What happens when a Far North Queensland Indigenous community teams up with a local army unit? On the final episode of our Women in National Security Conference podcast series, we chat with the speakers of one of the biggest crowd favourites from the conference: Eileen Deemal-Hall and Lieutenant Colonel Tim Rutherford from the Wujal Wujal security songlines panel.
Hosted by the ANU National Security College, the Women in National Security Conference is a forum on the participation of women in Australia’s future national security policy and practice – and the National Security Podcast is here to bring you the highlights.
Accessible only by a seasonal four-wheel drive track in Far North Queensland, Wujal Wujal is one of the smallest Aboriginal Shire Councils in Australia. The 51st Battalion of the Far North Queensland Regiment is a long-range reconnaissance unit based in Cairns, who have been responsible for leading the Army’s surveillance forces for maritime border security.
With Wujal Wujal underfunded and struggling to provide services to its population of 682 people, and with the 51st Battalion in need of a local workforce to fulfil its border security objectives, the two groups formed an unexpected but willing partnership.
On this final podcast of the series hosted by Gabrielle Kneipp, Jacinta Carroll and Jay Caldwell hear from Eileen Deemal-Hall – the CEO of the Wujal Wujal Shire Council – and Lieutenant Colonel Tim Rutherford about how they partnered up to enhance security, build community, and combat issues of domestic violence, climate change, and food insecurity in eastern Cape York.
Eileen Deemal-Hall is a Bama woman and is currently Chief Executive Officer for Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council - Daintree Rainforest Area Cape York. Eileen has a wide range of experience having worked across three tiers of government; State, Federal and Territory Governments.
Lieutenant Colonel Tim Rutherford is a cavalry officer in the Australian Army. Over the past 20 years, he has held a range of command, planning and instructional appointments in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is currently appointed as the Commanding Officer of the 51st Battalion, The Far North Queensland Regiment - a long-range reconnaissance unit based in Cairns.
Jacinta Carroll is the Director of National Security Policy at the ANU National Security College, and convenor of the Women in National Security Conference. Previously, Jacinta was the inaugural Head of the Counter-Terrorism Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a position she held since August 2015.
Jay Caldwell joined the National Security College in 2017 as the Director of Professional Studies. He has fourteen years of experience in the public service focused on national security and how central agencies can better support decision-makers. Prior to this, Mr Caldwell was an educator with Queensland’s Department of Education and the ACT’s Canberra Institute of Technology.
Gabrielle Kneipp is Executive Officer at the National Security College. She is currently on secondment from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and studying a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies/Communication in Journalism.
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This episode of the National Security Podcast was produced and edited by Edwina Landale. It was written by Gabrielle Kneipp and Edwina Landale.