Cape York Peninsula – Queensland


Thanks to all veterans,families and guests who attended Pandanus Park in 2021.

In spite of the lack of Barramundi  this year was was again a very friendly and productive.  We must give a special thank you to everybody who contributed by donating auction items and/or emptying your wallets to make the auction our best to date.  2021 auction made $5000.00 to put towards future projects for the Laura community.

Again this year our numbers were swelled by some of the younger veterans who are the ones that will continue with the expansion and development of Pandanus Park. It is very comforting to know that the future for Pandanus Park is in capable hands.

Our Memorial ceremony this year has raised the bar to a new height and our appreciation goes to the members of 51 FNQR. for the catafalque, and flag parties.  The dignity of our Memorial service was enhanced by their dedication and adherence to the protocols of such an event.   I’m sure there were many watery eyes and swelled chests as a result of their presence.

All of the organised events for the year contributed to the fun and mateship. We had the pleasure of a recital from Sally Davies-Griffith, the cellist on her return from a tour in the North. It is a rate event to be wooed by a musician of Sallys talent.

The new lease is in the pipeline and we do expect it to be signed and registered before Anzac Day 2022.

12 Nov. ’21

To all intending visitors please note that Pandanus Park is only accessible from 25 April to 11 Nov each year and that Pandanus Park Inc. has no responsibility for road or crossing conditions.

Intending travelers should contact Cook Shire for road conditions.

Cook Shire Road Conditions(links to external site)

Well its cold in the north , no southern tourists or extended travel of more than 250k , the Cape is still closed at Kelly ST George Ck, unsure times!!!!!! 

Now some good news as ALL of you are part of it, as usual we [PP] always try and do a project for our local support community ”LAURA”  this year is no different.

Some back ground , as the year was moving forward with expectations of a great year in PP, I contacted all interested parties around the Laura area who we may be able to assist with a project –  enter the ”virus” .

It became painfully obvious that the project that would affect more people and be a community project was the clinic ambulance ‘again, after speaking to Guy he informed me that all transfers now have to travel by road,  not aircraft, so the Laura ambo is doing up to 600klms a trip with a high amount of time at night, and Queensland Health feel that the lighting on the ambo to be sufficient ….as we all know in that country you need all the light you can get especially a bit to the sides so you can see that big bore pig , or the bloody roos waiting to throw themselves at your vehicle, and other misc objects and bull dust .

Guy asked if we wished to do a project this year if it could be an upgrade to the ambo’s lights to led [cree] spotlights all wiring to WRC condition etc, so I put it to the committee and the resounding answer was ”GO FOR IT ”, cost about $900.00, now with a bit of input I asked if the lights to be supplied were not low quality, but german quality and nothing but the best, the life of the ambo is another 5 years so we will get some equity out of our efforts, I and the Laura community thank you in advance, the lights will be fitted by Cooktown Auto Electrics , again putting something back to the local community’.


Now our last project ”the medical/oxygen grab bag ……Laura clinic had an inspection and our grab bag with the Pandanus Park embroided badge on it was spotted by the inspecting officer and of course the question came up ” where did you get that? ” Guy told the story that the veterans donated it Laura Clinic………..what a great idea came the reply  …we need that in all remote ambos  ………so we did good.


Now as i scribe this, and i know its getting a bit long winded , just spoke to ”stumpy’ Peninsula Hotel Laura , VERY quiet, only selling a couple of cartons of beer a day, road still closed at the fore said position with more infrastrucure at that position so it looks like they are in for the long haul possibly till Feburary 2021.


We were successful in obtaining a 2k grant for memorial upgrade [names of conflicts ] to be mounted on the inside walls , thanks to Jodie [our voice in the north] and Bronwyn  ”to boldly go”, and Rhonda ”honey bee”  for their support.


Well folks i suppose it will be mackerel fishing .crabbing  this season ..stay safe ,stay cool [no problems there bloody 11c here] and i will  keep you updated with what your committee is up to.



Photos courtesy of Australian Defence taken by SPR Roger Tang.

Australian Army soldiers were working in the Aboriginal community of Laura in Cape York Peninsula, northern Queensland, from April to October 2016 to deliver infrastructure, health services and training to the community as part of the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP). Each year the Australian Army works together with a remote Indigenous community to deliver infrastructure projects, vocational skills training and complementary healthcare services. In 2016, AACAP celebrates its 20th anniversary and Laura is the 42nd Indigenous community to benefit from the initiative. Australian Army engineers from the Sydney-based 17th Construction Squadron, 6th Engineer Support Regiment, will be joined by military engineers from Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Tonga and the Royal Australian Air Force in the Laura community. Australian Army soldiers from 17th Combat Service Support Brigade will also provide the Laura community with health services and training, as well as provide logistics services for ‘Camp Birt’, the AACAP home base for the five-month deployment.