Defence Transition Mentor Program

Tranby College is aware of the unique educational needs of students whose parents work within the Australian Defence Force due in part to their mobile lifestyle and long absences of a parent due to deployment and training.

As a result, funding has been secured through the Defence Community Organisation for the implementation of the Defence Transition Mentor Program.

The role of the Defence Transition Mentor at Tranby College is designed to provide support and assistance to the student and their family and to hopefully alleviate some of the concerns that families may incur when transferring to a new school or during periods of deployment or parent absence.

For further details about the role and if you should have any questions please feel free to contact Tracey Dobson, our Defence Transition Mentor, by email or on 9523 3166.

Tracey is available at school as part of the Student Well-being Team from Mondays to Friday, 8:30am - 3:30pm.

Please find below some frequently asked questions & answers for your information:

What is the Defence Transition Mentor Program?

The Defence Transition Mentor Program provides support to primary and secondary students of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families, particularly during their transition into and out of a school on posting or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses.

Defence families can change location sometimes up to every 2-3 years and due to differences in curriculum, subject selections and intake age requirements there can be considerable differences in their educational program from one school to the next and particularly from one state to another.

Additional to these pressures, the Defence family is also required to re-establish community connections and create new friendships and support networks every time they are relocated. The move can also impact the spouse as they may have to change jobs/careers each time they relocate, with possible financial pressures adding to the stresses already placed on the family.

This program was implemented by the Department of Defence, through the Defence Community Organisation, as a commitment to support its members and their families. They recognise that the education of Defence dependants may be negatively impacted by their mobile lifestyle and so have sought to provide this innovative resource to facilitate a more supportive educational environment for mobile ADF families.

What does a Defence Transition Mentor do?

A Defence Transition Mentor provides assistance to students and their families. This may include:

  • Co-ordinating appropriate welcoming and fare welling strategies for young people of Australian Defence Force families.
  • Supporting students to develop their self-confidence and resilience.
  • Encouraging young people to explore options and make the most of opportunities.
  • Assisting young people manage the challenges of transitions.
  • Referring students where necessary to appropriate student support services.
  • Identifying the issues and needs of individual students.
  • Developing and implementing programs and resources that address issues and needs.
  • Monitoring students' day to day social and emotional well-being.
  • Supporting young people at school during times of parental absence from home for service requirements.
  • Facilitating student participation in cultural, sporting, academic and personal development programs.

What is the Defence Community Organisation?

The Defence Community Organisation (DCO) offers a broad range of targeted programs and services to support ADF personnel and their families to balance the demands of military service with personal and family commitments.

Our local DCO in Rockingham is staffed by a Regional Education Liaison Officer, Social Workers, Military Support Officers, Family Liaison Officers and administrative staff who are available to assist the members and family through the provision of:

  • Support in the time of crisis
  • Information on Defence matters in general
  • Advice on community, recreational and interest groups
  • Deployment support
  • Mobility support
  • Professional counselling for personal, relationship and family problems
  • Various courses, information sessions and support groups
  • Specialist education advice and assistance
  • Special needs recognition and review
  • Employment assistance
  • Childcare assistance

Where is the local Defence Community Organisation (DCO) office?

The DCO office is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

DCO Rockingham Contact Details:

The DCO website provides ready access to information for Defence families on a broad range of ADF member and family topics.

All requests for emergency DCO assistance outside these hours and on public holidays should be directed to the Defence Family Helpline on 1800624608.

What is a Regional Education District Liaison Officer (REDLO)?

Regional Education Liaison Officers (REDLOs) are professionally trained teachers who understand both the different State and Territory education systems and the Defence lifestyle. They can advise Defence families and children on education issues, particularly related to relocating. REDLOs can assist with changing schools between the various State and Territory primary, secondary and tertiary education systems.

REDLOs provide the key link for families to access the type of support that meets the needs of their particular child. REDLOs are also linked to schools and education systems, working to raise the issues that affect Defence families and ensure that equity of educational opportunity is available to all mobile Defence children.

Western Australian REDLO

Contact Details: Lorraine Van Haeften Email:

Our recent relocation has impacted on our child's learning. Can i get education assistance?

If an ADF member moves to a new location and has school aged children, they may be entitled to 14 weeks of tutoring in any subject that has been identified by the school as representing a gap in the child's learning.

Please remember that this, as a rule, is only available within 18 months of your relocation date, so if you think your child could use some extra support please contact Tracey Dobson as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can contact your Regional Education District Liaison Officer. Paperwork will need to be completed and authenticated by the school prior to submission.

We will be relocating to another location. do i have to tell Tranby College?

It is a requirement that you inform Tranby College with one terms notice, as per you're the signed Conditions of Acceptance when you enrolled your child/children and the Defence Transition Mentor of your intended relocation PRIOR to moving. An important part of the support services we provide includes an exit procedure for your child to facilitate their smooth transition to the new school. Please contact Tracey for more information.

Parent meetings

We welcome parent involvement and are happy to arrange a meeting to discuss any aspect of the student's wellbeing and educational journey. Please contact Tracey via email or on 9523 3166 to arrange a mutually convenient appointment date and time.

Student involvement

Our Defence Transition Mentor Program serves to support the students and their family members. We hope you enjoy your time here at Tranby College and encourage you to get involved in as many events and projects as you can. If you have any suggestions on ways to improve our program, please do not hesitate to communicate your ideas.