Defence Family Matters : May 2016
DFMMay2016 29 CREATING PARKS WITH PURPOSE DEFENCE HOUSING AUSTRALIA FAMILIES TALK ABOUT STAYING CONNECTED ALEX DEVALENTIN Staying Connected focuses on how relationships with family, friends, work colleagues and your local community can help Defence families from training and deployment, through to transitioning into civilian careers. In the video, Defence families share their personal stories about how staying connected helped them and their families, including through difficult times. It also provides advice from a mental health professional and DCO on the importance of supporting each other and getting help when you need it. For Eleni Notaras, her family’s experience with the ADF has only been fairly recent when her son joined the Army and went through the recruitment process when he was in Year 12. He started his recruit training last year. “One of the challenges of being a parent of a new recruit is not having them here all of a sudden. “You’ve raised your children and been an integral part of most of what they’ve done. Then, as a young adult, he made a decision to join the Army, move out of home and go onto this completely different path that you’ve really got no knowledge about.” Defence trainees are encouraged to engage with the community by playing sport, helping with charity fundraising and any other activities that help engage with the community but also with each other. It was the new connection with other trainees that Eleni said helped her son a lot. “Being all in the same boat brings them together and they form quite firm friendships and bonds really quickly, so that helps.” For Shaun McGill and his partner Kylie the hardest part of being separated by Shaun’s last deployment was that it coincided with a lot of important milestones of their youngest daughter growing up. But there were also challenges with adjusting to family life again after coming home. “Sometimes, there are things that you just don’t feel the family needs to know about. But, in hindsight, I think they do because you need to be able to talk about it,” Shaun said. Staying Connected is now available online and through the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608. n www.defence.gov.au/dco A new video for ADF members and their families HIGHLIGHTS THE IMPORTANCE of building and MAINTAINING positive and SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIPS when dealing with the challenges of military life. Seaman Communication Information Systems, Emma Stock, with grandparents Sue and Peter Robertsk, prior to HMAS Ballarat departing Fleet Base West on a six month deployment. Photo by Leading Seaman Lee-Anne Mack. Australian Army Third Class cadets from Royal Military College, Duntroon (RMC-D), tackled the 15km trek across the three peaks of Mt Majura, Mt Ainslie and Mt Pleasant during their culmination exercise on 22 August, 2015. Photo by Sergeant Robert Hack.