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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608



To find out about events for ADF families in Cairns, visit our Eventbrite page. You'll be able to RSVP, add events to your calendar and share with friends.

Mailing List

To receive updates from the team at DMFS North Queensland about upcoming programs, events and our quarterly newsletter please register to our Mailing List: DMFS NQ Mailing List Registration Form.

COVID-19 Resources

With the internet and social media flooded with a range of COVID-19 information and advice, it’s important to make sure the information you’re seeking comes from an official source. To help you, we’ve put together a list of official websites where families can get up-to-date information about a range of COVID issues like travel restrictions and border closures, non-essential travel and fines, testing locations, school arrangements, jobs and business information.

If you are looking for national information and contacts about COVID-19, see the Coronavirus tab on our Emergency and Crisis webpage.

We have also developed a Coronavirus Advice webpage which has a range of information and resources about wellbeing, tips to manage in isolation, how to support kids, maintaining healthy relationships and information about reunion leave arrangements.

For more mental health and wellbeing information and resources see our Health and Wellbeing webpage.

Information about Defence’s involvement in the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including live blog updates can be found at the Defence response to COVID-19.

We’ve also put together some other educational resources that may help families with children during COVID-19 restrictions.

Community groups & centres


Community group facilities are currently closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but you can still get involved with their online activities and virtual catch-ups. If you want to get in touch with a community group in your area, follow them on Facebook to keep up-to-date.

Defence Special Needs Support Group

The Defence Special Needs Support Group is a non-profit benevolent volunteer organisation established to assist ADF families with a family member with special needs.

More info: DSNSG Cairns | Facebook

Little Diggers Community Centre 

Little Diggers Community Centre (LDCC) in Cairns is a Defence-sponsored community group that aims to help Defence families feel confident, resilient and connected in Cairns. LDCC welcomes Defence and non-Defence families from all over Cairns, making it a great place to meet other local families, make new friends and catch up with some old friends. Contact the coordinator or following them on Facebook to find out more about the online activities.

More information: email | 0498 505 494 | Facebook

Cairns Defence Community Support Group

Cairns Defence Community Support Group (CDCSG) is a new group of defence partners who provide an opportunity for the community to connect as a group. They host a range of activities, source services and find out information about the local area and what it has to offer. Their primary goal is to build and support a stronger community, stronger families and stronger friendships.

They hold a range of regular events like Coffee catch-ups, chat and play, family dinners, Ladies dinners, family events, trivia, online book club and lots more Visit them on Facebook or contact the coordinator, Hannah, to find out more.

Contact: email | Facebook | Instagram

Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling

Open Arms continues to provide 24/7 counselling and support services to Australia's military community during COVID-19. If you have served one day of continuous full-time service in the ADF you can call them for support. They also support families, reservists and some peacekeepers. Call Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling on 1800 011 046 for free, confidential counselling and group programs to support mental health and wellbeing.

Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling | Group Programs | Facebook

Regional info

Getting started

The following resources and websites can give you a good grounding in local information and services available.

  • Cairns Regional Council - All you need to know about living in Cairns, including the latest news, laws and regulations, environment, community services, and local activities, attractions, and events
  • Cairns Residents Guide - Cairns Regional Council's guide for new residents to living in the Cairns region, Queensland Australia
  • Community Services Directory - Council has provided this searchable directory which gives up-to-date listings of organisations providing services to the community throughout the Cairns region
  • Sport and Recreation – Council information about the sport and leisure facilities in and around Cairns. Cairns Regional Tourism Information
  • Cairns Regional Tourism Information

Disaster Management

State Emergency Service: 132 500
Ergon Energy Emergencies: 13 16 70 or 000

Cairns Services 

  • Department of Transport : Corner Owen & Kenny Close, Cairns - or: Bentley Village Shopping Centre, 96 McLaughlin Rd Bentley Park Phone: 13 23 90 | Website | Facebook
  • Ergon Energy: Connections: 13 10 46 - Emergencies: 13 16 70 (000) -  Faults: 13 22 96 | Website

Weipa and Scherger Regional Information

Thursday Island Regional Information

Defence postings in Cairns and Far North Queensland

  • HMAS Cairns
  • 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR) in:
    • Cairns
    • Weipa
    • Thursday Island
      • Australian Defence Facility (Thursday Island)
  • RAAF Base Scherger

You can also talk to your Unit Welfare Officer for more information.

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 07 4280 6800
 4/97 Spence Street, Cairns, QLD 4870

Defence Member and Family Helpline | 1800 624 608