Contact

DFA Infoline

Phone:
1800 100 509
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The National Convenor can be contacted on the above number. DFA is a Ministerially appointed advocacy group for Defence families. If you require immediate 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. Contact the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) 24 hour Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
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Western Australia Delegate

Contact: Kirsten Kerrisk
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I have spent most of my life in Sydney, surrounded by a close-knit family and extended family. Since 2012, my immediate family has been subject to two interstate moves. We gave Darwin a red-hot go and loved it. Now we are now embracing WA. I understand that living away from a family with whom you have a close relationship with is tough, especially when you have a young family to raise. I have lived it, I am living it! I have a professional background, that was before I had children and married the Navy. Since then, having a 9-5 job has been a bit tough in some regions with my qualifications. I have taken some of this time to study and I now have two very small businesses on the go. I hope that under the DFA umbrella, I can make a difference for current and future families who are connected with Defence. If you see a need for change in plicy that might improve the lives of Families in Defence, please contact me and I will listen.
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South Australian Delegate

Contact: Melissa Hughes
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Our family of five has been a part of the Defence family for six years now, and what an amazing experience it has been. We have had postings to Albury Wodonga, Brisbane and now we are currently based in Adelaide. I love what this lifestyle can bring to our family; friends all over the country, travel opportunities and sense of family even when you may be states away from your own. My husband serving in the Army has allowed me to fulfil my dream of being a stay at home and caring full time for our three sons. During this time I have been able to study and I now take on this opportunity with DFA to support and advocate for Defence families. I am excited to be here in South Australia and look forward to working closely with families and Defence members. Together, I believe we can make the best of this lifestyle and grasp each opportunity by both hands. Please email me if I can assist you with any local issues or if you have any concerns that you think needs to be raised.
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New South Wales / ACT Delegate

ACT & Southern NSW Delegate

Canberra, Queanbeyan, Nowra, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Wodonga
Contact: Emma Steil
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Central & Northern NSW Delegate

Richmond, Greater Western Sydney, Central Sydney, Hunter Region, Singleton, Tamworth, Williamtown, Maitland, Newcastle, Liverpool, Southern Sydney, Wollongong, Orange
Contact: Toni Purton
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I am excited and privileged to be given the opportunity to be part of the DFA organisation for a second term as the Central & Northern NSW Delegate. My husband and I have been part of Defence life for 25 years now. Like all of us, that equates to a number of postings, setting up new homes, new schools and making new friends. I am mum to two and step mum to one. We are currently posted to Sydney. The majority of my working career was in Administration and Project Management. Since making the decision to be a stay at home mum, my time has included working on my own small business and volunteering on Kindergarten and School Committees in all our posting locations. I look forward to continue working closely with Defence families to support and advocate for those in this region and to continue the work with the DFA team from around Australia for the benefit of all our families. If you have an issue or concern you would like to raise, please send me an email.
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Victorian Delegate

Contact: Gabrielle Sasse
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As the spouse of a serving member of the ADF, as well as a career woman and mother, I have a good understanding of some of the challenges facing Defence families. During our married life, we have navigated new postings, relocations, housing issues, and deployments as part of the journey. The ability to adapt to change has been a constant, and we have loved each posting experience we have had along the way. Combining service requirement with supporting the needs of the wider Defence family community are pivotal to a successful ADF, and something I am passionate about. With a background in law, I have spent my working life as a lawyer and legal manager in our posting locations. Having returned home to Melbourne, I am looking forward to assisting to identify local issues affecting families, advocating to mitigate impacts and working for change that will benefit Defence families.
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Tasmanian Delegate

Contact: Gabrielle Sasse
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As the spouse of a serving member of the ADF, as well as a career woman and mother, I have a good understanding of some of the challenges facing Defence families. During our married life, we have navigated new postings, relocations, housing issues, and deployments as part of the journey. The ability to adapt to change has been a constant, and we have loved each posting experience we have had along the way. Combining service requirement with supporting the needs of the wider Defence family community are pivotal to a successful ADF, and something I am passionate about. With a background in law, I have spent my working life as a lawyer and legal manager in our posting locations. Having returned home to Melbourne, I am looking forward to assisting to identify local issues affecting families, advocating to mitigate impacts and working for change that will benefit Defence families.
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Queensland Delegate

Northern Queensland Delegate

Cairns, Remote Far North QLD, Townsville, Rockhampton
Contact: Chandell Derham
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My name is Chandell Derham and I have been a defence spouse for nearly 10 years. Prior this I was a defence child with my Dad in the army for 25+ years. Together my husband and I have posted to numerous locations and have completed 3 deployments. We have a little boy who is almost 3 years old, and another little bub on the way. Having been around the Defence force for my whole life, I am passionate about helping families to deal with the challenges that Military life brings. I am very excited about my role with DFA as they are an organisation that works for real change for families, from the highest level down. There is so much to be done in improving the experiences and supports for Defence families, and I am excited to represent the interests of North Queensland whenever the opportunity arises.
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Southern Queensland Delegate

Brisbane, Gold Coast, Hinterland, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Darling Downs
Contact: Danielle Hollington
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I am really excited about the opportunity to represent Defence Families in Southern Queensland region. I have resided in Brisbane for over 4 years and lived at the Gold Coast for 4 years prior to that so I have an in depth knowledge of the area. I am the spouse of a serving ADF member and have a solid background in Human Resources enjoying policy interpretation and advising clients of their entitlements. It can be challenging for a defence spouse to source the information they require and to have a 'voice' on issues that have a real impact on family life and I'm looking forward to bridging that gap connecting families to resources and raising their concerns to make a difference in their quality of life Please send me an email so that I can assist, support and raise any issues that you may have.
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Northern Territory Delegate

Contact: Christine Henderson
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I have been a spouse to a member of Defence for 16 years. During our 16 years together we have posted from Wagga to Toowoomba, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and now Darwin. We have three children, one dog and often an assortment of geckos/ crickets/ lizards and stick friends. Our older boys have loved the outside lifestyle that Darwin brings, and our youngest girl embraces the minimal clothing options. We have done our fair share of deployments and time apart which means we try and pack in holidays together when we can. Living in a remote location is a unique experience and as a Defence community here in Darwin we face different challenges to big city posting. The last few years I have been volunteering and working as a Defence Community Centre Coordinator. This experience has built my passion for helping Defence families. I look forward to working with DFA in a role that advocates for families of Defence members.
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