Staff and ambassadors from the Indigenous health organisation, Deadly Choices, took part in an Army obstacle course at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane last month.
The team bonding exercise run by 7 Combat Service Support Battalion helped the team reenergise and refocus.
Retired Australian sprinter and Deadly Choices General Manager Patrick Johnson said the team didn’t get together last year because of COVID-19.
“We’ve been going for about 10 years so it’s important to refresh the culture, refresh the understanding of why we do what we do and the importance that we are stronger as a collective, not as individuals,” Mr Johnson said.
The visit was the initiative of Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Kelly Hammant from 7th Combat Services Support Battalion.
“It started three years ago up in Darwin. I wanted to build relationships with the Indigenous community there,” WO1 Hammant said.
“I started with one school and ended up with nine over a period of two years, hopefully we can connect and reach out to other Indigenous organisations as well.”
Tracey Thomson from Deadly Choices said the visit was immediately popular.
“Everyone was pumped, they cheered each other on while doing the activities,” Ms Thomson said.
“This is what we needed, what Deadly Choices hasn’t done in quite a long time. I loved it.”
She said the staff were confident the sample of Army discipline and team bonding would help them motivate Indigenous Australians to lead healthier lives.
“If we empower the community and the young kids, then that obviously enhances our opportunities to close that gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Thomson.
Participant Preston Campbell said he saw a link between the mission of Deadly Choices and the Australian Army.
“If you look at the Army, it’s all about team work. The Army can’t leave a man or woman behind,” Mr Campbell said.
“This event is about cohesion and connection amongst the Deadly Choices staff.”