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Defence school transition aide


​Highfields has become a favoured place for defence families to live when based at Cabarlah or Oakey. This is due in part to the excellent reputation of Highfields State School and the active role it plays in the community.

Staff already have valuable experience in how to assist defence children and families in their mobile lifestyle. In addition to this support, a Defence Schools Transition Aide (DSTA) is available to provide information and support, and develop a range of activities for Australian Defence Force (ADF) families/children to ease the uncertainty experienced when transferring schools and the extended absences for military reasons, of a parent.

The DSTA may:

  • Act as a point of contact for ADF families in the school
  • Organise activities which welcome and farewell adf families and help them settle in to the new school community
  • Assist the school in understanding the needs of ADF parents and children
  • Inform the school and support the families if adf members are deployed
  • Assist families collect work portfolios and academic records or reports for the new school when transferring.

Sometimes children have difficulties making new friends, understanding and adjusting to the routines and different ways in the new school. The most important aspect of settling children into any new environment is to make them feel secure.

This security may just be based around objects, or that someone will be there for them when they need to talk. A visit to school is often a good idea to orient the children to the facilities e.g. classroom, play areas, office, tuckshop and after-school pick up area.

Children need time to settle in. They may not make friends and best buddies on the first day of school or even the first week. With positive encouragement, understanding and support most children make the transition smoothly. The dsta will assist the children and family become part of the school community more quickly. They will be able to answer basic questions about the school and link families to the right person to provide assistance.

The DSTA is not a teacher or a general classroom aide and therefore does not replace any educational assistance schemes currently in place. They may provide support in the classroom when a child first moves. The Department of Defence funds the position while the Deputy principal has the day-to-day management of the DSTA.

DSTA Carla Clutterbuck is available on Tuesday and Wednesday or via email at