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About Us

The work of the Defence Force Welfare Association impacts all current and former members of the Australian Defence Force, and their families.

The Defence Force Welfare Association is an Australia wide organisation with the National Office located in Canberra and Branch and Chapter Offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. We also have representatives in Tasmania, the Northern Territory, North Queensland, and country New South Wales.

Our current membership consists of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, their families, and those interested in veteran welfare issues.

Our Objectives

To protect and improve the pay and conditions-of-service for all serving Australian Defence Force members.

To advocate for fair and equitable treatment of Australian Defence Force retirement benefits.

To advocate for improved access and quality of veteran support services by government.

A Bit of History

The Association was formed in 1959 as the Regular Defence Force Welfare Association (RDFWA) for the purpose of promoting and protecting the interests of serving and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ie in those days the Permanent Forces of the Commonwealth) and their families. 

It was formed by service and ex-service personnel to fight the government and the bureaucracy, on behalf of all service personnel, over the transition from the DFRB Pension Scheme to DFRDB.  It successfully protected their interests during protracted discussions and negotiations with The Joint Select Parliamentary DFRB Committee formed to review the DFRB legislation and which oversaw the introduction of the DFRDB.  RDFWA drew the following comment from the Chairman of that Committee, Mr. John Jess CBE MP:

“It is important that every serviceman join and stay with the RDFWA and have a strong voice.”

In 2007 the name of the RDFWA was changed to the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) to recognise that we now extend this purpose to both full time and reserve members.