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Army September 25, 2014
TRADIES from 5ER
have been bedding down
some valuable skills
within remote communi-
ties during the Army Aboriginal
Community Assistance Program
The program identified the
need for beds and the tradesmen
set about fabricating 70 frames –
one for each household in the two
communities of Wutunugurra and
Canteen Creek, the location for
6ESR’s AACAP in the Northern
Training the locals in skills such
as metal fabrication and welding is
one of the integral components of
this year’s AACAP.
Provision of a Certificate I in
Steel Fabrication and Welding to
community members is the aim of
the training package supplied by
Boilermaker and welder
Spr Malcolm Stewart said teaching
the students some of the tricks of
the trade was rewarding.
“We’re not just teaching them
how to weld, we’re teaching them
about the culture of work as well,”
“That is more important for
a potential employer – it teaches
“They can also relate what we
teach them here to things they
“For instance, they know about
applying heat to jobs to straighten
them, as they have been doing this
for years when repairing motor
After the initial fabrication of
the beds was completed and the
students acquired their skill sets,
the challenge of designing and
fabricating other household items
was opened up to the students.
Training development officer
Capt Nathan Peace said the
program in Canteen Creek had been
a phenomenal success.
“We have three members
awarded their Certificate I, which is
terrific,” he said.
“We were able to get one of
our star performers, Dave Walker,
employed as the workshop
supervisor and he’ll take over the
program after we have gone.
“They are seeking a small
business grant to turn this into a
viable business model that will
produce and sell furniture items to
Mr Walker said he enjoyed
every aspect of the training.
“I came into this with no
experience at all and the Army has
taught me these valuable skills,” he
“It is really good that the Army
is here doing this program with us.
“After the Army leaves I plan to
keep working in this workshop and
making things out of steel for the
Participating in his 10th
AACAP, training team member and
mentor Sgt Gary Keegan, of 101
Sqn, 5ER, said it had been going
“We have a number of
enthusiastic trainees, which makes
our job much easier,” he said.
“I’m really proud of our stand-
out trainee, Dave Walker. He turns
up on time, every time, and has a
fantastic work ethic. I can see him
going a long way.
“It is really important to have
these AACAPs for the ARA side of
“The guys do most of their
training at the School of Military
Engineering, and then they come
out here and put their skills to
“I’ve been involved with the
training team for six years and I see
that as my future.”
5ER, a reserve regiment,
comprises tradesmen with a wealth
of experience and time in the Army,
which for some exceeds 40 years.
A number of 5ER members
were attached to 6ESR for AACAP.
Rest assured help is at hand
Tradesmen make bed frames for each household in two remote Indigenous communities, LS Jayson Tufrey reports.
We’re not just teaching them how to
weld, we’re teaching them about the
culture of work as well. That is more
important for a potential employer.
– Spr Malcolm Stewart,
Engineer Capt Nathan
Pearce passes on some
advice to David Walker
from Canteen Creek.
Photo Cpl Matthew Bickerton
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