For the past 20 years, the Defence Community Organisation has worked with Command, families and community organisations to develop a strong, connected and resilient Defence community that supports Australian Defence Force members and their families.
Launched in 1996, the organisation brought together the three individual services’ family support organisations and the Australian Defence Families Information and Liaison Staff.
To mark the occasion of their 20th anniversary, events were held across the country to thank command, support groups, and staff, both past and present, who have helped shape the organisation since it was formed.
Held last month, the events recognised those who have supported the Defence community over the years.
For three attendees at the event held at HMAS Cerberus, it was also a personal celebration.
Past and present Military Support Officers Lieutenant Werner Gallina and Warrant Officer Musician Dale Granger were presented with their Federation Stars for 40 years of service. Commander John Goss received his second Federation Star for 45 years’ service.
Commanding Officer HMAS Cerberus, Captain Stephen Bowater, who presented the awards, commended the work of the three officers, and Defence Community Organisation more broadly in supporting Navy families.
“It is an honour to present Federation Stars marking the achievement of many years’ distinguished service to members that have done so much to support Navy families and to help Navy achieve operational effectiveness,” Captain Bowater said.
“Families have a significant influence upon the morale, performance and retention of Navy people.”
“As the lead agency for Navy family support, Defence Community Organisation has been and remains a critical partner in helping our families when they need it most.”
The event was an opportunity to look back at the way Defence Community Organisation has provided assistance in times of illness, injury, domestic crisis or bereavement.
Over the years, Defence Community Organisation has developed a broad range of programs and services to help Defence families make the most of the challenges and opportunities provided by the military way of life. Since 2012, this has included Australian Defence Force transition services to support members and their families when leaving Defence.
“These achievements would not have been possible without the many staff, community groups, Command and stakeholder organisations that have helped Defence Community Organisation support Australian Defence Force members,” Captain Bowater said.