Community groups and centres

Useful links

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.

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.

More info: Visit the website, mactier9 [at] (email) or like their Facebook page.


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] (email) or phone (03) 9662 1162.



Defence Special Needs Support Group
Defence Special Needs Support Group
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.



Melbourne Playgrounds

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.

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.

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