Defence School Mentor

How can the Defence School Mentor help your family?

The Defence School Mentor (DSM) is a Department of Defence funded position aimed at supporting dependent children of Defence members enrolled at Essington. The objective is to ease the impact of mobility and service-related parental absence. Within The Essington School community, the DSM aids Defence students and their families and raises awareness of the unique needs of these families due to the military lifestyle.

This is a non-teaching role. 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 works across all sub-schools providing support to the children of Defence families through on-site, direct, and flexible assistance to students, parents, teachers, and other support services.

Defence families are a very important and dynamic part of Essington and we heartily welcome students from defence families into our school.

When do I contact the DSM?

You can contact the DSM at any point throughout your journey with Essington. From the very beginning of your enrolment, all the way through to your departure from the School. We have provided some examples below of times in which you may wish to contact our DSM:

  • If your child is experiencing any challenges whilst settling in.
  • When an ADF family member is deployed, to ensure appropriate supports are in place.
  • When postings occur so appropriate support can be provided in collecting information about your child’s/children’s anticipated new school.
  • If information is required about Defence Education Assistance (DEA) programs e.g. tutoring.
How will a DSM help my child?

Essington’s DSM can work with you and your family in a variety of ways to help ease your child’s transition into the School as well as assisting with any issues that may arise within the School.  As importantly, the DSM will also help with the transition out of the School when a posting out of area occurs. 

Please see some additional examples below of how a DSM might be able to assist your child:

  • Assisting ADF parents and children to become familiar with the School, its facilities and to integrate into the Essington community.
  • Coordinating appropriate welcoming and farewelling activities for ADF students.
  • Supporting students at school during times of parental absence from home for service requirements.
  • Supporting ADF students to develop their self-confidence and resilience.
  • Referring students where necessary to appropriate student support services.
  • Developing and implementing programs and resources which support ADF student needs.
  • Facilitating their participation in cultural, sporting, academic and personal development programs.
  • Linking ADF students to school and community programs.
  • Raising school community awareness of Defence related issues facing Defence students
  • Contributing items of interest to the school newsletter.
  • Providing opportunities for ADF families to meet other ADF families within the School community.
  • Being a contact for new parents of mobile ADF children in the school.
  • Maintaining contact with ADF families who are enrolled in the school.

If you or your family have additional queries about transitioning your child to a new location or school, don't hesitate to contact our team today!