Defence Family Matters : May 2017
DFMMay2017 7 Zorb balls provided lots of fun for families at Welcome to the West. Photo by Andrea Leavy. The reptiles were a hit at the Welcome to Cairns event. Photo used with permission. enjoyed the jumping castle and the amazing face painting. Rex D Dog made an appearance and enjoyed meeting the children. Families gathered for a picnic and made the most of the beautiful sunny day. Exclusive use of the venue gave families the chance to meet other Defence families, gather information and have a relaxing time. “The event was the best one we’ve attended,” commented one happy family. “We had a great day out and my daughter did not want to leave!” CERBERUS Families were treated to a sunny Mornington Peninsula day and a wide range of community involvement at the HMAS Cerberus Welcome event. Family Liaison Officer, Sue Sparkman, said the children had a ball with the DCO Cerberus mascot Pepper the Penguin, go karts, petting zoo, giant slide, mini golf and the Navy steam engine Commanding Officer, Captain Tim Standen RAN, who had also just been posted to the area, highlighted the importance of Defence families connecting with the community. TASMANIA Rock It Climbing Centre was the location of the Hobart Welcome event, and it was a great success as far as families were concerned. “It was wonderful to see mums and dads having fun rock climbing with their children,” said DCO Tasmania’s Chris Hannan. Families shared morning tea together while getting to know other Defence families, and meeting the local DCO team and local support services. WESTERN AUSTRALIA The Perth weather didn’t disappoint with 400 families and 40 Defence and community exhibitors attending the Welcome to the West event at the Gary Holland Centre, Whiteman Park. Children and the young at heart were kept entertained throughout the afternoon with an animal farm, face painting, balloon twisters, coffee van, sausage sizzle, fairy floss, Zorb balls and the ever- popular Gymbus. A highlight of the event was the 45-minute stage show from Sparkles and Hey Presto mesmerising children, followed by roving magic shows with their furry friends. “The event is well regarded by new and existing families in the area,” said Regional Manager, Andrea Leavy. CAIRNS This year’s event was held at the local Performing Arts Centre, with more than 200 families and 37 local groups attending. It was a great opportunity for families to engage with local organisations and meet the local DCO staff, plus a range of great things to do and see, including a reptile display. One of the most popular activities was the DCO Cairns ‘absence buddies’ table, where families created their very own teddy bear or plush toy to use for comfort or a tool to help families communicate during a member’s absence. “While the activity was extremely popular with children, we noted that many couples embraced the idea too,” said DCO Social Worker, Rachel Baker. Children enjoyed the go-carts at the HMAS Cerberus Welcome event. Photo by Leading Seaman Nina Fogliani. Families enjoyed the rides at the Altona Miniature Railway. Photo used with permission. Everyone had a great time rock climbing at the Welcome event in Tasmania. Photo by Chris Hannan.