Our Agenda - Cape York Partnership



Pama Futures Agenda

Our vision is for the people of Cape York to have the capabilities to 'choose a life that they have reason to value'.

To achieve this, the people of Cape York designed and agreed to an empowerment roadmap in 2018 called the Pama Futures Agenda. It is a single cohesive reform agenda focussed on the social, economic and cultural development of the first nations of Cape York Peninsula.

'Pama' means the Indigenous people of Cape York and 'Futures' refers to their collective vision for the next generations of pama.

It represents the best chance we have to close the gap on Indigenous disparity in our region and it guides all the work we do here at Cape York Partnership.


From Agenda to Action

Pama Futures empowers people to 'choose a life they have reason to value' by working with local communities to:

1.  Restore social and cultural norms
2.  Build capability
3.  Deliver opportunity

This agenda was developed from the belief that the more effective we are in achieving the above three objectives the more empowered the Cape York Pama will be.

“Our destiny can only be secured by ourselves. Nobody can save us in our stead” – Pama Futures, 2018

Social and cultural norms

For Cape York people to be strong, our communities need to have strong social and cultural norms.

Communities that live by an agreed set of values and practice positive behaviours are stronger than those where social norms are eroded.

Pama Futures is about rebuilding these strong social and cultural norms and embedding them deeply into community practice and behaviour. These norms include respect for both the rule of law and cultural lore, freedom from violence and conflict, a right to an education, parental responsibility to care for their children, and respect for private property.

Building capabilities

Sadly for many decades, policies and programs designed and implemented without our local people, have created widespread dependency, passivity and dysfunction. Pama Futures is about aggressively rebuilding the 15 core capabilities our people and communities need to prosper in modern Australia. 

1. Prenatal foundation for lifelong health
2. Effective education from early childhood
3. Strong nurturing families
4. Villages with social capital
5. Villages with respect for norms, laws
6. Girls freedom and empowerment
7. Boys with self-esteem and self-respect
8. Language and cultural capital.
9. Leadership and good governance
10. Work
11. Enterprise and industry
12. Stewardship of land
13.  Tribal wealth
14. Vibrant markets
15. Infrastructure to sustain villages and the economy

Deliver opportunities

To help people build their capabilities we need to provide real opportunities, rather than offer perverse incentives that encourage people towards welfare and away from education, study and real employment.

If real opportunities are provided, and individuals are supported to exercise responsibility in taking that opportunity, then capability will grow – both individually and collectively.

Responsibility + opportunity = capability.

The Journey


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