Defence School Transition Aide

I would like to introduce myself, my name is Suzanne Waddell.
I am very excited to be with the Golden Bay Primary School Team as the Defence School Mentor.
I am here on Tuesday (even weeks) and Thursday afternoon (odd weeks).
I am very passionate about my DSM role and I have been a DSM in Western Australia for seven years.
I currently hold the DSM role at Port Kennedy Primary School, Endeavour Schools and Comet Bay Primary School. I have been employed as an Education Mentor in both the United Kingdom and Australia at primary school and high school levels for over 15 years

The establishment of the DSM program is an Australian Defence Force initiative aimed at reducing the difficulties experienced by ADF families as a result of changing schools.
The Defence School Mentor (DSM) Program provides support to students of Australian Defence (ADF) members and their families, particularly during their transition into and out of a school on posting or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses.
Many young people from an ADF background adapt easily to new situations, however everyone reacts differently and there is no right or wrong way to deal with change. It is my intention to support students through the myriad of changes they experience. As the DSM, I can assist with emotional or social concerns that families may have about their child/children’s needs and liaise with the principal, parents, teachers, professional therapists and local organisations to support every child and their family.
This support is offered on a one to one basis, as support to parents, as a referral service and as group support. I offer lunchtime activities, crafts and games which creates an environment for students to participate in small groups which fosters friendships, trust and resilience.
We would love to welcome new Defence families to Golden Bay Primary School so if you are being posted to Western Australia, why not choose our school to support your children.


Suzanne Waddell
Defence School Mentor