Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA)


Our DSTA (Defence School Transition Aide) here at Bray Park State School is Catherine Hicks.

Contact her through the school office 3480 7333 or via email

What is a DSTA?

There are DSTAs based within primary schools across Australia for the purpose of providing support to the children of mobile Defence families. 

Children of Defence families face particular transitional periods during their school career, such as moving to new schools every few years or dealing with long term deployment of their parent/carer.  The DSTA’s role is to support and assist Defence students throughout the school year and particularly during those times of transition.

The DSTA will:

  • Arrange welcome activities for new families

  • Introduce new students to other Defence students, as well as a non-Defence ‘buddy’ within the school.

  • Run appropriate activities for Defence students throughout the school week

  • Involve Defence students in commemorative services such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day

  • Organise regular afternoon tea events during the school term so Defence families have a chance to meet each other

  • Help Defence families who may need to access the DCO Education Assistance Scheme

  • Arrange farewell events for students leaving the school

  • Be available, as much as possible, to Defence students and their families.

  • Refer students to other support personnel within the school community, such as the Guidance Officer or School Chaplain, if necessary.

What is a Defence student?

Defence students are those children whose parent/carer is a member of the ADF (Australian Defence Force). 

  • Example one:  Students who have one or both parents currently serving in the ADF.

  • Example two: Students who have a step- parent that is a serving member of the ADF.

  • Example three: Students with one parent who is a serving member of the ADF but who has separated from the other.  The children may live with the non-ADF parent but spend one weekend per fortnight or per month with the serving member. These children are still classified as Defence students.

  • Example four: Students who have a parent/carer who resides in another state or city due to service reasons (such as choosing to take up a new posting MWD-U).

Help Us Support Your Children

In order to best assist Defence students it is vital that parents/carers keep the school informed of upcoming postings, relocations, deployments, long-term training courses and exercises or any other Defence-related issues that may affect the student so that appropriate support systems can be put into action.

Contact Catherine through the school office 34807333 or via email

Some Useful Links

  • DCO Website
  • State and Territory Education Information
  • Schools which have a DSTA (click on ‘Aides and Mentors’ tab near bottom of page.)
  • Regional Education Liaison Officers, or REDLOs, are experienced teachers who give education support to Defence families as they move around the country, providing information, advice, referral and specialised assistance. To contact your nearest REDLO, call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
Last reviewed 01 July 2020
Last updated 01 July 2020