AACAP 2016 — Health, Dental and Veterinarian support to Laura
2 September 2016
The Army health team has been providing support to the residents of Laura in Far North Queensland, as part of the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP).
AACAP is a collaborative partnership between the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which provides up to $6 million per project, and the Australian Army, which contribute personnel and equipment to complete the works. The Programme aims to improve environmental health and living conditions in remote Indigenous communities.
This year, the Australian Army celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing assistance to remote Indigenous communities delivering infrastructure, vocational skills training and health care services.
Lieutenant Stephanie Costa, the AACAP Health Development Officer, said her team has been making a real impact on the health of the local community.
“The specialist health support team includes a doctor, nurse, medics, radiographer, dentist and dental assistants, physiotherapist and environmental health officers,” Lieutenant Costa said.
“The team works in collaboration with Queensland Health and Apunipima to provide healthcare for soldiers and essential health services to the local Indigenous community.”
Army medic, Private Mark Solomon, said he has enjoyed working with the Laura community.
“It’s been a rewarding experience for the medics and has allowed us to experience the challenges of providing allied health care in a rural/remote environment,” Private Solomon said.
As well as free dental care at the Army Dental Clinic, the health team has also been assisting local service providers in the conduct of adult and children’s health checks, in Laura, Lakeland and Wujal Wujal through children’s playgroups and a health education programme at Laura State School.
Army dentist, Captain Tom Briggs said the health team has had a positive impact in Laura.
“The response so far has been great. I’ve seen approximately half the township and most of the kids at Laura State School,” Captain Briggs said.
“We have also been asking the Indigenous residents of Lakeland, Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal, Mossman Gorge, and Cooktown to make a booking to see the dental team”.
The Army has been working closely with the National Rugby League (NRL) and the North Queensland Cowboys, promoting healthy lifestyles through re-establishing the Laura Quinkans Rugby League Team, and hosting NRL Training Clinics and a Gala Day.
This month the health team expanded support with the delivery of veterinary services, establishing a community walking group and providing chronic health exercise classes.
For more information about AACAP visit: http://www.army.gov.au/Our-people/Army-Indigenous-community/Army-Indigenous-initiatives
Imagery is available at: http://Imagery from AACAP 2016 is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20161524