A Defence School Mentor (DSM) – Liz Mickle – is employed at Settlers Primary School to facilitate the best possible educational outcome for dependants of Australian Defence Force Members (ADF). Liz provides direct and flexible assistance to children, parents, teachers and other support services at the school.
Liz provides social and emotional support to those students during their transition into and out of our school or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses. She works at Settlers on Mondays and Wednesdays, both in the class for academic and social support, as well as one-on-one in a mentoring role.
She works under the guidance of the Regional Educational Liaison Officer, (REDLO) to help address the negative impact mobility, deployments, parent absences and the transitional life have on the Defence student.
The DSM role can:
- Provide educational, social and emotional support to ADF students.
- Act as a Liaison between the Defence Force, the family and the school.
- Be a point of contact for new and existing ADF families at the school.
- Assist parents and children to integrate into the school community
- Inform the school and support families when ADF family members are deployed.
- Organise activities which welcome and farewell ADF families.
- Provide a common meeting place whereby students can join in various activities, such as craft, games and cooking.
- Answer basic questions about the school and link families to services provided by the school as well as the ADF services in their locality.
- Assist families on leaving the school, with collection of work, portfolios and academic records for the new school.
- Work closely with other DSMs.
- Liaise with Defence School Transition Mentor’s (DTM’s) at secondary schools to facilitate the transition from primary to secondary education.
Useful links for Defence Families:
DCO Perth https://www.defence.gov.au/DCO/Community/Perth/default.asp
Defence Special Needs Support Group http://dsnsg.org.au/
Defence Families Australia https://dfa.org.au/
Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling https://www.openarms.gov.au/