Who We Are

Margaret Fisk OAM

Founder

Margaret is the Founder of DSNSG and she also held the position of National Coordinator/Secretary from 1993 to January 2013. Margaret’s involvement with DSNSG began in late 1993 when she formed the group due to the experiences her family had when trying to obtain services for their son who has severe disabilities. Margaret has received several awards for her work with people with disabilities including being awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia and the Carer Innovation Award from the Carers Association of Australia. Margaret was also awarded a Centenary Medal from the Federal Government.

Kim Collins

CEO

Kim Collins is the CEO of the Defence Special Needs Support Group. Kim was the previous National Coordinator for DSNSG for 4 years, previously the Memberships and Communication Officer in 2012.

Kim was the President for Blamey Community Group and also the Treasurer of Blamey Community Group Kapooka in Wagga Wagga .

Due to this interest and a background in nursing and defence, Kim became the Voluntary Coordinator for Wagga Wagga area in 2011. Kim also holds Cert III in Disability, Cert III in Community Services, Certificate IV in Front line management, training in Managing Community Organisations, Certificate of Business Services, Great understanding of Defence funding. Currently Studying Cert IV in Mental Health.
Kim has 5 children and one child with SN who is a sensational kid with ADHD/ASD/ADD and learning and intellectually difficulties which has given her an insight and understanding into the processes surrounding Special Needs.

Kim’s aims are to support Defence families and educate people about the uniqueness of Special Needs and promote the group to the wider community. A solid parental support network is essential as Defence life is unique with a transient lifestyle. Kim strives to provide support wherever possible.

Sandy Soulsby

National Coordinator

Sandy was a serving member in the Australian Army, and has been a member of DSNSG since 1993. Sandy is married to Michael who was also a serving member in the Australian Army. Sandy is a mother to four boys with varying special needs. Sandy has been a local coordinator on a couple of occasions for the Darling Downs area. She is a volunteer for her local RSL Sub Branch, a Life Member of Qld RSL and is also a volunteer Wildlife Carer, and does rescue wildlife work for the RSPCA. Sandy has been on the National Committee since December 2013 and has been a great asset to the National Committee.

Cherie Davis

Assistant National Coordinator 

Claire Macfarlane-Rowles

Assistant National Coordinator

Melissa Snell

National Treasurer

Rebecca Cant

National Memberships and Communication Officer

Coordinator Team

Local Coordinators

The Defence Special Needs Support Group is privileged to have a dedicated and enthusiastic Coordinator Team.
The Coordinator Team is comprised of all local DSNSG Coordinators. Members of the Coordinator Team, like the National Committee, are all volunteers.

Adelaide and Woodside – Kristina Rawlinson

Amberley – Kirsten Pini

Albury/Wodonga – Kylie Bonner

Brisbane – Vacant

Cairns – Vacant

Canberra  – Claire MacFarlane Rowles

Darling Downs – Staci Foot

Darwin – Vacant

Liverpool – Vacant

Macarthur/Campbelltown – Vacant

Melbourne North – Vacant

Melbourne West – Vacant

Mornington – Marina Talbot

Nowra – Nicole Gourley

Perth – Joanne Rossiter

Puckapunyal – Vacant

Richmond – Vacant

Sale – Vacant

Sydney North – Vacant

Sydney South – Vacant

Tindal – Colin Pickstone

Townsville  – Cherie Davis/ Helen Taylor

Wagga Wagga – Vacant

Williamtown – Vacant

Please click this link to view National Committee and Local Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities

The role of the Local Coordinator is to:

* Provide support and information to ADF families seeking assistance.

* Link families to DSNSG Regional or Local Area DSNSG groups and other relevant resources and services, when they arrive in the State/Territory.

* Where possible, organise contact with new special needs families as soon as possible after they arrive in area either by telephone and/or in person.

* Organise and/or coordinate coffee mornings/get to-gethers/family days for local members on a regular basis.

* Attend “Welcome Mornings” or other such functions, where possible, to publicise the DSNSG.

* Liaise and network with Defence eg local Army, Navy and Air Force Base Personnel and Defence organisations and community groups eg DCO, DFA etc.

* Liaise and network with local community organisations and support groups raising the awareness of the group and relevant issues.

* Liaise with and inform relevant Base personnel of group’s activities, particularly those performed on Base eg family days, fundraising.

* Prepare and send out a mini-newsletter to all local members.

* Send a copy of the mini-newsletter to the National Coordinator for inclusion in the
National DSNSG Newsletter.

* Send all relevant details of new families to the membership’s officer promptly.

* Maintain contact with the National Coordinator at least once per month either by telephone or letter regarding local issues and/or