Mactier Community Centre
The Mactier Community Centre is a volunteer, not-for-profit organisation providing excellent opportunities to make new friends and learn new skills in the north-east Melbourne area. They offer regular opportunities for members to meet through weekly playgroups, coffee catch ups, educational lessons and informative events. All events are open to military (all services) families and some activities and events are open to the local community.
Community Music Victoria
Community Music Victoria (CMVic) supports, promotes and facilitates music-making among Victorian communities. Over the last few years CMVic has developed a huge range of resources that have proved highly effective and supportive for singing and music groups both in their early stages and in later stages of their development.
More info: To get involved, visit their website, info [at] cmvic.org.au (email) or phone (03) 9662 1162.
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 Melbourne North, Melbourne West and Puckapunyal.
More info: DSNSG has coordinators and groups right across Australia. To find a coordinator near you visit their website.
**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.
Neighbourhood and Community Houses plus Learning Centres provide a wide range of services including education courses, lifestyle and wellbeing classes, playgroups, childcare, occasional care, computer classes, recreation, arts and craft, social support, a place to meet, resources for hire, internet access, health services and advice, kids programs and school holiday programs.
A list of Neighbourhood/Community Houses in Melbourne, including contact details, can be found here.
Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling
Open Arms provides counselling and support services to Australia's military community. If you have served one day of continuous full-time service in the ADF you can call them for support. They also support families, reservists and some peacekeepers. Call Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling on 1800 011 046 for free, confidential counselling and group programs to support mental health and wellbeing.
More info: Check out the Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling website and group programs.
RAAF Williams Playgroup - Laverton
Playgroup meets Thursday mornings. To contact the play group coordinator, please email raafwilliamsplaygroup [at] gmail.com or visit their facebook page.
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!
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.
Western Area Group Support (WAGS) Toy Library - RAAF Williams Laverton
Western Area Group Support (WAGS) Toy Library at RAAF Williams, Laverton is for exclusive use by ADF and Defence APS families in the western Melbourne Region. The library provides toys, books, educational and electronic interactive games & DVDs as well as a selection of children's sporting equipment.
The Toy Library caters for children from zero to early teens. The Toy Library has a wide range of toys and larger plastic play equipment that can be hired out for private parties (slides, castles, roller coaster (2-5 yr olds) etc.)
Location: RAAF Defence Community House, 13 Sir Richard Williams Ave.
Open hours: Open every Friday from 9.30am-11.30am
Membership: Annual membership is now free There is no individual hire costs for toys (with the exception of weekend hire for private children's parties).
Loan period: Standard loan period is 2 weeks, this period may be extended subject to the popularity of the toy/equipment.