Client story

A new running track for the Royal Australian Air Force

We project managed the construction of a 400 metre running track, providing valuable experience to Indigenous employees


Project and development services


May 21 – Feb 22


RAAF Darwin Base, Northern Territory


400 metres oval running track


JLL, in its capacity as Augility – a project and development services provider to Australian Defence – was engaged by RAAF Base Darwin to install a four-lane, 400 metre running track around its sports oval. The goal was to provide personnel a better and safer option to train and equip themselves for their daily jobs. The surface of the sports oval was uneven with protruding tree roots, and footpaths were almost inaccessible, which forced runners onto the roads.

A running track would provide a dedicated area for service personnel to exercise and conduct physical fitness testing.


In scoping, designing, and tendering the required works, we wanted to make sure RAAF Base Darwin had a single point of accountability. It would have full awareness and transparency of the project process, and any risk was communicated and mitigated to ensure project delivery was on time and in budget.

We put the tender out to Indigenous businesses in keeping with the Australian Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy. This resulted in the competitive appointment of Indigenous Business Enterprise AKJ Services to carry out the construction. AKJ Services is a 100% Aboriginal-owned business registered with Supply Nation. Through the appointment, 14 Indigenous tradespeople were then contracted, giving them invaluable experience and training, as well as the opportunity to grow their businesses.

The project team developed a plan to construct the track by identifying a substantial amount of vegetation, trees and root systems that needed to be removed. They were replaced with approved native species in local areas that were better suited for sustained growth.

During the process of excavations, significant amounts of asbestos in the soil was discovered, some of which was legacy waste from Cyclone Tracy in 1974. As soon as it was identified, we removed approximately. 900 tonnes of contaminated material from the construction area.

“We are very proud of the finished product and the benefits it will bring to the service personnel at RAAF Base Darwin. It was particularly fulfilling working with highly skilled and confident people who share our values of integrity and professionalism and helped ensure this project was a successful one.” – Jessie Risk, managing director, AKJ Services"


RAAF Base Darwin is now the envy of Defence bases in the Northern Territory for running enthusiasts.

The 400m track was officially opened by physical training instructor Sergeant Bronwyn McCoy, Wing Commander, Jim Collisson as well as our project manager Luke McMahon. Both were thrilled to have the facility in time for the influx of service personnel during Exercise Pitch Black.