Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 6 2010 Contents 26 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
For more information about the community capacity
building project, please contact the DCO community
capacity building team:
Maureen greet, Project Director -
Michele chaseling, Manager -
DEFENCE SUPPORT GROUP
In February 2009, the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal
Angus Houston, signed the ADF Family Covenant which outlines
the ADF’s commitment to Defence families and acknowledges the
importance of their contribution to operational effectiveness.
By Maureen Greet and Michele Chaseling
you are not lost
By Nicole Curtin
aDF Transition seminars
ADF Transition Seminars assist members
and their families prepare for separation
through the provision of advice on:
education and training, including the
Career Transition Assistance
future employment support
medical and dental requirements
rehabilitation, compensation and
financial and legal matters
housing and relocation, and
additional support and family
The partners of separating military
members are strongly encouraged to
attend these seminars.
Location and contact details of ADF
Transition Centres and dates for ADF
Transition Seminars are available at
For more information, or questions
relating to, ADF Transition Support
Services please email
The ADF Family Covenant is the capstone
document in the ADF family support strategy. A key
plank of the strategy is the ADF’s pledge to work
with Defence families to enhance self-reliance.
Director General Defence Community Organisation
(DGDCO), Michael Callan used the Defence
Community Organisation’s (DCO) Strategic
Direction 2009–2015 to explain the concepts in the
ADF Family Covenant.
The Covenant articulates DCO’s commitment
to the development of policy settings, relevant
partnerships and the creation of an environment
to foster a sustainable, self-reliant Defence
community through the key concept of community
As Mr Callan explained recently to Defence
Magazine, community capacity building is closely
aligned with the principles of the whole-of-
government social inclusion strategy.
“Community capacity building seeks to build
stronger networks between the Defence
community and the broader community and
recognises that ADF family members are an
integral part of their local area,” Mr Callan said.
“Building these networks will connect families
with their local community,” he added. “And in
turn, those communities will discover the benefits
of having ADF families as active participants.”
As a result of the Defence White Paper, DCO has
been provided with additional staff to implement
“Regional Community Development officers will
be assigned to DCO area offices to work with local
communities, Defence organisations, Defence
community groups, ex-service organisations, local
and state governments and families,” Mr Callan
“Officers will build on existing work done in
the area offices by establishing partnerships,
developing inclusive and collaborative projects,
and enhancing mutual understanding between the
Defence community and the broader community.”
DCO plans to use the Asset Based Community
Development (ABCD) model to implement this
strategy. Use of the ABCD model and the boost
provided by additional staff will enhance DCO’s
ability to source and mobilise the resources
already present in communities.
Mr Callan added that the ABCD model targets the
strengths in ADF families and the local community,
ensuring that the two work collaboratively to build
projects, relationships, and participate in activities
that are meaningful and relevant to all community
“Training of our DCO teams is a key component of
the community capacity building plan,” he said.
From June 2010, all DCO staff are being trained in
the use of the ABCD model to ensure a consistent
language and approach to Community capacity
building throughout the organisation.
The Family Action Centre at Newcastle University,
an Australian leader in the use of ABCD, will assist
DCO to deliver this training. DCO Family Liaison
Officers will be eligible to apply for a Certificate IV
in Government through recognition of prior learning
process, with electives focused on community
“If this process is as successful, as we believe it
will be, the Certificate IV will be open to all DCO
staff,” Mr Callan said.
“The community capacity building strategy will
develop the Defence community, establishing
conditions whereby Defence families can be
“DCO’s vision is for Defence families to thrive in
the Defence environment: to be strong, self-reliant
LeFT: Reaching new heights at the DCO Darwin Welcome
to Families event in February.
RIgHT: Defence families find out about the Darwin area
at the Darwin Welcome to Families event in February.
The welcome included a range of entertainment activities
and included 65 stalls representing various government
agencies and community groups from across the region.
a reinvigorated approach from the
Defence Community Organisation
Defence is committed to ensuring the men and women of the ADF
and their families are provided with exemplary support services
throughout their careers. These services are particularly crucial
when ADF members plan to separate from the service.
Defence supports all military members and
their families to successfully separate from the
ADF through the provision of transition support
These services, provided by the Directorate of
Transition Support Services in Defence Support
Group, ensure that members and their families
remain well-informed and are encouraged to
access educational, financial, rehabilitation,
compensation and other government services to
facilitate sound transition planning.
Informing military members of these vital transition
support services is one of the roles of the
regional ADF Transition Centres where members
are required to finalise their administrative
arrangements well prior to their date of separation
from the ADF.
There are 18 regional ADF Transition Centres
country-wide where members and their families
can access a range of transition services and
transition staff advise on:
› accessing whole-of-government transition
› completing Defence separation requirements,
› accessing separation benefits and entitlements.
Defence is also committed to providing flexible
support for those military members who need
to separate at short notice for medical or
Separating members are provided with effective
and appropriate rehabilitation support and
assistance prior to their transition to civilian life.
Defence also ensures ADF members a smooth
transition to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
and other support agencies.
In addition to the regional ADF Transition Centres,
information on transition support services is
available through a variety of resources including:
› Transitions internet site (http://www.defence.
gov.au/transitions/) which provides transition
support information and resources to ADF
members and their families
› Directorate of Transition Support Services
intranet site (http://intranet.defence.gov.
au/dsg/sites/DTSS/) which offers transition
support information and resources for use by
Transition Practitioners and Commanders
› ADF Transition Seminars which are conducted
during two days in all regions throughout the
› ADF Transition Handbook which is a quick guide
to transition information and support and is
available on the websites listed above or from
ADF Transition Centres.
defence magazine ›
The key principles behind the community
capacity building initiative, as outlined in
DGDCO’s Strategic Direction, are:
› Members bear primary responsibility for the
well-being of their family
› All levels of command in the ADF share the
responsibility to provide support to Defence
› Wherever possible, Defence families should
utilise existing community support services
› Defence will provide services where
community arrangements fail to meet
community standards, and
› Volunteers and the use of self-help programs
and make the most of the opportunities presented
by the Defence lifestyle.”
Visit www.defence.gov.au/dco for more
information on the services offered by DCO.
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