Strong families, strong communities, strong Defence.
On behalf of Navy, Army and Air Force, Defence Community Organisation, or DCO, offers a broad range of programs and services to help Defence families manage the military way of life.
To access any of our support services, contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
Defence knows from the family survey and other feedback that families prefer to make their own choices. The Defence Community Organisation provides a wide range of information and assistance in this context - using a model of brief intervention and referral to the most appropriate form of more specialised support. This model entails an initial assessment of the issues presented and then tailored assistance to address those issues. This may mean resolution with the Defence Family Helpline team, referral to a DCO Area Office team, or referral to other providers, such as Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling or other community based service providers.
We recognise that the strength of the Defence force is in the family and the strength of the family is in the community. We work with Defence families and community organisations to develop ideas and initiatives which help build a strong, connected and resilient Defence community.
DCO is a geographically dispersed organisation with a workforce comprising both military and civilian personnel. Most DCO staff are experienced in the military way of life, and are either serving, have served, or have family members in the Services.
There are over 200 staff Australia wide and on-the-ground services are delivered from local area offices which are situated on or near major Defence establishments in all states and territories.
You can gain referral to your local team by calling the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
Our social workers can help you address personal, relationship or Service related issues. They can provide you with assessment, short-term counselling services or referral to support and resources in your local community.
Our Military Support Officers (MSOs) are uniformed officers who provide you with advice, assistance and practical support in relation to military matters. They also perform a liaison function with units and Command.
Our Education Liaison Officers (EDLOs) are specialists who give education support to Defence families as they move around the country, providing information, advice, referral and specialised assistance.
Our Family Liaison Officers (FLOs) have extensive knowledge of local communities and can provide you with advice and information to help you find resources or services that best suit your needs.
Our Community Development Officers (CDOs) are trained in community development and work to build mutual understanding and support between the Defence community and broader community.
Related: Your community
Who we support
DCO's range of support is available to Defence families. The family of an ADF member consists of the spouse or interdependent partner and children who normally live with the ADF member, or the parents of a single ADF member.
We also provide services for Commanding Officers, to assist them in looking after the welfare of ADF members and their families.
ADF members should make sure their partners and dependants are formally recognised by Defence so that they can receive support.