group will also celebrate their 30th anniversary and are planning a special family event.


Cowboys Rugby League Football Limited


The Cowboys in partnership with The Resilience Project will deliver programs to school aged Defence children to support improved mental health outcomes in the Townsville area. The programs address social isolation, PTSD, transitioning to civilian life and use practical, evidence-based strategies to build resilience and happiness. The program is delivered in schools for students, parents and teachers.


Cairns Defence Community Support Group


Cairns Defence Community Support Group provide opportunities for the community to connect as a group, engage in activities, source services and find out what the local area has to offer. Funding will support start-up costs, social connections activities including coffee catch-ups, book club, parent support group, health and wellness program, welcome and family events and school holiday activities.


Picabeen Community Association Inc


Picabeen Community Association offer flexible and intensive case management services to schools who have an expressed need for additional support, focusing on schools that do not have a Defence School Mentor. The organisation also provides a LGBTQI+ support group for young people where they can receive support from peers and youth workers. This is the only LGBTQI+ group in the North Western corridor of Brisbane.






Funding description


Woodside Defence Families Association


Woodside Defence Families Association offer social and emotional support for families posted to the Adelaide Hills. Support activities include playgroups, fitness sessions, health and wellbeing activities and social events in a safe family friendly environment.


North East Defence Community


North East Defence Community offer Defence families in Adelaide an opportunity to create social networks within their community due to the unique challenges of Defence life. Support activities include bump to baby, playgroup, book club, youth gaming club, family activities and training courses.






Funding description


Dowsing Point Community Centre Inc


Dowsing Point Community Centre offer community services to promote wellbeing and inclusion. Support activities include bump to baby, playgroup, book club, youth gaming club, family activities and training courses.






Funding description


Cerberus Cottage Family & Friends Inc


Cerberus Cottage offer Defence families in Crib Point an opportunity to create social networks within their community due to the unique challenges of Defence life. Funding will support heath, wellbeing and resilience projects such as running groups, workshops and community events, personal and professional growth projects including training courses and art classes.


Bandiana Neighbourhood House


Bandiana Neighbourhood House offer a safe place for Defence families to connect and come together with the wider community to access a variety of programs and activities that create a sense of belonging.


Wodonga Chamber of Commerce Inc


Wodonga Chamber of Commerce offer Defence partners/spouses the opportunity to participate in an eight week guided employment and career development program led by a high-level qualified career development practitioner. The program includes an orientation into the areas employment landscape, including skill shortages and growth opportunities, introductions to community, industry and education leaders, updates on current trends in job seeking and client networking and individual career counselling. Funding will support a career development practitioner, venue hire, crèche staff and administration costs.


Mactier Community Centre


Mactier Community Centre offer support and opportunities to form networks and friendships for Defence families. Support activities include coffee and cake, craft classes, playgroup, youth support, training courses and events as well as expanding their support network to families living in outer suburbs from the base.


Puckapunyal & District Neighbourhood Centre


Puckapunyal and District Neighbourhood Centre offer Defence members and their families a diverse range of services, programs and events. The group facilitates networking and provides support to the Defence community struggling with isolation and the transient nature of the Defence lifestyle.






Funding description


Marilla House Community Centre


Marilla Community Centre offer meaningful community connections through innovative, vibrant and relevant services that empower and enrich the lives of Defence members, their families and the local community in Rockingham and the surrounds. Support activities include fitness and art classes, playgroup, career coaching, workshops and family events.


Karrakatta Community House Inc


Karrakatta Community House offer a place that supports and embraces the community of the Australia Defence Force promoting friendships and building resilience, through activities and learning. Support activities include sewing and art classes, health and wellbeing workshops and social events including a family camp at Busselton.


Pilbara Regiment Family Group


The Pilbara Regiment Family Group offer activities and a support network for families to thrive in the remote locality. Funding will support social events, health and wellbeing workshops, playgroup, kids club and to replenish supplies.


Pearce Community Centre


Pearce Community Group support Defence families in the Bullsbrook area. Funding will support community connection activities, replenishment of equipment, advertising as well as providing a space where families can connect while their children play.






Funding description


Network Tindal


Network Tindal supports the remote Defence Northern Territory community by providing social networks, community linkages and personal development opportunities to help manage the isolation often felt by Defence families posted to the region.


Larrakeyah Neighbourhood House


Larrakeyah Neighbourhood House offers a safe place for families to interact and support one another, create greater social connections and acknowledge the day to day living challenges of a remote location. Funding will support playgroup, school holiday programs, craft groups, health and wellbeing courses and family events at the centre and to replenish supplies.


Playgroup of the NT


Playgroup of the NT deliver the Defence Dandelions, a dedicated post-natal depression and anxiety support for families of Defence members. The organisation will offer parenting programs, first aid courses and provide support to Defence groups to run programs themselves. 


Reeling Veterans Inc


Reeling Veterans deliver fishing trips to Defence veterans and their families who feel isolated with no sense of belonging. The fishing trips are a form of therapy to engage with and support veterans in a physical sense as well as a way to start a conversation with them about mental health and the struggles faced once they leave the Defence force. It aims to get veterans out of the house with their families and enjoy mateship amongst a group of non-judgemental people who understand what the member is going through and re-connect with family and community.


YMCA of the Northern Territory Youth & Community Services Ltd


YCMA of the NT offer programs to increase connection between families and young people and improve the confidence of young people and create stronger ties to the NT community. Funding will support family activity days, camps and retreats including kids’ camps for ages 8-13, youth retreats for ages 14-17 and family camps.






Funding description


Defence Club PNG


Defence Club PNG offer a strengthened sense of community to Defence families and an opportunity to come together for support, education and information sharing in this recognised hardship posting locality. Funding will support welcome function, social events, educational programs such as local cooking and cultural awareness classes and replenish supplies.




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