Royal Australian Air Force dental teams have temporarily broken from their regular duties to provide essential dental services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents of Broome, in northern Western Australia, between October 3 and November 1 under a pilot exercise, ‘Kummundoo-Dental’.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies said the pilot exercise formed part of an agreement between the RAAF and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
“The agreement highlights Air Force’s shared commitment to improved outcomes across the lifespan of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples,” he said.
“Air Force recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples have served Australia and participated in Air Force since its inception, and we are committed to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.
“The best talents are from a broad cross-section of all Australians and it is important that we help Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders to have the best chance at succeeding in life, starting with having access to basic healthcare.
“The overarching Kummundoo program will create community engagement and contribute to primary healthcare outcomes in Indigenous communities, while also creating opportunities for Air Force personnel to deploy into different environments to assist on projects across the breadth of our capability.”
The Kummundoo program and its various initiatives are a key part of the Air Force Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander strategy – ‘Our Place, Our Skies’ – and ties in with whole-of-Defence programs such as the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week.