On 2 September members of the Royal Australian Navy’s 808 Squadron and HMAS Coonawarra visited the Brahminy Foundation located within the Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.
One of the Navy’s newest helicopters, the MRH90, visited the Brahminy facility located just outside of Darwin, as an opportunity for some community engagement during Exercise KAKADU 2014.
The arrival of the helicopter on the red tinged dirt was a change of pace for the community. 12 year old local, Callum, summed up his excitement.
“Wow that was dusty!” he said.
“We were all just standing here waving and the next thing we knew, we were covered in dust – it was awesome!”
There were big smiles all around with the Brahminy Group Founder, Alan Brahminy indicating that the kids were mightily impressed.
“The impact today will be massive, we’ve been preparing for this visit for weeks.
“It’s the first time we’ve been visited by the Royal Australian Navy, and by a helicopter no less, money just can’t buy this type of experience,” he said.
The Brahminy Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which empowers young people to make rational life choices, now and in the future, and to accept the consequences of those choices, whether positive or negative.
“The kids run the place, they do chores such as looking after livestock, laundry and they cook for the entire group,” said Alan Brahminy.
“We have a young man here who wants to join the Navy, actually – we’ve had 17 of our kids join the military after they’ve left here,” he said.
Jack, who attends the Foundation’s centre, loves surfing and things about the sea and says would like to work on the patrol boats one day.
“I think I’d like to do the job of a Boatswain's Mate. I hear it’s a pretty cool role,” he said.
“We really respect the jobs you guys do. It’s been such a great experience for all of us here, to have you come visit us. Thank you so much.”
After being shown around the facility and sharing morning tea, the Navy visitors thanked the children and staff of the Foundation upon leaving, with one of the pilots, Lieutenant Commander Jeremy French, making a promise before departing.
“Thanks for having us and showing us what you guys do here. It’s been great meeting you. This is an aspect to our job that we really enjoy. We promise not to create too much dust on the way out!” he said.