From 22 - 26 August, the DFA National Executive met in Canberra for our annual conference. It was an opportunity for the Executive to meet and discuss regional feedback from families across Australia. The conference is held annually by the DFA Executive Committee and provides a forum for open communication between Defence families, Australian Defence Force (ADF) leaders and family support providers.
The conference is designed to raise awareness of current issues affecting Defence members and their families. This year’s main agenda items included DFA seeking commitment from the Government and Defence to:
- Collaborate with key Defence and Industry stakeholders to facilitate a solution to ADF partner employment/career management; and
- Making improvements to ADF family support mechanisms and community centre facilities nationally.
During this year’s conference DFA met with the Minister for Defence Personnel The Hon. Dan Tehan MP, Chief of Defence ACM Mark Binskin and Service Chiefs, representatives from Defence Community Organisation (DCO), Defence Housing Australia (DHA), TOLL Transitions and other Defence-related organisations. The Conference gave us the opportunity to represent the views of families to key stakeholders and discuss these issues with Defence policy makers.
Minister for Defence Personnel, Dan Tehan, addressed delegates at the annual Defence Families of Australia (DFA) conference dinner. In his address, Mr Tehan emphasised the value of DFA and the direct impact of their efforts in representing the views of Defence families to Defence and the Government.
“The families of our Australian Defence Force members are a vital component of Australia's overall Defence capability. They are integral to the health and effectiveness of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen and women. I am very aware that ADF families face multiple challenges, including constant disruptions in the form of postings and deployments. To ensure families are able to thrive and find the support they need, the building and sustainment of a strong and ready Defence family community for 365 days of the year is paramount. DFA provide my direct connection to ADF families to keep me informed of the needs of those families and their communities.” Mr Tehan said.
The Defence Families of Australia Conference report will be available in October.