Army helps close the gap in East Pilbara

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Related ministers and contacts

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP

Minister for Indigenous Affairs

Member for Hasluck

The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

Media contacts

Lauren Gianoli (Minister Reynolds’ Office): 0428 570 417

Jarrod Lomas (Minister Wyatt’s office): 0438 498 266

Kathy Quinn (Minister Price’s office): 0468 369 301

Defence Media: (02) 6127 1999,

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16 August 2019

Joint media release

  • The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Member for Hasluck
  • The Hon Melissa Price MP, Minister for Defence Industry, Member for Durack


The remote East Pilbara community of Jigalong in Western Australia came together today for the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP) 2019 Closing Ceremony.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said the AACAP deployment harnesses the skills of the construction, trade and training personnel in the Army.

“This is the 23rd consecutive year the Australian Army has deployed to a remote Indigenous community to deliver infrastructure, vocational skills training and health care services,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The 150-strong contingent of Defence personnel, along with teams from Papua New Guinea and Tonga, have spent three months building projects including a public amenities block and a youth and family centre.”

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Ken Wyatt, AM, MP said AACAP was an important element of the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap initiative.

“The Army has done incredible work during AACAP 2019 to improve health, education and employment outcomes for the Jigalong community,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The Army Dental Clinic made a significant contribution to improving health in the community, treating over 60 residents in Jigalong.

“The Vocational Training Program was also a huge success with four paid positions in the local construction industry created, along with one paid position in the local school, and TAFE qualifications in tourism awarded to three trainees.”

Minister for Defence Industry and Member for Durack, the Hon Melissa Price MP said Jigalong was the first Pilbara community to benefit from the Programme.

“On behalf of the people of Jigalong, in my electorate of Durack, I wish to thank the Army for their hard work and involvement in the community over the last three months,” Minister Price said.

“The Jigalong community have thoroughly enjoyed hosting the AACAP members, and have engaged with them through weekly sport, school visits and special events, including a Welcome to Country ceremony and NAIDOC Week celebrations.”

AACAP is a joint initiative between the National Indigenous Australians Agency and the Australian Army, conducted annually since 1997. Planning is already underway for the next AACAP in Pormpuraaw, Queensland.

For further information on AACAP visit:

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