Nowra Hill Public School

Strive to Excel

Telephone02 4421 5671

Defence School Mentor Program

Nowra Hill Public School is located adjacent to HMAS Albatross and the Parachute Training School.  As a result, a significant number of Defence Force families attend the school. 

Defence School Mentor (DSM)

The School offers a Defence School Mentor (DSM) Program which provides support to children of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families, particularly during transition into and out of a school on posting, or during parental absences due to deployment exercises or courses.  The position is funded by the Department of Defence through the Defence Members and Family Support (DMFS).

Mrs Julie Martin is the DSM at Nowra Hill.  She works 16.5 hours per fortnight (34 weeks) at the school.  The DSM's duties MAY include:

  • Assisting ADF parents and children to become familiar with the school and its facilities;

  • Coordinating appropriate welcoming and farewelling activities for ADF children involving the school community;
  • Supporting children at school during times of parental absence from home for service requirements;
  • helping children to develop self-confidence, self-reliance and resilience;
  • Monitoring ADF children's personal issues such as friendship, peer groups and classroom difficulties;
  • Contributing items of interest to the school newsletter; or
  • Maintaining contact with ADF families who are enrolled in the school.

The overall purpose of the DSM program is the facilitation of the best possible educational outcome for dependents of ADF members by providing on-site, direct and flexible assistance to children, parents, teachers and other support services.

Mrs Martin works at Nowra Hill on Tuesdays and every odd week Friday and can be contacted by email at or via the school office -  ph: 4421 5671

Defence Club

Defence club operates on Tuesdays. It provides an opportunity for children to spend some of their lunch time in the library playing games, colouring-in or making craft items. Whilst the club is primarily provided for Defence children, it is open to the entire school. 

The ADF teddies are a part of the club and are looked after by one defence family each weekend. If they wish to, they can record their adventures in the accompanying scrapbook. 

Deployment and exercises

It is helpful if Defence families inform the DSM and their child's class teacher if a parent is to be deployed on exercises or other training.  This enables the school to best support your child during a potentially stressful time.

Educational assistance scheme

If your child experiences educational disruption as a result of a posting, reimbursement may be provided for tuition for primary and secondary children within the first 18 months of enrolment at the new school.  Please contact Mrs Martin or visit the DMFS website at for further details.

Helpful links

Defence Members and Family Support (DMFS):

Defence Members and Family Support (DMFS) offers a broad range of programs and services to help Defence families make the most of the challenges and opportunities provided by the military way of life. Visit the DMFS website at to find out more information on the range of services provided.

The best way to access any of these services is to contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

Defence Family Helpline:

The Defence Family Helpline is the first port of call for Defence families seeking information or access to DSM's range of support services. The Helpline is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists, who can provide you with assessment, assistance, advice or referral depending on your needs.

The Helpline operates 24/7 and can be accessed by phone on 1800 624 608or by email at  Emails will receive a response within 24 hours.

Regional Education Liaison Officer (REDLO):

Regional Education Liaison Officers, or REDLOs, are qualified and experienced teachers who are able to provide specialised information and educational support to ADF families when they re-locate. 

To contact your nearest REDLO, call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

National Welfare Co-ordination Centre:

The National Welfare Co-ordination Centre (NWCC) is a welfare and family support service which provides 24/7 support and information for Defence families.

The NWCC can be contacted on 1800 801 026.   (Note: the free call number is only from a landline. Calls from mobiles will incur higher costs and charges).

Partners in Defence Website

The Partners in Defence website ( summarises key information about military service, conditions and benefits, services and programs that all in the Defence Community are entitled to access.

Shoalhaven Defence Families Association (SDFA)

The Shoalhaven Defence Families Association (SDFA) is a non-profit organisation which was established to bring fun and friendship to Defence families in the Shoalhaven and surrounding areas.  SDFA is managed by a Co-ordinator and Committee of volunteers who come together each week (during school terms), to run activities such a playtime, scrapbooking and craft groups. These activities are run at the SDFA's community house – Kookaburra Retreat, which is located at Flats 1 & 2 Canberra Drive, Nowra Hill (ph: 4421 5766; email: