Defence Families

At Good Shepherd we recognise that children of Defence families face a unique series of challenges – they experience parental absence and MWD(u) postings, and face major changes in their lives with frequent re locations and starting at a new school . With the right support , children can grow in self reliance and confidence and will learn to develop strategies for coping with change and unfamiliar emotions.

Defence Support Mentor

A Defence Support Mentor (DSM) is employed at Good Shepherd four days a weeks and provides direct and flexible assistance to students, parents and teachers to help reduce the impact of mobility on a student’s education. The role of the DSM is not one of a teacher or counsellor, but as a conduit between these professional services to facilitate information sharing and appropriate referral to support services as required.

Our DSM coordinates appropriate Welcome & Farewell activities:

  • ​Assists Defence parents and children to become familiar with the school and its facilities.
  • Coordinates appropriate welcoming and farewell activities for Defence children and their family involving the school community.
  • Is a contact for Defence children and their families when they join the school.
  • Be a support for Defence children and their families as they leave the school.

Our DSM assists children to integrate into the school community:

  • Monitors ADF children’s personal issues such as friendship, peer groups and classroom difficulties.
  • Provides opportunities for Defence families to meet other Defence families within the school community.
  • Maintains regular contact with Defence families who are enrolled in the school.
  • Supports students with planning, balancing of academic requirements, and facilitating referrals for education support.


Absence Support is also provided to children before and during times of parental absence from home for service requirements, with close attention paid to mental well-being.

Taryn Ahern
Defence Support Mentor
Good Shepherd Primary, Amaroo
Ph.02 6255 7888
(Mon, Tue, Wed and Thur 1pm - 4.20pm)

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