Meet Our Defence School Mentors


Defence School Mentors (DSMs) are located Australia wide in schools where there are large numbers of Australian Defence Force families and is funded by the Department of Defence Defence School Mentor Program (DSMP) through Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS, formerly DCO). DSMs work to minimise the impact of mobility on education and build the capability of the school in supporting Defence students and their families.


Who are our Amberley District State School DSMs?

Here at Amberley District State School, we have two DSMs who work within our school community. Mrs Tarissa Flesser and Mrs Vanessa Ly. Mrs Ly began her DSM journey at Amberley District in 2021.  Mrs Ly's husband is a current serving member in the RAAF and she has come from a Defence family.  She has two children.  Mrs Flesser has been a part of the ADSS community since their family posted to Amberley in 2016 and began as Defence Mentor in 2021.  Her husband is a current serving RAAF member, and her two children attend Bremer SHS.


What does a DSM do?

The DSMP assists Defence students and their families with changing schools, integrating into the school community and providing support during parental absences.  The DSM can assist you and your children become familiar with our school and its facilities, co-ordinate welcome and farewell activities for Defence children and monitor and report on children's personal issues such as peer groups and friendships.


Throughout the year DSMs run targeted small group activities to regularly catch up with all our Defence students, especially those who have a parent away due to military service.  Examples of activities we run include, craft sessions, Milo or Zooper Dooper morning teas, games club, special lunches, stories and activities and making gifts or cards/letters for parents to name just a few.  We also organise special services and activities to commemorate and educate about ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. 


We are happy for parents to contact us and can provide information about supports available for families through ADSS, DMFS and our local community.  We have a small parent library with books you can borrow to use at home with your child and have organised coffee catch ups at the start of the year for parents to meet other Defence parents.


How can I contact the DSMs?

Defence families can access either of the DSMs at the school on (07) 3280 3111 or via email at  At school we are based in the Collaboration Room which can be found at the end of the Prep block, in the demountable.  We look forward to getting to know you and your family during your time at Amberley!

Last reviewed 22 June 2022
Last updated 22 June 2022