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 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.
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. Is a Life Member of Qld RSL. Sandy has been on the National Committee since December 2013 and has been a great asset to the National Committee.
Assistant National Coordinator
Assistant 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 chal-lenges faced by families on a daily basis.I look forward to assisting families not only in my local area, but also nation wide.
National Memberships and Communication Officer
Hello, most of you know me as the DSNSG Memberships and Communica-tion Officer. I’m also the point of contact for members & the community in Sale, Victoria.
Having 3 children ( one with SPD) keeps me on my toes. I am passionate about my role within DSNSG. I look forward to assisting members with their memberships & enquires, as well as working with the NEC to enhance DSNSG.
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 – Delia Kennedy
Cairns – Vacant
Canberra – Claire MacFarlane Rowles
Darling Downs – Staci Foot
Darwin – Vacant
Liverpool – Vacant
Melbourne North – Vacant
Melbourne West – Vacant
Mornington – Marina Talbot
Nowra – Nicole Gourley
Perth South - Joanne Rossiter
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:
* 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