Over the year, DHA developed a community engagement program to support and enhance the lives and communities of ADF members and their families.
We have supported Defence related organisations that align with DHA’s broader sponsorship strategy to support ADF families, especially women and children, with a particular focus on mental health support initiatives.
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of partnering with community organisations is the opportunity for DHA staff to take part in events and interact with local Defence communities. In 2019–20 DHA staff took part in 51 Defence events and Defence Community Organisation welcome days, as well as hosting our own events at DHA residential developments to strengthen community spirit among residents.
These engagements are an active expression of our corporate commitment to put our Defence customers at the centre of everything we do.
The following is a snapshot of highlights from our 2019–20 community engagement program.
Earlier this year DHA was proud to announce a partnership with Integra Service Dogs Australia. DHA’s support has contributed to a project to select, train and place a Labrador assistance dog with an ADF veteran or member. Integra commenced work on this project in late March 2020 and has progressed the selection and placement of two dogs with a veteran in Melbourne and Canberra. Integra is continuing to provide training and support to these clients.
DHA also supported sporting organisations that bring the ADF community together through sponsorship of the Navy Football Federation Australia, ADFSA Netball Association and ADFRL Women’s Rugby League. Our support has gone towards the hire of training facilities, team uniforms and equipment. These partnerships complement our commitment to inclusivity and diversity and championing sport and wellbeing.
We are proud to have supported organisations such as the Australian Military Wives Choir to hold their annual national workshop in Canberra in October 2019, and the Prince’s Trust Australia with the launch of their volunteer and mentoring platform for veterans and ADF family members participating in enterprise programs.
In 2019–20 DHA provided financial support to several organisations that play a key role in the Defence community. This included arts and crafts resources, office equipment and safe furniture for small community centres such the Karrakatta Community House and Pearce Community Group, WA, Larrakeyah Neighbourhood House, NT, and Duntroon Community Centre, ACT. We have also been able to assist in providing toys and games for a number of school Defence clubs in regional communities and towards the building of a memorial garden at Willows State School, QLD.
At the end of 2019, DHA supported regional communities with the opportunity to host their end of year celebrations for local ADF members and their families at the Randwick Family Centre, NSW, Wagga Defence, NSW, and Tindal RAAF Base, NT.
DHA has also fostered community engagement by hosting a series of events at our development areas. These events included a night of movies under the stars at Breezes Muirhead, QLD, a Halloween party and outdoor movie night at Wirraway Community Park, NSW, and a Spring Fling at Torhaven, Deebing Heights, QLD.
Rex D. Dog school visits
Our Rex D. Dog mascot visited six schools this year, including the Southern Cross Catholic School and the Middle Ridge State School, QLD, Thornton Public School, NSW, and the Trinity Christian School, ACT.
Rex loves to entertain Defence children across Australia, reading his ‘Sticking Together’ storybook, taking part in activities at school fetes and posing for every available photo opportunity.
Welcome and family open days
DHA staff participated in 21 Defence Community Organisation (DCO) welcome days this year. Staff attended as stall holders meeting new residents and answering any questions about DHA. Rex D. Dog also attended 18 DCO events and hosted six Rex Activity Workshops.
The DCO welcome days took place between January and March 2020 and ranged from 500 to 10,000 attendees at iconic venues and locations across Australia, including Adelaide Zoo, Cairns Wildlife Dome, Sydney’s Luna Park, Townsville Stadium and SciTech in Perth.
DHA participated in 24 Defence events and family days held at regional Defence bases across the country. These events reinforce DHA’s role in supporting ADF members and their families during posting cycles. Events this year included RAAF Edinburgh Air Show and 1ARMD Family Day in SA, HMAS Cerberus Family Fun Day and the Simpson Barracks Family Day in VIC, Gallipoli Barracks Open Day in QLD, HQJOC Defence Family Day in ACT, Singleton Military Area Family Day and RAAF Glenbrook Welcome Day in NSW.