Defence School Transition Aide

Dear ADF Parents,

Welcome to our community.  My name is Janelle Ford and I am the Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA) at Hammondville Public School. The DSTA program began in NSW in 2002 and I was excited to be selected for this position in its infancy. Over time more schools have been included and the program has expanded to include government and non-government Primary and High Schools with significant ADF student numbers.

The DSTA is a member of the school staff, funded by Defence.  The role is designed to support the children, families and members of the ADF as they transition in and out of the school community. Both the Department of Defence and the Department of Education recognise the impact that the mobile military lifestyle can have on the academic and social development of some children. This mobility can impact family life, and a range of programs have been developed to assist and support ADF families.

Some aspects of my role include

  • Welcoming our new families and helping them to settle in to our school and local community. Providing information and being a point of contact. Hosting a Welcome Morning Tea for all new parents to facilitate the building of new friendships.
  • Assisting the new students in the playground and the classroom if they require help socially or academically.
  • Providing information to educate school staff on the unique needs of military families.
  • Supporting children and parents during deployment and service related absence.
  • Linking families to support services and programs.
  • Raising the profile of Defence in our school through a range of activites and events throughout the year.
  • Planning special activities to commemorate ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.
  • Preparing students to leave our school and move on with social activities and a Farewell Lunch.

The Executive and classroom teachers at Hammondville Public School are supportive of our ADF students and of the programs that are specifically designed around their needs. Through craft, stories, letter writing, charitable work, photo displays, art, journaling, games and peer support activites, the students build their resilience and stay connected to friends and family. Gilbert, our very special bear, is well loved by students of all ages and has an important role to play with children who have a deployed parent.

As the spouse of a (now retired) ADF member I understand the unique challenges that military families face. It is my aim to assist your children to develop socially and academically, to not just survive but to thrive as they receive a quality education at Hammondville Public School. It is my absolute privilege to support the families of those who sacrifice so much in the service of our country.

I look forward to working with you and your children.

Warm regards

Janelle Ford

Defence School Transition Aide 

janelle.j.ford@det.nsw.edu.au

Ph: (02) 9825 3948