Local plumber makes a difference

Sapper Donald Currie works on the construction of an Independent Youth Centre in Gapuwiyak, NT. Photo by Lucas Petersen.
Sapper Donald Currie works on the construction of an Independent Youth Centre in Gapuwiyak, NT. Photo by Lucas Petersen.

Sapper Donald Currie is doing his Beaudesert family proud, going from strength to strength in his career with the Australian Army.

Sapper Currie, 31, recently returned from a four-and-a-half-month deployment to the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP) in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

There, the Licenced Advanced Tradesman Plumber enjoyed not only his plumbing role on the job site for the Independent Youth Centre in Gapuwiyak but also assisting other trades and learning about the Yolngu culture.

Sapper Currie, a proud Mununjali man raised in Beaudesert, has received three significant awards since he joined the Australian Army four years ago: The Soldiers Medallion (2021), Commanding Officer’s Commendation Soldier of The Year (2021) and the Royal Australia Engineering Most Outstanding Sapper (2021).

Among his proudest supporters is his dad, Donald Currie Senior, and sister, Theresa Currie, who both still live in Beaudesert.

Sapper Currie draws inspiration from stories of his late grandfather Private Cyril Currie, who served in the 2nd Australian Imperial Force.

Originally intending to enlist in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps in early 2018, the qualified plumber changed his mind and enlisted in the Royal Australian Engineer Corps after learning plumbers were a critical trade in the Australian Army.

As Sapper Currie left to complete the ADF Indigenous Pre-recruit Program at RAAF Base Wagga, then soldier training at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka in 2018, his eldest sister’s parting words were clear; “You come back as an Australian soldier, my boy”.

Four months later, Sapper Currie graduated not only as an Australia Soldier, but was named the ‘Most Outstanding Recruit’ of his pre-recruit course.

“Those four months away were really tough as my sister was going through chemo treatment for cancer at the time,” Sapper Currie said.

“It was an honour to receive the award for best recruit–not so much for me in hindsight, but an honour for my family.”

Now, after his posting to the RAAF Base Amberley 6th Engineer Regiment (6ESR) and his deployments to Fiji and the Northern Territory, Sapper Currie is preparing for a three-year posting in Darwin and embarking on promotion training to become a Lance Corporal.

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