Defence Member and Family Support, or DMFS (formerly known as the Defence Community Organisation) is an integral part of the Department of Defence.
Since 1 July 1996, we have been working with Defence members and families and community organisations to develop and implement programs and services of value that reinforce the Australian Defence force (ADF) appreciation for, and commitment to, military families.
We recognise that the strength of the ADF is in the family and the strength of the family is in the community.
Our experienced staff understand the military way of life. We are here to listen, consult and help Defence members balance the demands of service life and the needs of their family.
Strong families, strong communities, strong Defence.
Our programs and services are designed to facilitate family resilience and strong and informed communities. They also contribute to retention and Defence capability by offering support to Defence members and their families through their service, transition, and beyond.
To access any of our programs or support services, contact the all-hours Defence Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
DMFS has a geographically dispersed organisation with a workforce comprising of both military and civilian personnel. Most DMFS 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 and transition centres 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 Defence Member and 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.
Every transitioning member is assigned a transition coach to guide and mentor them through transition, including for up to two years after transition. Our coaches provide a single point of entry for Defence transition support and services, and builds a personalised package of support based on the circumstances and post-transitions goals of the member and their family.
Our Military Transition Support Officers (MTSOs) are located around Australia, in our ADF Transition Centres, to liaise with local command at all levels. MTSOs work to build understanding of the transition process and support programs available.
Related: Your community
Who we support
DMFS's range of support is available to Defence members and their 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 and other unit staff, 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 and recorded on PMKeyS so that they can receive appropriate support.