Sergeant Wilky Fauid of Hammond Island was one of 21 soldiers from the 51st Battalion, the Far North Queensland Regiment, who re-interred five Australian World War I diggers at Belgium's Buttes New British Cemetary.
The battalion serves as a Regional Force Surveillance Unit (RFSU), carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance tasks as its primary role. Every operator in the unit is cross-trained in a variety of "low-visibility" skills such as weapons, survival, sniping, medic, small boat handling, driving, tracking, air ops etc. It is the only battalion of the Far North Queensland Regiment, and draws its lineage from an Australian Imperial Force (AIF) battalion, which was raised for service during World War I.
The 51 FNQR of today plays an important role in the security of Australia by conducting surveillance patrols in the sparsely populated and remote regions of Far North Queensland. 51 FNQR is made up of full time and part time members with Battalion headquarters and a surveillance company located in Cairns. Surveillance companies are headquartered throughout Far North Queensland at Weipa, Thursday Island and Mount Isa.
Approximately thirty percent of the Battalion's members are indigenous Torres Strait Islanders and mainland aborigines who, with the Australians of other origins throughout the Battalion, form the great team that is 51 FNQR. It is this diverse make up of members and their cultures that give the Battalion its unique character.
51 FNQR is one of the Australian Defence Force's RFSUs tasked with the responsibility to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance across Australia's far north. The Battalion's Area of Responsibility covers a lot of territory; from Cardwell in north Queensland, north to the Torres Strait, inclusive of Cape York and the Gulf Country and west to the Northern Territory border, some 640,000 square kilometres. The unit conducts land based and littoral surveillance and reconnaissance in support of national security operations.
Australians of many cultures have been drawn together to provide this capability. Torres Strait Islanders and members of the many isolated Aboriginal communities throughout Cape York and the Gulf Country form an integral component of the Battalion, and provide a vital source of local knowledge.
The real time role of conducting reconnaissance and surveillance in Far North Queensland is what makes service in 51 FNQR so challenging and rewarding for both full time and part time members of today's Army. Ask any member of 51 FNQR and they will proudly tell you they are "the eyes and ears of the north".
The motto of the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment is ‘Ducit Amor Patriae’, which is Latin for ‘The Love of Country Leads Me’.