Next year the annual relocation and settling nearly 20,000 Defence personnel and their families into new homes, schools and jobs - some interstate, some overseas - should be a little less overwhelming.
After several years of testing the Defence Department says its ready to officially launch a new mobile app to streamline that process ahead of the next annual posting migration that is seen as essential to the military's preparedness but for families more of a pain point of uncertainty.
Families have rarely had much visibility of what steps had begun or what actions they could take, while the ADF member is often juggling handing over their previous duties while learning about their new role.
Michelle Hoare, a spouse of an Air Force member who was posted more than 3000 kilometres away just before the pandemic began, said constant communication and humour kept them connected.
"It was a really stressful posting period last year in the pandemic, and I'm just hoping there's some lessons from it.
"Everybody's tired with pandemic fatigue, but it's really important to know what your move plan is."
Her husband Andy will use the app when he returns to Canberra at the end of the year after two years in Darwin. Their plans for regular family holidays to catch-up during the posting did not eventuate because of the uncertainty of border shutdowns.
Hoare, who works for the national advocacy body Defence Families of Australia, said if the family does move with the ADF member, there's a lot to keep track of.
But Defence also benefits from supporting families, she said, especially those families who are new to Defence life.
"If the member is happy at home, and their family is well supported, then the member will have capability."
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Greg Tickle, Defence's director of digital service delivery, says the PostingConnect platform was one of a number of initiatives aimed to providing support and assistance to ADF personnel and their families, and a successful rollout was critical to the department.
"The capabilities delivered by this project directly enhance the lives of personnel and their families-which is ultimately, what's most important."
The platform was developed by Accenture and Pegasystems to bring everything the user needs to know together on the phone in their pocket, and connects with the housing, removal and transition providers used by Defence.
The new capability creates much needed efficiencies, said Matt Gollings from Accenture.
"By focusing on human experience and streamlining burdensome administrative tasks, digital transformation initiatives such as PostingConnect, can reduce the strains of relocation and provide resources back to Defence through more efficient process."
Michael Evans from Pegasystems said it was a privilege to be able to improve the lives of our service men and women who are willing to relocate for the betterment of the country.
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