Regional Defence Forces Join AACAP 2016
9 September 2016
The Australian Army is working alongside the Timor-Leste, Tonga and Papua New Guinea Defence Forces to improve infrastructure in the North Queensland town of Laura. The soldiers are helping the community as part of the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (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 contributes personnel and equipment to complete the works.
The Program aims to improve environmental health and living conditions in remote Indigenous communities.
Defence Forces from Timor-Leste, Tonga and Papua New Guinea contributed soldiers qualified as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, medics, caterers, and interpreters.
These soldiers provided support through multiple stages of AACAP, leading to the construction of a multi-purpose facility and roof over the Laura basketball court.
The Papua New Guinea Defence Force also worked on the 16 acre wastewater treatment pond site, a new facility for the Laura community.
Corporal John Tukar, Papua New Guinea Plant Operator, found working on AACAP a rewarding experience.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to come here to Australia and work side by side with the soldiers,” Corporal Tukar said.
“AACAP allows us to practice our core skills, learn from each other and establish strong working relationships with Defence personnel from Australia, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.”
Contingent Commander for AACAP 2016, Major Jack Plimmer said working on AACAP is a collaborative experience between Australia, regional Defence Forces, and the Indigenous community.
“The Program is a great opportunity for international and Australian soldiers, along with Indigenous community members, to share trade skills, cultural knowledge and in the process, deliver excellent new facilities for the town,” Major Plimmer said.
In 2016, the Australian Army celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing assistance to remote Indigenous communities delivering infrastructure, vocational skills training and health care services.
For more information about AACAP visit:
Imagery from AACAP 2016 is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20161524