Canteen Creek says thank you
For the last six months 150 Army members primarily from Sydney and Brisbane have set to work delivering community projects including a community centre, workshop and an all-weather road in the Wutunugurra and Canteen Creek communities, 1200km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
AACAP Contingent Commander Major Henry Stimson said the three areas that AACAP has focused on have produced excellent results for the Canteen Creek and Wutunugurra communities.
Major Stimson, said the main areas that AACAP has focused on have produced excellent results for the Canteen Creek and Wutunugurra communities.
“The Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme consists of three main areas: construction, health and training, but I think importantly a fourth critical area has been in community engagement. I’ve been particularly impressed with both the contingent and with both the communities. The welcome and interaction from both the communities has been outstanding.”
The workshop will provide the community with the floor space to service vehicles and comes complete with drive-up ramps, storage cages and welding bays for other general maintenance. Army healthcare specialists are also providing community members with first-aid and general health training.
President of the Owaritilla Council Aboriginal Corporation, Mr Adrian Mick, thanked the AACAP members for their contribution.
“I’d like to say thank you to the Army for what they’ve brought into the community, it was good for us. Things like the welding programme and the vet, also the dentist have been good,” he said. “They’ve made the road which will stop the dust coming into the community. I’d just like to say thank you for being here.”
Local Canteen Creek community members were awarded formal qualifications following training provided by Army engineers as part of AACAP. Jennifer Thompson and Dave Walker earned a Certificate 1 in Basic Fabrication, gaining skills in welding and furniture manufacture.
The ceremony was enhanced by students from the Owaritilla School performing dance and singing “I am Australian” for the crowd.
The Army engineers are on schedule to complete the roadworks part of the project by mid-September 2014 and the project has given the soldiers the opportunity to help the community and broaden their skills.
AACAP is a collaborative partnership between the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Army. It aims to improve environmental health and living conditions in remote Indigenous communities.