24 February 2014 Tell us your story and get a free photo shoot

Moving a family around the country from one posting cycle to the next is a challenge that every Defence family faces, but doing so when you have big family and several pets creates a whole new meaning to the word challenge.

That’s the lot of this family. Dad, Shane, is a Warrant Officer Class 2. He, his wife Carli and their six kids, two cats and dog make up the Thom Family. A little larger than your average Defence family, have some unique stories to share from their experiences: from trying to secure a five-bedroom home to how decorate your next home in your imagination.

The Thoms volunteered to be a part of a Defence Housing Australia (DHA) photo shoot and testimonial back in 2011 when they were posted to Defence Headquarters in Canberra. At the time they were living in a home in Queanbeyan and took time out of their busy lives to be a part of a free photo shoot with the family, and to answer a few questions about their lives living in a DHA home.

“We see moving as an adventure and I look forward to it each time,” Carli said.  “With six children, I have to be organised. I get really excited when I get the plans of our new house; I spend hours designing in my head and working out what goes where. I have a system now for moving that my friends reckon I could market!”

The Thom’s experiences and anecdotes formed part of DHA’s testimonial campaign. The campaign spanned the three services and took in families living in all parts of Australia. It helped spread the stories of real Defence families, something that was appreciated by other Defence members.

One Defence spouse wrote, ‘I really enjoyed reading about the Thom family. I too have a large family, and hearing how other big families cope was really great. Perhaps one day we’ll cross paths and I can share my experiences with Carli’.

If you want to share your experiences of living in a DHA home now is your chance. DHA are looking for more families to be a part of the 2014 campaign, which includes a free photo shoot with your family. This year, single Defence members and couples are also encouraged register their interest in being a part of the campaign. If you would like register simply email communications@dha.gov.au.