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Defence Families


Defence School Transition Aide


At Good Shepherd we recognize 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.

A Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA) is employed at Good Shepherd two 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 DSTA 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 DSTA 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.


Useful links for families seeking regional and community information:


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 Student Mentor

Good Shepherd Primary, Amaroo

02 6255 7888

(Mon and Tue 9.00am – 3.00pm)