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FRONT & CENTRE
October 14, 2010
By ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
DURING a recent visit to Darwin,
a contingent of sailors from HMAS
Arunta (CMDR John Stavridis)
made a visit to the ship's adopted
hometown, Alice Springs, to per-
form a renovation makeover on a
highly valued local youth centre.
About 10 of Arunta's offic-
ers and sailors revamped The GAP
Youth Centre's 'Chill Out Room' by
carrying out minor repairs and giv-
ing it a spiffy new paint job.
LCDR Arran Melville said the
group was thrilled to participate in
such a meaningful project.
"We received a lot of support
from the local community, which
was great -- even the Mayor and
Deputy Mayor gave us a hand,"
LCDR Melville said.
"It was a fabulous project to be a
part of and the youth centre couldn't
thank us enough."
The GAP Youth Centre opened
in 1977 to provide a safe environ-
ment for the region's Indigenous
It currently runs three programs;
the Reconnect Program -- a commu-
nity-based early intervention service
for 12 to 18-year-olds who are at
risk of homelessness; the Late Night
Drop-in Program, which provides a
safe area for 13 to 21-year-olds to
surf the internet, play street soccer,
listen to music and engage in leather
workshops; and the Outside School
Care Program, which offers both
after school and vacation care for
children aged five to 12.
Arunta's SWO WO Mike
Burrows said the renovation project
was worthwhile and clearly appreci-
"The work we did on the centre
will make a significant difference to
the people who use it," WO Burrows
said.Ship's company also presented a
cheque to Arunta's nominated char-
ity, Anglicare NT, to assist with its
housing establishment project that
provides 27 emergency accommoda-
tion units for families or children in
Before departing Darwin, Arunta
was visited by the central Australian
Aboriginal tribe her name honours --
the Arrernte people.
The Arrernte people performed
a traditional smoking ceremony on
Arunta's flight deck to offer protec-
tion and power to the ship and her
Arunta's Supply Officer LCDR
Cameron McGregor said the visit
helped renew the ship's bond with
the Arrernte people, a relationship
that began 70 years ago with the
commissioning of HMAS Arunta I.
"Meeting the Arrente people
gives our sailors a better under-
standing of their culture and the
importance of the symbols Arunta
uses," LCDR McGregor said.
"The ship carries a symbol of the
tribe's traditional dreamtime ani-
mal, the perrente lizard, wherever
Arunta's mascot is a real per-
rente lizard who lives at Perth Zoo
in Western Australia.
Arunta pitches in
for Red Centre reno
ON THE JOB: The crew from HMAS Arunta with GAP Youth Centre members helped tidy the place up
with some fresh paint and some handyman work.
By CPO Tony Thomas
OFFICERS and sailors from HMAS
Coonawarra (CMDR Richard
Donnelly) and Attack Two (LCDR
Gary List) visited Yirara College at
Alice Springs recently.
Yirara College educates and houses
Indigenous students from approximate-
ly 40 remote Indigenous communities
across Australia and boasts attendance
figures of about 140 students, half of
which are female.
The visit was in support of the ongo-
ing Indigenous community engage-
ment conducted within the Northern
Territory by the Navy through the Navy
Community Engagement Program.
This program aims to establish a
long-term relationship, and a mutual trust
between remote and Indigenous commu-
nities and the Navy.
Many of these communities have
never had any experience of the Navy --
the visits operate in the hope of improv-
ing their understanding of the Navy and
eventually building their trust of the
The icing on the cake was, of course,
a fully operational RHIB on display,
which proved to be a big hit with the
The visit allowed both students and
Navy personnel to engage with stories
and life experiences. Navy personnel
were exposed to the day to day activities
of the college and formed personal rela-
tionships with several students.
The program has a secondary ben-
efit for participating Navy person-
nel in developing a working awareness
and appreciation of the Indigenous and
Navy visits Alice Springs
A NEW ADF warehouse capable of
storing up to 19,000 pallets of com-
bat and non combat clothing and
field equipment was opened at Joint
Logistics Unit Victoria, Wadsworth
Barracks, Bandiana on August 27.
The new $27 million facility replac-
es eight World War II-era warehouses
and is fitted with modern equipment and
technology, streamlining the storage and
distribution of ADF clothing and equip-
Commander Joint Logistics AVM
Margaret Staib said its capabilities will
support all ADF personnel including
those who are deployed on operations.
"From early next year Australia's
deployed servicemen and women will
all be supplied with combat clothing and
other essential equipment from this new
facility," AVM Staib said.
Existing technology such as data
transaction processor technologies,
which provides warehouse operators
with the ability to undertake real time
warehouse transactions, from anywhere
inside the warehouse has also been
New logistics warehouse opens
CONNECTING: WOPT Mike Winter with students from Yirara College during
a Navy Community Engagement Program visit.
Photo: Paul Imms
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