Defence Community Organisation (DCO)
Defence Community Organisation offers a broad range of programs and services to help Defence families make the most of the challenges and opportunities provided by the military way of life.
The best way to access any of these services is to contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au or 1800 624 608.
24 Hour support
If you need support, help, or advice at any time, the Defence Family Helpline operates 24-7 and is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists.
Support during deployment and time apart
Time apart from families due to deployments, training or other Service requirements is an integral feature of Defence life. Our services seek to inform and prepare you for these times and provide you with support to make these experiences positive and strengthening ones for your family.
Support during relocation
We offer support, practical assistance and resources to help Defence families to manage a mobile lifestyle, and reduce the effects of relocation on family wellbeing.
Partner employment and education
Partners of ADF members can access funding for education and employment services to enhance their career options and to help them to secure employment when posted with their partner. We also help partners develop stress management strategies and build on their strengths and resilience.
We provide information, resources and programs to help minimise the disruption to children’s education caused by relocation. Our Regional Education Liaison Officers are experienced teachers and are available to advise Defence families on education issues. School based Aides and Mentors support Defence children through the process of changing schools and times of parental absence.
Children of mobile Defence families can receive priority of access to Defence childcare centres around Australia. Funding may also be available for community organisations which provide childcare services and Defence partners seeking to set up a family day care business.
Dependants with special needs
Families who have dependants with special needs can obtain practical assistance to reduce the impact of relocation.
Emergency and crisis support
Practical assistance is available to families facing a crisis when an ADF member is absent from home for Service reasons. In other times of need, families can access 24-hour support, social work and assessment, or referral from the all-hours Defence Family Helpline. We also provide support programs in instances of illness, injury or bereavement.
Families seeking to connect with or contribute to their local community can obtain personalised advice or access our directory of Defence- and community run organisations, groups and events in their local area. Not for profit community organisations running programs in support of Defence families can apply for financial support.
Transitioning to civilian life
We provide a range of practical guidance and support to assist ADF members planning to leave Defence to make a seamless transition to civilian life.
Services for Reservists
The families of Reserve members can access a broad range of support services, particularly when the Reservist is on continuous full-time service or away on deployment or exercise.
Services for Command
We provide a range of services to help Commanding Officers to support the welfare of ADF members and their families.
Families can contact the Helpline 24-7 for support, information and connection with their local community.
Visit the DCO Facebook page
'Like' the DCO Facebook page www.facebook.com/defencecommunityorganisation to receive information about support services for Defence families, links with community organisations, and event information for regional and national DCO-run events.