Activities pick up for Kookaburra Kids Defence Kids program

With 2023 well underway, the Kookaburra Kids Defence Kids program is picking up pace across Australia. The program aims to empower young people to thrive beyond the impacts of family mental illness, regardless of where they live. The program is intended specifically for those children whose parents have served or are serving in the Australian Defence Force.

Kookaburra Kids is engaging with local communities across Australia to run camps– full-day and half-day activities – at locations including NSW (South Coast/Illawarra), VIC (Wodonga), WA (Perth), QLD (Brisbane & Morton Bay) ACT and more.

The Australian Government committed funding of $13.7 million to the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation to allow the program to expand to new regional areas around Australia and make it available to families in Tasmania for the first time.

The program supports children aged 8–18 years living in families affected by mental illness. It provides free evidence-based, age-appropriate prevention and early intervention mental health services, embedded within a peer-based social and activity-based format.

The Kookaburra Kids team works with young people to build their resilience, life-long knowledge and abilities, while helping them learn how to make positive choices for their emotional health and wellbeing so that they reach their full potential.

Program sessions:

  • improve the way young people manage their families’ mental health
  • increase their sense of connectedness
  • foster safe and positive help-seeking behaviours to access support for any mental health concerns.

Staff and volunteers design and run the sessions within a safe environment where young people can express themselves freely in a supportive setting, with peers of a similar age and family circumstance. The popular online Kookaburra Kids’ CONNECT sessions continue to be available, which allow children the option of ongoing engagement with the program from their home.

If you know of a family or friend who may be interested in learning more about the program, please encourage them to check out the Kookaburra Kids website or call 1300 566 525. The website also allows you to find a program location near you, and to sign up.

If you are an existing member, you can contact Kookaburra Kids directly by phone or by emailing: connect [at]

A Kookaburra Kids team members sits with three kids at the top of a water slide. The background shows grass and trees.