Aurukun and Lockhart River Joint Services – Changing Lives

Remote Indigenous communities have always been plagued by the tyranny of distance, but one Cape York Partnership entity has worked tirelessly to bring essential services together in a ‘one-stop-shop’ called Joint Services.

Coordinated by Cape York Employment (CYE), these Joint Services events bring Cape York communities together with government and non-government agencies to close the gap in the accessibility of services and opportunities that others in regional and metropolitan areas often take for granted.

The most recent events in Lockhart River and Aurukun saw the highest number of participating services and community members since its inception, with many satisfied locals signing up for multiple services during one visit.

Held at the CYE Office in Lockhart River, Joint Services welcomed the Indigenous Driver Licensing Unit (IDLU) and representatives from the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships assisting community members with Yellow Card applications for working within the aged and disability sector. From 2–3 November, Lockhart River Joint Services boasted 67 community members registering over the two days, with significant interest in the IDLU. CYE also staff assisted in the general coordination of the event, getting people to and from appointments, and taking part in community engagement activities.


    We are changing lives and making a real difference

Aurukun’s Joint Services was run at the new CYE location, the Aurukun Training Centre from 8–10 November, and was the fourth and final one for 2022. During the event, CYE staff assisted locals with services usually provided by the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, and Blue Card Services. They also welcomed every attendee and referred them to the other services as required, including the Indigenous Driver Licensing Unit (IDLU) and Services Australia.


Young Wik man, Vernon Korkatain's smile was contagious when he walked out of the IDLU after completing his hazard perception test and successfully getting his driver licence.

"I've been working towards this for a long time and waiting for the licensing mob to come to Aurukun again.

"This is the best day. I finally got my licence and it just means a lot to me and my family. I feel like I've really achieved something good. I'd encourage everyone out there to take advantage of these services when they come to town because it can make a big difference in your life."

CYE Team Leader Rachell Jose said there was no better feeling than seeing a community member come out with a huge smile on their face because they’d gotten something simple like an ID or licence. Many, she said, were coming in to apply for their birth certificate for the first time in their lives.

“It’s a vital service that we provide to the communities," saif Rachell. "These are the essential services that help make people’s lives better. We extend beyond our usual support that we offer to job seekers and we really wrap around the community and bring together all of the organisations that are vital to people living good lives.

“We’re continually identifying the barriers to life our mob face, and we enable them to access basic services, like checking their bank accounts online and chasing up their Blue Cards for work. It all opens up opportunities for employment that weren’t available to them before.

“With this latest round of Joint Services in Aurukun and Lockhart River, we’ve expanded, and new services have come on board, like Medicare and disability services. It’s the kind of face-to-face interaction that makes a real difference for people. When we’re here, we ensure the forms are all filled out correctly and they get to see the right people. It’s incredibly satisfying.”

Rachell thanked all the service providers involved for another successful series of events. The total attendance in Lockhart River Joint Servicing saw 67 people come through the doors, while Aurukun attendance reached 201 people.

“Jobseekers and community members had an opportunity to visit the Indigenous Driver Licensing team and also renew, enquire and apply for other government products during the event. Throughout the two weeks we supported 268 jobseekers and community members.”

“We are changing lives and making a difference.”



67 Total attendance jobseekers and community members

6 Applications - Births, Deaths and Marriages

2 Blue Card Service applications

26 Indigenous Driver License Unit applications and queries

2 Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership Yellow Card applications

20 Australian Defence Force queries and information packs handed out



201 Total attendance jobseekers and community members

51 Indigenous Driver License Unit applications and queries

8 Applications - Births, Deaths and Marriages

26 Blue Card Service applications

20 Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership Yellow Card applications

21 Medicare queries, information updates and applications

40 Australian Taxation Office (ATO) applications for Tax File Numbers

67 Centrelink queries and new claims



  • Indigenous Drivers Licensing Unit - License Renewals, completed Hazard perception tests, smart card identification cards, Learner licensesg8 and written tests, P1 and P2 and Practical driving test for community members
  • Births Deaths and Marriages reissued birth certificates and completed change of name applications and registered birth certificates for community members
  • Blue Card Services submitted applications online, renewals along with applications to cancel a negative notice and attended to queries for previously submitted applications for community members
  • Services Australia assisted with new claims and registrations as required
  • Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Department of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Partnership processed applications to work with people with a disability
  • Australian Defence Force spoke with the Lockhart River community and handed out information packs regarding programs and career pathways
  • Lockhart River and Aurukun Cape York Employment teams offered their facilities and community team members during the joint services events


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