Advocating for Defence families

Defence families advisory body launches three-year Strategic Plan

Defence Families of Australia (DFA), the national advisory body for families of current serving ADF members, has published its 2022-2024 Strategic Plan to guide its advocacy work and improve transparency.

DFA began its organisational transformation process in 2021 with the appointment of Sandi Laaksonen-Sherrin as the first Defence Family Advocate of Australia, highlighting the growing focus on families as pivotal to Defence capability.

Under Mrs Laaksonen-Sherrin’s leadership, DFA recently released its Strategic Plan which outlines the organisation’s future direction, new governance framework and operating model.

“Healthy, happy families lay the foundation for strong Defence capability,” Mrs Laaksonen-Sherrin said.

“We are excited for the potential to impact further positive change. DFA will be able to do more, more efficiently, with certainty and clarity over our roles and responsibilities with the structures in place to support this.”

Mrs Laaksonen-Sherrin said Defence families have varied needs as they navigate this unique life, supporting their loved one in uniform.

“We are here to make sure families’ voices are heard and considered from the highest levels of government to the operational level across Defence to effect sustainable, long-term policy changes,” she said.

“We are proud of the work we do in advocating for Defence families. In our 35-year history, we have achieved an incredible amount. But there is still much to be done to support a thriving Defence community.”

“Every ADF member and their family has in some way been impacted by DFA advocacy in that time, whether through policy change or individual support.

“We look forward to offering more ways for families to engage in this process, and more insights into where and how this work occurs.”

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