Defence School Mentor (DSM)
Kooringal Public School has a significant Defence community and receives Federal funding to employ a Defence School Mentor (DSM) to support students with a parent who serves in Defence. Uncertainty and change is something Defence families must contend with as they regularly move states and schools which can be disruptive to children’s friendships and learning. Our aim is for children from Defence families to feel included and build strong healthy connections within our school community so they can thrive in their learning. I can support Defence students through:
· Welcoming – connecting with students and families and introducing them to a range of school and community supports to help them settle into a new school system
· Integrating – support for Defence students to access social and emotional assistance to promote healthy friendships, resilience, positive mindsets, and wellbeing
· Absence Support – understanding the circumstances impacting each Defence student to support them during periods of parental absence due to service needs (e.g.: deployments, training courses or MWDU)
· Farewelling – running activities to support and prepare students when relocating to a new school due to the family being posted to another location
I am present around the school in many ways including classroom visits, socialisation activities at lunch or recess, and intentional needs-based programs to support prosocial skills, resilience, and healthy coping strategies. Previously a member of Defence having served in both Army and Airforce I am aware of the challenges life in the service can bring for members and families.
In 2022, the program expanded to include children of Reserve members acting in a full-time capacity, as well as transitioned members provided the children still attend the same school as when the parent was serving.
If this applies to your family and you are enrolling your child at KPS, please reach out by emailing me or filling out the questionnaire (https://forms.office.com/r/Uxtsq4wBn6) so I can get to know your family and respond to any queries you may have.
I am at the school two days per week (Monday and Tuesday). Please feel free to touch base with me at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the school (02) 6922 6443.
Defence School Mentor