Federal funding to benefit Hawkesbury's defence community

Former Defence Minister, Western Sydney Liberator Senator Marise Payne understands the importance of providing adequate support to defence families. Picture: Supplied
Former Defence Minister, Western Sydney Liberator Senator Marise Payne understands the importance of providing adequate support to defence families. Picture: Supplied

A pair of local organisations which support Australian Defence Force families will receive Federal funding to extend their reach.

Defence Richmond Family Centre will receive $10,000 to enhance its outreach work.

One Giant Leap Foundation will receive $11,000 for its "Rocket into Richmond RAAF" project, which will see the foundation work with defence families to hold science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational workshops and events.

The funding was made available under the government's Family Support Funding Program (FSFP).

Western Sydney Liberal Senator Marise Payne said the funding was a practical way of supporting defence families.

"As the former Minister for Defence, I know that defence families make significant sacrifices in the service of our nation," she said.

"This funding will go a long way to ensure defence families, particularly those from RAAF Base Richmond, are supported and connected with the local community."

One Giant Leap Foundation managing director Jackie Carpenter said she looked forward to working in the community to welcome new families into the Richmond RAAF area.

"This funding will make such a huge difference," she said.

"With the impact of COVID-19, drought, flood and bushfires, to be able to give to our community and organise such a family-orientated program with support from the minister, will bring smiles and laughter to many people, young and old alike.

"We believe that Rocket into Richmond RAAF will allow incoming defence families to be integrated into our vibrant community using an innovative, STEM based activity."

Defence Richmond Family Centre treasurer Wendy Dennes said the funding would go a long way towards meeting the centre's objectives.

"We are extremely grateful to receive this funding," she said.

"This funding enables DRFC to implement weekly programs of playgroup for defence children, social and craft events for spouses, monthly family social events and programs that help support our members' health and well-being."

The Hawkesbury groups were among seven not-for-profit organisations to receive FSFP support nationally under the latest round of the program.

The grants are managed by the Defence Community Organisation which provides a wide range of programs, information and assistance for defence families.

Defence families can contact the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 for information on accessing community resources.

For more information visit the Defence Community Organisation website defence.gov.au/dco.