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 relocations 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 Student Mentor
A Defence Student 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.
- Defence Community Organisation (DCO)
- ACT Community Directory
- Soldier On (Helping our Wounded Warriors)
- Duntroon Community Centre
- Gungahlin Defence Family Playgroup
- Defence Special Needs Support Group
- Open Arms-Veterans & Families Counselling
- Canberra Connect
- Kookaburra Kids
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.
Defence Student Mentor
Good Shepherd Primary, Amaroo
Ph.02 6255 7888
(Mon, Tue, Wed and Thur 12.20pm - 4.20pm)