Defence School Mentor Program

The Defence School Mentor (DSM) Program provides funding to schools to minimise the impact of the mobile lifestyle on Defence students’ education. The DSM Program assists Defence students and their families with changing schools, integrating into the school community and providing support during parental absences. This funding provided by the Defence Forces allows for the employment of a DSM to work within the school to raise awareness of the Defence lifestyle and to support students of Defence families.

The program, administered by the Defence Community Organisation (DCO), reflects the commitment by Defence to support its members and their families and recognises the partnership between education authorities, Defence and schools.


The program aims to assist students in Defence families in four key areas throughout their education and as they move from one school to another. The key areas are:

  • welcoming
  • integrating
  • support during deployment and absence; and
  • farewelling

Through the program it is hoped that schools are assisted in achieving the following outcomes:

  • Facilitation of a supportive educational environment for Defence families during times of change
  • Establishment of ongoing programs and resources for use during and beyond the life of the program
  • Linkage of Defence families into their local school community; and
  • Provision of education resources to support the Defence student’s wellbeing.

Introducing our DSM, Mrs Lyndell Burden


Hello my name is Lyndell Burden and I am the Defence School Mentor (DSM) here at Prince of Peace. As a spouse of a (now retired) ADF member, I understand the unique challenges that military families face.

I am delighted to be assisting our Defence families’ children to develop academically and socially, to not just survive but to thrive as they receive a quality education here at Prince of Peace. It is my absolute privilege to support the families of those who sacrifice so much in the service of our country.

If you are a Defence family or have served in the past, I encourage you to make contact with me to see how I may be able to support you and your family on your journey.


I will be on-site from 9am till 4pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, sharing my time between both the Junior and Senior Campuses. I can be contacted via email or via phone on 3872 5700 (Junior Campus) or 3872 5600 (Senior Campus).