Members of the central NSW town of Lake Cargelligo have relished the chance to tour a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules recently.
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The visit to Lake Cargelligo was the first time RAAF personnel engaged with local Indigenous communities, during a visit last week.
This included a traditional Welcome to Country and engagement with RAAF Indigenous Liaison Officers.
Also visiting on the day were classes of students from local pre-schools, a primary school and a high school.
Flight Lieutenant Tjapukai Shaw, the Indigenous Liaison Officer for No. 22 Squadron, said the trip to Lake Cargelligo had been received warmly.
“The local Aboriginal Land Council wants to know if we can do it annually,” FLTLT Shaw said.
“There’s many in the community who might not understand what it is we do, why it’s important, or even whether it’s a pathway that’s open to them.”
Fellow Indigenous Liaison Officers from RAAF Bases Williamtown and Wagga, and from the Canberra region, joined FLTLT Shaw on the flight.
All four members posted into their current roles in January.
“Having the four of us with the Hercules in Lake Cargelligo allowed us to share that experience across our network,” FLTLT Shaw said.
“Seeing how other units and bases forge relationships with communities allows each of us to bring that experience to our bases and apply it across RAAF.
“All of the Indigenous Liaison Officers are bringing a variety of experiences to their role, and there are things one of us might be aware of that others haven’t seen.”
Lake Cargelligo’s 4,000-foot unsurfaced runway is one of several across rural NSW that have been used for decades to train Hercules aircrew.