Defence Families of Australia

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Defence Families of Australia (DFA) is the official body appointed by government to represent the views of Defence Families.

DFA’s aim is to inform government and Defence on the needs of the family. Its goal is to ensure quality of life for all Defence families by providing a recognised forum for their views and by reporting, making recommendations and influencing policy that directly affects families. In turn, this enhances the capability of the Australian Defence Force.

Primarily, the aim of the group has always been to improve the quality of life of Defence families and therefore the serving Member by:

* Representing the diversity of today’s Defence families;
* Providing independent, accurate and honest advice to Government;
* Providing a recognised forum for the views of Defence families;
* Reporting and making recommendations to the Minister responsible for Defence Personnel and the Chief of the Defence Force;
* Influencing policy making that directly affects ADF families.

DFA consults with Defence’s own support agencies, like the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) and the National Welfare Coordination Centre (NWCC), but acts only as an advocate, not as a support provider.

Defence families can contact DFA to represent them regarding an individual situation or to advocate an issue concerning many families.

DFA is recognised by Defence and its stakeholders in providing feedback on views and interests of Defence families.

The National Convenor and National Delegates work with Regional Managers and Commanding Officers to clarify or resolve issues affecting families.

The National Convenor meets regularly with the Assistant Minister of Defence, the Chief of the Defence Force, the Service Chiefs, Head of People Capability, and Director Generals of Army, Navy and Air Force Personnel, DCO, Policy, and Housing and Removals. This direct engagement facilitates reporting and progress on issues affecting families and promotes positive outcomes for all. The DFA Executive operates at national, regional and local levels.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin is a strong supporter of Defence families and the support the DFA provides. He says: “Being a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is a unique experience – not only for the individuals in uniform, but for their parents, partners and children who are also asked to accept the distinct challenges associated with military life. As an organisation, we recognise the importance of family and we value the enormous contribution our Defence families make to the ADF. That is why I am committed to delivering the programs and services required to sustain the health and welfare of our people and their families at home and on operations. Defence Families Australia (DFA) plays a significant role in ensuring we meet this commitment.

For more information about the support available through the DFA go to: www.dfa.org.au

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