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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608


Including Nowra, Jervis Bay and Wollongong


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


Send an email to DMFS Nowra to join our mailing list. You'll get the latest information and updates from DMFS Nowra, your local Defence community and the Shoalhaven region.

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.

Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation

The Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation supports kids living in families affected by mental illness. The program provides recreational educational camps and other activities, giving kids a break, in a fun, positive and safe environment. Kids have the opportunity to meet other kids in similar families and develop new friendships.

Kookaburra Kids Head Office
PO BOX 681 Gymea 2227
(02) 9525 7474

Website: Kookaburra Kids website | Facebook

Shoalhaven Defence Families Association

The Shoalhaven Defence Families Association (SDFA) is a volunteer group made up of predominantly Defence partners. They conduct regular activities at their community centre, 'Kookaburra Retreat', four days per week during NSW school terms. These activities include ‘cuppa and chat’, playgroup, craft group and other activities.

The association also holds regular community education courses according to member interests. In the past these have included First Aid, parenting, wellness, cooking classes and specific crafts. The SDFA is also responsible for the production of the local Defence community magazine, ‘Time Out’.

Where: Kookaburra Retreat, Flat 1&2, Canberra Drive, Nowra Hill (across from the HMAS Albatross main gate)
More information: Coordinator 02 4421 5766 | Email: | Facebook

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 Nowra | Facebook

Tingira Child Care Centre Nowra

The centre provides long day care for Defence families with children aged six weeks to five years, but also open to general public with children aged six weeks to five years.

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.

  • Jervis Bay - Activities, attractions and goings-on in beautiful Jervis Bay
  • Shoalhaven City Council - Community and services information, events and guides for Shoalhaven. See 'My Community' for community and services information.
  • Wollongong City Council - Community and services information for Wollongong
  • Wollongong Tourism - Activities, events and things to do in Wollongong.

Defence postings in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra area

  • HMASAlbatross (Nowra)
  • HMASCreswell (Jervis Bay)
  • RAN Hydrographic, Wollongong

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

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 Hunter Block, Level 1, HMAS Albatross NSW 2540

Defence Member and Family Helpline | 1800 624 608