Defence School Mentor Program


Throsby School has a growing number of defence families enrolled as part of its school community.

To support these families Throsby has been successful in employing a Defence School Mentor. (DSM)  Our DSM is Sarah McGavin.

DSMs are partly funded by the Department of Defence through the Defence Member and Family Services (Formerly DCO) and employed as a member of the school staff.

The DSM can assist with:

Settling in: Transitioning into a new school can be stressful for some students.  Understandably, the reasons are often not knowing anyone and having to make new friends or adjusting to a different educational system.  We will work on helping your child feel that they are an important member of the school community and assist them in developing friendship and support networks as quickly as possible.  We can provide information on educational allowances provided by the Department of Defence, should your child require extra tuition.

Deployed parent/Absent from Home (Courses or MWDU): Family separation affects all members of the family and children’s behaviour can sometimes alter as they try to adapt to the changes in home life.  Often children enjoy, and benefit from, being in the ‘Defence Friendship Group’.  This is a support group which will be held when required for children who have a parent away for an extended period. Children are invited to attend this group if they wish, and can bring a friend.  It is highly recommended for you to notify your child’s teacher and the DSM when a parent is away so your child can be supported.

Posting Out: Most children adapt well and see moving as an adventure.  Other children need extra encouragement and positive thinking strategies.  We work with students who are posting out of Canberra to farewell their current friends and talk through preparing for their new school.

Throughout the week, the DSM will work in many classrooms which allows them to get to know your child.  This also allows for them to be familiar with the DSM so they feel confident in approaching the DSM should they need any support.

The DSM will also run weekly activity groups.

Throughout the year they will hold community events and invite you to join them in getting to know other Defence Families in the area. The Throsby community can assist the DSM by providing information about upcoming  community events, functions, sports that might of interest to the Defence community.

If you require assistance or would like to have a chat please don’t hesitate to contact Simone Cooper by emailing or phoning the school on 02 6142 2880.