The National Executive have had a busy year raising awarenss of DFA and representing Defence Families at both a local, regional and national level. Through our ongoing consultation with local command, stakeholders and families, DFA continue to advocate on behalf of ADF families at the highest levels, ensuring issues affecting them are represented at the highest levels of Government and Defence.
DFA works closely with Defence senior leadership, key stakeholders and policy makers, to ensure that ADF families are represented and considered during policymaking discussions. During 2015 DFA:
- Worked with Defence Policy makers providing consultation and a family perspective on housing needs for ADF families and input to the Housing Policy Review Settings committee.
- Provided feedback on the Vietnam Veterans Families Study
- Consulted on the proposed changes to the Defence childcare policy as articulated in the Defence Family Support Manual. Access to appropriate and affordable child care remains an important issue for families so DFA maintain that it should remain a Defence policy priority. DFA also supports the efforts being made by Defence to ensure assistance will be sustainable, on-going and meets the needs of families.
- Tabled a report on Defence Community Centres - At the DFA Conference Week in Aug 2014, AMINDEF asked DFA to report on what facilities and support services should be available to families on or near ADF Bases. In early 2015, DFA asked most of the Defence-supported community centres and groups to answer a fixed set of questions to gather this information. Our report is based on the responses of 24 of the incorporated groups who receive grants through the Family Support Funding Program (FSFP).
- Worked in consultation with Defence Community Organisation (DCO) on their Community Capacity Building Framework
For an overview of the most recent priorities and achievements download the 2015 DFA Annual Agenda & Year in Review.
Moving into 2016, DFA will be undertaking the following three major projects:
Best Practice Absence from Home Support
DFA is going to investigate what is best practice absence from home support for ADF families across the Services.
Family members continue to tell DFA how important it is for them to be able to work. DFA is going to investigate this issue of partner employment even to see if a national approach can be developed.
Member with Dependants (Unaccompanied)
DFA was concerned families may not have access to well-informed and considered advice on the benefits or implications of MWD(U), nor access to appropriate support systems.
DFA will be working with the Minister, Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Chief of the Defence Force, three Service Chiefs and Defence stakeholders to address important issues which affect ADF families under these subject headings. These projects have come as a direct result of DFA meeting with and reporting on issues raised by ADF Families from all regions.