Warm welcome for new Defence families


The Defence Community Organisation’s welcome event at Amberley helped new Defence families to the Ipswich region build community and social networks, gain information about Defence and community-based services, and enjoy a day out with the family.

Defence personnel and their familes were treated to a fun-filled day of face painting, jumping castles, sausage sizzles and more at the recent event at RAAF Amberley.

DCO Area Manager, Roslyn Munro said while it was an enjoyable day out, the main purpose was for the new families to familiarise themselves with local services and community groups.

“The point is to get them to know the community, hopefully make new friends, see what service providers are out there, but really to build their support network,” Ms Munro said.

Most importantly, it is to inform Defence personnel and their families that the DCO are there to help.

“We’re very friendly and there’s nothing that people can’t come and talk about,” Ms Munro said.

Someone that knows the importance of reaching out for assistance within the Defence community is LAC Matthew Pini, who attended the event with his three sons Maxwell, Patrick and Jax.

LAC Pini has been here for almost three years and has received enormous generosity and hospitality for his eldest son Maxwell, who suffers from a spate of chronic health conditions.

“These events help us see mainly what’s around for families within the Defence community and also the greater Ipswich community, like different sporting activities through to things like learning about areas where you can go out with friends and family and the kids and get them involved in the community.”

He also said the benefits the DCO events provide have been outstanding. “Once the kids get in and play on the jumping castle and stuff like that, they start making new little friends,” LAC Pini said.

The DCO also provide assistance for partners’ employment, help with childcare, assistance for dependants with special needs, social worker support, help for families during crises, and more. For more information, call the helpline on 1800 624 608 or visit www.defence.gov.au/dco.