Family’s second award winner
PALM Beach Rotary Club president Kerrilee Dawson presented Comet Bay College Tara Cresswell with a "volunteer of the year award" -- part of the school's Defence Transition Mentor Program — at the end of the 2021 school year.
The presentation took place at the school's annual defence family supper and occurred just a year after then-president Donna McDonald presented the same award to Tara's older sister Bridget.
Claire Hunt, the school’s defence mentoring program coordinator,  said all three Creswell girls had done outstanding volunteer work.
Tara's award recognised her community engagement and work on lots of events throughout the year, including remembrance services.
 The club's involvement in this celebratory night was more than funding the $200 award. Club members turned up on a hot and steamy day to set up the big room in the Gary Holland Community Centre for the supper that night.
 The Defence School Mentor Program is run for Comet Bay students who have at least one parent in the Australian defence forces.  
 It is also run at other schools throughout the country which have a high number of students from ADF families.
 It supports secondary students  and their families, particularly during their transition into and out of school on posting or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses.
 Sometimes defence families change location every two to three years. Differences in curriculums, subject selections, and intake age requirements cause stress. There can be considerable differences in educational programs from one school to the next -- and particularly     from one state to another.
  Adding to these pressures, defence families have to re-establish community connections and create new friendships and support networks every time they are transferred.
  These moves also impact on spouses, forcing changed jobs/careers each time they move, with possible financial pressures adding to the stresses already placed on the family.
  The Defence Transition Mentor Program was created by the Department of Defence, through the Defence Community Organisation, to support its members and their families. 
   It recognises that the education of defence dependants may be negatively impacted by their mobile lifestyle and so provided this resource to create a more supportive educational environment for their children.