Who We Are

Margaret Fisk OAM


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.

Henrik Ehlers AM JP


Henrik joined the DSNSG in March 2018 after completing over 36 years in the Permanent Air Force. His RAAF service was primarily in the fields of logistics and personnel, having spent the later part in senior personnel roles. His last position was as Director General Personnel - Air Force. He remains an active Reservist, working mainly on projects for Air Force Headquarters. Henrik has had extensive connection with DSNSG and, when he ‘retired’ from full time work, he wanted to contribute to DSNSG in a meaningful way. As our Ambassador, his role is two-fold: to mentor and support the National Executive Committee and act as our advocate across senior levels of Government, Defence and supporting Industry. Henrik is married to Katrina, an Active Reservist RAAF Personnel Capabiliy Officer. Their interests include good wine and food, reading (fiction and non-fiction), science fiction shows, travel and Macy - their beloved Cocker Spaniel.

Kim Collins


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.

Due to this interest and a background in nursing and defence, Kim became the Volunteer  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. Cert IV in Mental Health. Currently studying Diploma of Business and Governance.

Kim has 5 children and one child with special needs who is a sensational kid with ADHD/ASD/ADD and learning and intellectually difficulties and much more, 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.


Claire Macfarlane-Rowles

National Coordinator

Hi I’m Claire, Canberra Coordinator and Assistant National Coordinator.I’m a Mum to 4 children, with my youngest recognised special needs in the form of ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Autism.I’ve have been a Defence spouse for over 10 years. As such I’m aware of the challenges faced by families on a daily basis. I look forward to assisting families not only in my local area but also nationwide.

Cherie Davis

Assistant National Coordinator


Rebecca Cant

Assistant National Coordinator


Melissa Snell

National Treasurer

    Nicole Gourley

    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 – Vacant

Albury/Wodonga – Vacant

Brisbane – Delia Kennedy

Cairns – Vacant

Canberra  – Claire MacFarlane Rowles

Darling Downs – Vacant

Darwin – Vacant

Liverpool – Vacant

Melbourne North – Vacant

Melbourne West – Vacant

Mornington – Marina Talbot

Nowra – Nicole Gourley

Perth  North– Vacant

Perth South - Vacant

Puckapunyal – Christine Henderson

Richmond – Vacant

Sale – Rebecca Cant

Sydney North – Vacant

Sydney South – Vacant

Tindal – Colin Pickstone

Townsville  – Cherie Davis

Wagga Wagga – Vacant

Williamtown – Nikki Warren

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

The role of the Local Coordinator is to:

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 the 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.

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

* Prepare and send out E-Newsletters to your local families with relevant information,
Upcoming local events, NDIS, DCO etc.

* Delegate appropriate duties to interested group members

* Adhere to Code of Conduct and Confidentiality Agreement

* Attend DSNSG Annual Conference held every year in May

* Address any concerns or issues that families face to the National Coordinator

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

* Send all relevant details of new families to the National Membership Officer

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

* Must Attend AGM Ever