The Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme, Regional Force Surveillance Units and Australian Army Cadets are three important initiatives that support and employ Army's Indigenous community.

Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme

The Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP) began in 1997 and is an ongoing commitment that reinforces the strong association between Army and the Indigenous peoples of northern and central Australia. It is a joint initiative between the National Indigenous Australians Agency and Army.

19th Chief Engineer Works’ involvement in AACAP includes the design, planning, coordination and control of engineering works in selected communities. In the last decade, this involvement has extended to coordinating health and veterinary training and support, as well as the delivery of certified and non-certified employability skills programs.

AACAP has improved health and living standards in Aboriginal communities and created Indigenous employment opportunities during and after project operations. Projects have three components: construction, health, and training.

AACAP projects have delivered:

  • housing and sub divisions
  • road construction/upgrades
  • sewerage treatment plants
  • airfield construction and upgrades
  • health clinics
  • telecommunications infrastructure
  • school upgrades
  • potable water supply infrastructure.

Regional Force Surveillance Units

The Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSUs) employ a large number of Indigenous soldiers. Many of these personnel are employed from local communities on a part-time (Reserve) basis or through the Regional Force Surveillance List.

While the North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE) is well known for its engagement with Indigenous personnel, 51st Battalion (51 FNQR) and the Pilbara Regiment are also closely involved with local Indigenous communities and the employment of local Indigenous people.

Australian Army Cadets

The Australian Army sponsors a national youth development program through the Australian Army Cadets (AAC). The AAC program has the character and values of the Australian Army, is founded on a strong community partnership, and fosters and supports an on-going interest in the Australian Army.

There are 217 Army Cadet Units across Australia with around 15,000 cadets ranging in age from 12½ to 19 years. Four Army Cadet Units are located in remote areas of northern Australia. The delivery of the AAC youth development program by these units is specifically tailored for Indigenous youth. Many other cadet units across Australia, metropolitan, regional and rural, comprise both Indigenous and non-Indigenous cadets and adult staff.

In remote areas of northern Australia, NORFORCE supports Cadet units in Wadeye, Daly River and Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory, and 51 FNQR supports the Cadet unit in Bamaga, Queensland.