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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Host Officer

Role and responsibilities


  • DCA Directive 20/14 Reception and Induction of 2014/15 overseas lateral transfer scheme tranche
  • DI(AF) PERS 2-5 Lateral Recruitment in the Royal Australian Air Force
  • DI(N) PERS 61-7 Lateral Recruitment in the Royal Australian Navy


  1. The key enabler to the implementation of the ADF Overseas Lateral Recruit Scheme (OLRS) is the successful integration of recruited members transferring into the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the successful integration of their families into the local community.
  2. The attached duty statement is provided as a guide to Command and the appointed Host Officer or Host Organisation (HO), noting the following:
    • The Host Officer should be appointed to these duties under Service orders or equivalent.
    • The Host Officer should be appointed considering the rank, age, family composition and interests of both the Member and the Host Officer.
    • The Host Officer is to act as the initial point of contact for the member and as the conduit between the member, the unit, the wider ADF, the local community and any of the family/sporting/social groups that the member and their family may wish to be connected to.
    • The Host Officer is to perform this role from appointment until Command is satisfied that the member and their family are sufficiently integrated into the ADF and the local community.

Note: A Host Officer should be appointed for at least one month (usually until delivery of the personal and household effects). Air-freight usually arrives within one month; seagoing freight can take six weeks or more. A slightly shorter period may be experienced for New Zealand arrivals.

  1. The process for the movement of lateral recruits occurs in three phases:
    • Pre-removal administration
    • Removals and travel, including appointment/enlistment
    • Reception and induction once in Australia.
  2. Pre-removal administration, removal, travel and the appointment /enlistment process in the home (losing) locality overseas is managed by Australian Defence Force staff (Defence staff) in the respective High Commission/Embassy. Defence staff coordinate removals and travel for all members and their families to Australia and are responsible for ensuring the member and family arrive at the new posting (gaining) locality in Australia.
  3. Command in the gaining locality is responsible for the reception, induction and successful integration in Australia of members and their families.


Prior to Member's departure from country of origin:

  • Obtain posting and contact details of the member and their family.

  • Liaise with the local Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) Area Office to advise them of the arrival of the incoming lateral recruit member and family.

  • Contact the member prior to leaving their home country, to introduce yourself and your role in the process.

  • Confirm travel and arrival timings and advise that you will be meeting them on their arrival and will be taking them to their temporary accommodation (if not self-drive).

  • Provide unit details (e.g. contact names and numbers, location, up-coming events etc).

  • Advise where to access information regarding the new location and refer to Overseas Recruits website.  

  • Provide them with your contact details and record theirs. Telephone numbers are good if their phone is set for international roaming (the duty phone if issued would also have to be set for international roaming to meet this need if necessary - check with Defence Voice Services). Email contact details are also useful, but should not be used as primary means of contact.

  • Refer member (and partner if applicable) to the DCO Education Liaison Officer (EDLO) for education options for their children.

  • For members with dependants - Contact Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to assist the member to select a service residence (SR), if this has not already been completed on Homefind . Service Residence is the preferred housing option. (member should have received their PMKeyS ID up to six weeks prior to appoint/enlistment. If not or they cannot remember - refer to posting order/signal.)

  • For members without dependants - Arrange for living-in accommodation (an initial period minimum of three months) from date of arrival.

Member's arrival in Australia:

  • Arrange for a vehicle that is large enough for the member, their family, their belongings and yourself as well ensuring that infant car seat requirements are adhered to.

  • Meet the member (and their family) at the airport.

Arrival tip - No matter where the Member (and family) come from, no matter how much they have researched Australia, they may experience communication difficulties and culture shock almost immediately and will need a little help along the way.

Assess the family's condition

It is highly likely that the family will be tired and weary - almost certainly jet-lagged. It is possible they didn't have a good trip having left ‘home' behind them. Getting them to their temporary accommodation should be the topic of conversation. Where possible, leave ‘work talk' until after they have rested.

Temporary accommodation

Accompany the member (and family if applicable) to their temporary accommodation and show them how to get to:

  • local shops,
  • nearest medical centre/ hospital,
  • public transport,
  • unit/ship,
  • banks,
  • clubs (RSL etc),
  • internet/phone/postal services,
  • Refer to the Overseas Lateral Recruitment Common Handbook Support section information and provide to family.

Temporary accommodation tip - Depending on the type of accommodation the family has been provided, they may need to purchase items such as vacuum cleaner, kettle, iron, clothes, children's needs, bedding, general utensils such as cutlery, crockery, mops and buckets to use until their freight arrives.

On completion of rest days:

  • Assist the Member with obtaining an Australian phone service/number if not already obtained.

  • Assist the Member in obtaining an Australian Tax File Number (online).

  • Assist with establishing a bank account if not already established.

  • Assist the Member with obtaining an Australian drivers licence.

  • Brief the Member and their family on the program outline for the following days.

Member's march/post-in date:

  • Accompany the Member to the unit on the first day of induction.

  • Arrange introduction to Command as appropriate.

  • Arrange for their new Defence Common Access Card (DCAC) and family DCAC to be issued.

  • Arrange for the Orderly Room/Customer Service Centre/PAC to administer all required pay, tax, allowance and Next-of-Kin documentation.

  • Act as the liaison between member and Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) and other support elements in location. This includes providing Member with support organisation contact numbers including:

    • 1800 DEFENCE (Defence Service Centre 1800 333 362)
    • 1800 IMSICK (Health Hotline 1800 467 425)
    • DMFS Family Helpline (1800 624 608)
  • Arrange for the Member to receive a complete issue of uniform and kit.

  • Assist the Member in gaining DRN access as well as any applications required and coordinate any training required to access these programs.

  • Conduct a familiarisation tour of the unit/ship/barracks and the local area.

  • Point out on-base support facilities such as Community Centres, Defence Childcare facility etc.

Tip: Provide an opportunity for the Member's family to meet other unit families (this will be ship/unit specific).