The Defence School Mentor (DSM) role was established at St Mary’s College Ipswich with the key purpose being to advocate for and support Australian Defence Force (ADF) students and their families.
The DSM program is particularly important for students and their families during their transition into and out of a school, on posting, or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses. While the Department of Defence provides funding for the program, the DSM is employed by individual schools.
The aim of the DSM program is to help St Mary’s College to successfully integrate and manage current and new ADF students so they can reach their best possible educational outcomes.
This role works in partnership with the pastoral care team and teaching staff.
The key activities include:
- Supporting new ADF students and families as they integrate into the school community
- Regularly communicating with staff to create ongoing awareness and understanding of the unique needs of young people from ADF families
- Providing a key point of contact for Defence students and parents
- Monitoring students’ day-to-day social and emotional wellbeing, and
- Providing opportunities for Defence students and their families to meet and socialise.
St Mary’s College also have a close partnership with St Edmund’s College and St Mary’s Primary and as school communities try to socialise with all Defence students. Parent evenings are held to provide the opportunity for parents and children to get together in a casual and relaxed atmosphere and to meet other Defence families.
The DSM program’s focus is to make the students schooling experience at St Mary’s College as positive and productive as possible. Please contact the DSM if you have any new enrolment enquiries or questions regarding this program.
The DSM at St Mary’s College is Christina Page and she can be contacted by phone (07) 3432 5439 or email ChristinaP@stmarys.qld.edu.au . Christina works Wednesday to Friday 9am to 2:30pm.