Philip Smart | Adelaide
Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL) Army engineers have joined Australian Army engineers to deliver building projects to the remote Indigenous community of Titjikala, in the Northern Territory.
Titjikala has a population of around 200, sited 200 km north of the South Australian border.
The soldiers are deployed as part of the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP), which is a collaborative partnership between the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and the Australian Army.
AACAP Contingent Commander Major Chris Sampson said this is the third consecutive year that the F-FDTL have participated in AACAP.
“The programme helps the F-FDTL soldiers enhance their engineering capability,” he said. “This year the soldiers will gain an applied understanding of 'block laying'.
“The inclusion of the F-FDTL creates a unique multicultural team environment where the cultural diversity of the combined forces produces innovative approaches to construction in remote locations.”
AACAP aims to improve the environmental health and living conditions in remote Indigenous communities.
Resourcing is shared between the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, which provides up to $6 million per project, and the Australian Army, which contributes significant personnel and equipment.