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October 6, 2016
Cpl Sebastian Beurich
AT THE start of AACAP 2016, the
site of the multi-purpose facility
(MPF) was uncleared scrub. Now in
its place stands a building of which
both the soldiers and residents can be
MPF foreman Cpl Euclid Rodriguez
said the facility gave the town a space
that could be used by anyone.
“The MPF has a training room,
three office spaces, two storage rooms
and a large veranda area that can also
be used as a training or meeting area,”
“All of the benchtops and appliances
are set to a height that allows their use
by someone in a wheelchair – 90 per
cent of the doorways in the building are
accessible by someone in a wheelchair,
plus there is a disabled access ramp.
“While the site was led by the car-
penters from 17 Const Sqn, we had
East Timorese, Papua New Guinean
and Tongan engineers help us through-
out the project, as well as some civilian
“The community of Laura has a
really great vibe to it –you can tell the
MPF is going to be looked after and
will be used for a really long time.”
As electrician Spr Clint Reid found
out, you can teach an old dog new
“AACAP is a long time, five
months, and it was a big learning curve
there was a lot to do and learn,” he
“When newer guys like me come
through, we bring a lot of new tech-
niques and ways of doing things, which
we can pass on to some of the guys
who have been doing this longer.
“I’ve worked on pretty much every-
thing on the MPF. Electricians have to
wait for their tasks to come along, so
we pitch in and help everyone else out.
“Some days I’d be a labourer for the
carpenters, some days I’d be a labourer
for the plumbers. Once the building
was up, it was my job to connect the
incoming power supply and all the
other power things the MPF required.”
The MPF was erected with a com-
pletely steel frame, allowing it to stand
the test of time in the harsh climate of
the far north Queensland tropics.
“We really only do this sort of con-
struction on AACAPs, working with
steel, Colorbond and interior linings,”
carpenter LCpl Simon Young said.
“From the start I was in charge of
setting up the sub-floor material for the
building – the bearers and joists – and
getting it all ready for the wall frames
to be stood up, then working on the
“This is my second AACAP. It’s a
great project that allows us to get away
from our units and use our trade skills.
It’s definitely good to get on the tools.”
Cpl Sebastian Beurich
LAURA’S existing basketball
court, while a good structure, suf-
fered from the effects of the far
north Queensland climate.
The court, which didn’t have a
roof, exposed the people using it to
harsh sunlight during the dry sea-
son and the monsoonal downpours
during the wet season.
One of the objectives of
AACAP 2016 was to put a roof
over the court, as well as spruce up
the memorial located beside it.
Site foreman for the basketball
court works Cpl Adam Sunderland
said the roof allowed the town’s
kids to use the court all year round.
“The basketball court just had
a cyclone fence around it when
we got here, there was no roof for
it, and the lights were pretty inad-
equate,” he said.
“We put a large steel structure
over the top of the court, with lights
underneath it, and we did some
work on the memorial in front of
the Laura town hall.”
The job took about three months
“The basketball court roof took
up the majority of that time, about
two months, while the memorial
took about a month to complete,”
Cpl Sunderland said.
“At any one time, we had
between one and 10 people work-
ing on the site at once.”
Working in Laura marked the
fourth AACAP for Cpl Sunderland.
“AACAPs are a great opportu-
nity for the engineers to showcase
their trade, and a great time to play
on the tools,” he said.
Helping our fellow Australians
Good to ‘get on the tools’
AACAP is a great
project that allows
us to get away from
our units and use
our trade skills.
LCpl Simon Young,
Cpl Euclid Rodriguez, right,
shows, from left, Veronica
Coleman, Christine Musgrave
and Kadiesha Ross around
the multi-purpose facility
constructed by Army engineers
as part of AACAP in Laura.
Photos by Sgt Janine Fabre
New roof for court’s
use all year round
Cpl Sebastian Beurich
NOT many people have
been around for each of
the 20 years that AACAP
has been running, but Sgt
Gary Keegan has definite-
ly done his fair share.
His work in the Training
Team this year saw him
attending his 12th AACAP,
and he doesn’t plan on miss-
ing any in the future.
“We’ve learnt so much
from the different communi-
ties we’ve been to,” he said.
“There are a lot of different
cultures out there, so we get
to learn as much as the train-
“It has gone past the point
of a job, particularly for the
older blokes who have been
doing it for a while – it’s more
of a passion now.
“There’s a really great feel-
ing at the end of an AACAP
when we see our trainees
with their certificates and a
smile like a split watermelon –
we know we’ve done our job.”
Sgt Gary Keegan, left, passes on some concreting tips to
Laura local Kendall Bowen.
The basketball court roof.
A passion for AACAP
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