Defence Family Matters : September 2015
DFM 23 Kim Collins and Craig Walden Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Public Service Benevolent Society cut the cake. Photo by Major Peter Harrison. September2015 HAPPY BIRTHDAY DSNSG This year marks the 21ST ANNIVERSARY of the Defence Special Needs Support Group and their ANNUAL CONFERENCE was a fitting celebration of the group’s achievements. “It also allowed all the coordinators to come together and meet each other and establish new friendships, which is an important part of any support group,” Kim said. DSNSG has local groups across Australia that can provide support, information, assistance and advocacy for military families who have a dependant with special needs. The group is committed to ensuring that the volunteer coordinators receive the support and information that they need to best help families. “During the conference the coordinators undertook training to help them in their role as a local group coordinator,” Kim said. “They also got to meet with our supporting partners and learn more about their organisations.” A highlight of the conference was afternoon tea hosted by the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove at Government House. “It was a wonderful afternoon and a real thrill to see the group’s work being recognised at that level,” Kim said. DSNSG is currently working on a number of projects that will further assist families with special needs. These include the Drive Safe program, which assists family members with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Asperger’s gain confidence and self-esteem when learning to drive. The Computer 4 Kids program was also recently introduced to help parents purchase products to improve the skills of children with behavioural issues, speech delays, learning and literacy delays and delayed or under- developed motor skills. “It’s an exciting time for the group and we are working very hard to bring together more programs and events for our families,” Kim said. n www.dsnsg.org.au KAREN LANGE N ational Coordinator Kim Collins said the conference was the group’s way to say thank you to all of the volunteers involved in the group over the years.