Defence Transition Mentor Program

Medowie Christian School 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 of this the school has secured funding through the Department of Defence for the implementation of the Defence Transition Mentor Program. The role of the Defence Transition Mentor at the school is to provide support and assistance to students of ADF families and to hopefully alleviate some of the concerns that families may have when transferring to a new school.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact:
Jason Pilcher, our Defence Transition Mentor.
Email: jpilcher@medowiecs.nsw.edu.au
Phone: (02) 4981 7177

WHAT IS THE DEFENCE TRANSITION MENTOR PROGRAM?
The Defence Transition Mentor Program provides support to 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 frequently 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 recognize 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:

  • Coordinating appropriate welcoming and farewelling 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.
  • 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 Jason Pilcher 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 MEDOWIE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL?
    School is an important part of the support services provided by the Defence Transition Mentor include an exit procedure for your child to facilitate their smooth transition to the new school. Notification needs to be provided in writing and include the contact details of the new school or tertiary institution. Please contact Jason Pilcher (jpilcher@medowiecs.nsw.edu.au) 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 me 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 Medowie Christian School 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.