Keeping Your Relationship Connected

The way you communicate and interact with your partner and loved ones is very important to the long-term success of your relationships.

For Defence families that are faced with the additional challenges of prolonged separations and frequent relocations, these factors are even more important to increase overall family resilience.It can be suggested that shared purpose and interaction between people is really the 'glue' which connects us as human beings.  The style of interaction between people is a very important  factor, as the quality of interaction between partners has been found to be a strong predictor of relationship distress and future breakdown. 

Research by psychologist Gottman, Markman and others, over decades, indicates that couples who interacted more negatively than other couples had relationships that were in trouble of predicted future marital distress.  


Relationships Australia and Defence Community Organisation provide information and wider understanding of the importance of communication and provide strategies to increase positive interaction for Defence families, who may face additional challenges like periods of prolonged separation, frequent relocations and possibly living unaccompanied.

Please explore the relevant resources provided to learn more about how DCO and Relationships Australia can support your family in times of separation.

Defence Community Organisation | Relationships Australia | RSL Queensland

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Relationships Australia

Need More help?

Here are more support options available to you

Force Net for Families

  • Family User registration is now available. To register as a Family user, you will need to be at least 18 years old and sponsored by a registered Defence user of ForceNet.
  • ForceNet will directly connect family users with the Service related to their sponsoring Defence member plus the Defence Community Organisation and Defence Families of Australia.
  • ForceNet provides a secure means for Defence families to access authoritative information on Defence matters relevant to them as well as a channel for discussions.
  • Defence family members can register to use ForceNet via the link below or a current Defence user can invite a family member to register via their ForceNet Profile Page.
Apply to join:

Defence Community Organisation

Staffed by social workers, teachers, and Military Support Officers, DCO provides:

  • critical incident support for death or illness of ADF members
  • short-term counselling and referrals for family and relationship issues
  • crisis support
  • specialist relocation and posting support - preparing for making moves, connecting with the community, advice on schools and support available to Defence children
  • deployment and managing absence support - how to assist children and families managing the Defence lifestyle, scheduling of support events
  • advice on DCO National Programs in relation to education assistance, child care, partner employment, community grants
  • support to units on base

DCO provides a 24 hour emergency hotline for currently serving members and their family.

1800 624 608 (24 hours)


Mates4Mates provides support and rehabilitation services to current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members who have physical or psychological injuries as a result of their service, and their families.

Mates4Mates programs are all evidence-based and tailored to the particular needs of those accessing them. Their social connection activities are designed to be informal yet engaging activities designed to make our centres feel like an extension of your own home or family environment. Mates4Mates provide a safe place for Mates and their families and offer some of the following:

  • Drop-In environment of FRCs (coffee areas, recreational games areas etc.)
  • Regular social BBQ’s
  • Family Fun Days (particularly in school holidays)
  • Group social activities
  • Peer support