Defence Families of Australia (DFA) is the official body appointed by government to represent the views of Defence Families. Its 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.
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.
Convenor and Executive
DFA is recognised by Defence and its stakeholders to provide feedback on views and interests of Defence families. The National Convenor and National Delegates work directly with Regional Managers and local 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 Airforce Personel, DCO, Policy, and Housing and Removals. This direct engagement facilitates reporting and progress on issues affecting families and promotes positive outcomes for all.
The National Convenor and National Executive are appointed by the government for a two year term with a possibility of a further extension of two years. The DFA Executive operates at national, regional and local levels.
National Convenor Directives
To provide feedback to the Minister, CDF and the three Services regarding issues and concerns of families throughout Australia;
- Managing a regionally based Executive Committee;
- Managing the DFA daily operations;
- Attend meetings with Defence and external service providers;
- Prepare written submissions and correspondence; and
- Deliver presentations and conduct media or parliamentary committee interviews as required.
National Delegate Directives
- Provide feedback and information to government ministers, CDF and other Defence departments regarding the issues and concerns of families throughout their region and Australia via the National Convenor;
- Prepare submissions on behalf of families in their region on topics that have been raised by families;
- Keep up to date with incoming information from the National Convenor and other Delegates as to issues effecting Defence Families throughout Australia;
- Provide assistance, advocacy and information to Defence Families regarding individual situations; and
- Meet regularly with local command, Regional Managers and family groups within their region.
Local Family Representatives Directives
- Keep up to date with current DFA activities;
- Have contact with Defence families, Command and stakeholders in the region;
- Respond to the requests made by the Convenor or National Delegate for specific feedback; and
- Advise the National Delegate in your region of any concerns you may have on behalf of families in your area or issues that may have been raised with you.