Successful Conclusion To Operation Outreach

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31st October 2008, 10:09am - Views: 882

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Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Friday, 31 October 2008



The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP,

announced today the cessation of Operation OUTREACH, the Australian Defence

Force contribution to the Northern Territory Emergency Response to protect

Aboriginal children from abuse and build the basis for a better future.

Operation OUTREACH commenced on 27th June 2007, providing support to many

other Government agencies including the Department of Families, Housing,

Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; the Department of Health and Ageing;

Centrelink; the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; the

Northern Territory Police and the Northern Territory Department of Health and

Community Services.

“Today marks the drawdown of Defence’s involvement in the Northern Territory

Emergency Response,” Minister Snowdon said.

“The service men and women involved in this unique Operation have made a

valuable contribution to the Northern Territory Emergency Response, providing much

needed logistic, transportation, and communications support. “

Over 380 ADF personnel were drawn from the Army, Navy and Air Force including

over 200 Indigenous soldiers from the Army’s North West Regional Force

Surveillance Unit (NORFORCE).

Minister Snowdon praised the work of NORFORCE, highlighting the vital role they

played in the Emergency Response, particularly facilitating logistic support to the

Child Health Check Teams.

“The role of the Indigenous soldiers of NORFORCE in the implementation of the

operation was critical to its success,” he said. 

“They provided a difficult and invaluable service, and it is almost impossible to

imagine how the Intervention would have progressed without their work building trust,

goodwill and support.

“The speed and success of Op OUTREACH in remote Indigenous communities can

be directly attributed to NORFORCE personnel.  With their knowledge of culture,

customs, language and the land, NORFORCE was a key link between Government

officers and communities.”

The Northern Territory Emergency Response remains under the command of an

ADF Officer, Major General Dave Chalmers.

Media contacts:

Luke Toy (Warren Snowdon):

02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689

Defence Media Liaison:

02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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