Community groups and centres

Defence maintains community centres and neighbourhood houses around Australia, where community group meetings or family-orientated activities can be held. Information on community groups and centres in the area is available from Your Community on the DCO website.

Buddies in the Bay

Buddies in the Bay is a group of Defence and civilian spouses who reside in Nelson Bay, Salamander Bay, Corlette and Anna Bay that meets once a month to share information, chat and have fun in an informal atmosphere.

More info: debra.mould [at] (email) or phone 4981 1444 or 0423 766 378.


Charlestown Community Centre

Also known as ‘The Place’, Charlestown Community Centre is a not-for-profit community facility centrally located in Charlestown, Lake Macquarie - just a 10 minute drive from Newcastle.

More info: Visit their website, admin [at] (email) or phone (02) 4032 5500.


Hunter Defence Support Network (HDSN)

The Hunter Defence Support Network aims to support ADF members and their families posted to the Hunter region by working in partnership with the ADF and the Hunter community. The network provides community support and advocacy focused on improving the lifestyle of ADF families in the region.

More info: visit their website or amacgregor [at] (email.)


The Canopy

The Canopy is a non-profit organisation that provides multiple services for families, children and the community. The Canopy operates its administration from Cameron Park Community Centre but services extend throughout the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle regions.

More info: Visit their website, info [at] (email) or phone (02) 4908 1140.  


Defence Empty Nester No Kids (DENNKS)

Defence Empty Nester No Kids plan regular social activities. The group provides members with the opportunity to meet new people through regular events.

Phone: 0408 407 344

Email: roaminaround1 [at]


Defence families on the Central Coast

A network of Defence families located on the Central Coast that meets to encourage support and friendship.

Email:  csherrin [at]
Facebook: Defence Families Central Coast


Defence Families Maitland

Defence Families Maitland is an informal group of Defence spouses located in the Maitland area. Their aim is to provide a support network for defence families in the area through regular meet-ups, dinners and other social events. Their members consist of those with young children, those with school aged children and ladies who work or study. Those without children are particularly welcome as it can sometimes be hard to make social contacts in a new posting straight away.                              

More info: defencefamiliesmaitland [at] (Email), phone 0405 300 404 or like their Facebook page.



Defence Special Needs Support Group

The Defence Special Needs Support Group (DSNSG) provides peer support and a range of programs to support Defence families with special needs. DSNSG has coordinators and groups right across Australia including here in the Hunter region, including in Williamtown and Tamworth/Singleton.

More info: You can contact the DSNSG National Office on 1800 037 674 or national.coordinator [at], or visit their website for more details.


**Defence families with special needs**

Defence Community Organisation (DCO) provides practical assistance to Defence families who have dependants with special needs. This assistance especially focuses on reducing the impact of relocations and minimising any interruption to specialist services that the dependant needs.

In order to receive any of the assistance and support services available, you will first need to have your dependant with special needs formally recognised by Defence. Forms and details can be found on the DCO website.


Gan Family Centre

The Gan Gan Family Centre provides information, education and support to families with children aged 0-8 living across the Tomaree Peninsula. The Centre aims to ensure that parents are confident, connected to their community and equipped to support their children's development. The Centre offers a range of services and programs including child and family health clinic, new parent’s groups, mums and bubs yoga, parenting workshops run by local child development organisations, self-development courses for adults, and a toy and book library.

More info: Visit their website, jacqueline.orwell [at] (email) or phone (02) 4982 1767.


Defence Families Maitland

An informal group of Defence spouses located in the Maitland area. The group provides support for Defence families in the area through regular morning teas, dinners and other social events.

Phone: 0428 387 452
Email: defencefamiliesmaitland [at] ( )
Facebook: Defence Families Maitland


Newcastle Buddies

Newcastle Buddies is a group of Defence partners and families who reside in the Newcastle area, to help us get to know each other, support each other, have fun together and make new friends.

More info: newcastlebuddies [at] (email) or phone 0414 498 029.


The Partners of Veterans Association of Australia

The Partners of Veterans Association of Australia (PVA) is a nationwide support network for partners of past and present members of the ADF, offering support, friendship, information and understanding. PVA believes there is a great need for support for all partners/carers, widows/widowers and families of Australian veterans, both now and in the future.  

More info: Visit their website to connect with your local NSW branch, or find them on Facebook.


Parents of Defence Members

The Parents of Defence Members group provides an opportunity for parents of current serving ADF members to meet in a relaxed environment and provide support to each other.

More info: christina.jones [at] (email )or call 0414 871 870


Soldier On – ‘Helping our wounded warriors’

Soldier On provides a suite of services and access to partner organisations to meet the needs of our wounded serving and ex-serving men and women so that they can start their journey on their road to recovery. They offer support staff, psychological assistance, links with local services and a support network of other veterans and families.

Soldier On also has Reintegration and Recovery Centres throughout Australia as part of its Reintegration and Recovery Network. These centres are located in Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast.

More info: Visit their website, phone 1300 620 380 or like their Facebook page to find a centre near you and learn how to get involved. Soldier On are always looking for volunteers to fundraise and spread the good word!


Singleton Buddies

Is an informal, relaxed group of Defence partners who meet regularly to offer support and share information in the Singleton area.

More info: phone 0417 111 049.


Solid Rock Ministries

Solid Rock Ministries is a group that provides support and encouragement for Christian Defence spouses and serving members. They hold fortnightly meetings at Williamtown Family Centre at Williamtown RAAF Base.  

More info: Send them an solidrockedfence [at] (email) or like their Facebook page.


Terrace Buddies

Terrace Buddies are a local support group for Defence and Defence civilian spouses that meet on the first Wednesday of each month, around Raymond Terrace and Medowie, usually in the morning and during the working week.

More info: thewanderingredhead [at] (Email), call 0419 227 681 or like their Facebook page for regular updates.


Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service provides free and confidential, nation-wide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and anger. 

More info: Check out the VVCS Group Programs and VVCS Group Programs calendar.


Williamtown Defence Family Group Inc.

This group helps connect local Defence families by organising regular social events, offering a support network and helping new families settle into their new homes.

More info: wlm.dfgroup [at] (Like) their Facebook page for regular updates.