Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program

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The Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (originally called a 'Project') is a program run by Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and Australian Army to assist remote Indigenous Australian communities. It is also known as the ATSIC/Army Community Assistance Program and also Exercise SAUNDERS, after Reg Saunders, the first Indigenous Australian to be commissioned as an officer in the Australian Army.[1]

It was announced by Senator John Herron on 14 November 1996.[2] The first round of AACAP projects occurred between 1997 and 2000. The second round of projects were delivered between 2001 and 2004. The program continued in 2005 with projects funded in the 2004 Australian federal budget. The third round of projects were delivered between 2006 and 2009.[2]

By the program's 10 year anniversary, over 100 houses had been constructed and more than $60 million spent on provision of infrastructure including "medical centres, airfields, roads, rubbish tips...[and] sewerage works". Various health services had also been delivered including "men's health programs, dental health screening and dog treatment programs".[3]

Projects are managed through 19th Chief Engineer Works,[4] and are delivered by a range of corps including the Royal Australian Engineers, the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Australian Corps of Signals, Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, Royal Australian Army Dental Corps and the Royal Australian Army Educational Corps. The majority of these personnel are drawn from the 17th and 21st Construction Squadrons, and the 21st and 22nd Construction Regiments.[4] Personnel from NORFORCE and the various Land Warfare Centre detachments are also sometimes involved.[1] Each project consists of construction, health and training elements and are tailored to meet the needs of the community in which the project is undertaken.[2]

Recent locations for AACAP have been Pukatja, South Australia (2010) and Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia (2011). AACAP 2012 will be undertaken on the Dampier Peninsula.[5]

Locations[edit]

AACAP project have been undertaken at the following locations:[6][7][8][9]

Year Location Construction agency
AACAP 1997 Bulla, Northern Territory 17th Construction Squadron
AACAP 1998 Oak Valley, South Australia 17th Construction Squadron
Elcho Island
Bickerton Island
Docker River, Northern Territory 17th Construction Squadron
AACAP 1999 Jumbun, Queensland 17th Construction Squadron
AACAP 2000 Melville Island and Bathurst Island
AACAP 2001 Yarralin/Lingara, Mialuni 17th Construction Squadron
Amanbidji Northern Territory
AACAP 2002 Dampier Peninsula, Pandanus Park
AACAP 2003 Palm Island, Queensland

17th Construction Squadron

21st Construction Regiment

22nd Construction Regiment

AACAP 2004 North Peninsular Area (Cape York)
AACAP 2005 Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia 17th Construction Squadron
AACAP 2006 Borroloola (NT)
AACAP 2007 Doomadgee (QLD)
AACAP 2008 Kalumburu
AACAP 2009 Mapoon
AACAP 2010 Pukatja community in South Australia, a community located in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands
AACAP 2011 Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia, Fitzroy Valley Area, WA and included the communities of Joy Springs and Bayulu, with works continuing in Joy Springs in 2012
AACAP 2012 Dampier Peninsula of WA, including the communities of Beagle Bay, Lombadina, Djarindjin and Ardyaloon[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Exercise SAUNDERS 2011". Australian Army. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program". Department of Defence (Australia). Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Army marks 10 years helping Aborignal communities". AAP General Wire Service (Sydney). 17 November 2006. p. 1. 
  4. ^ a b Park, Tony. "19 CE Works out and about". Army: The Soldiers' Newspaper (1083). Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Army indigenous initiatives". Australian Army. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program". Canberra: Department of Defence. 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program". Department of Defence (Australia). Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Army indigenous initiatives". Australian Army. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program". Department of Familites, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012. "AACAP Map showing locations and years" 
  10. ^ "Army helps out Dampier Peninsula communities". ABC News. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 

External links[edit]