Individual and Family Development

MPower has now helped 2,223 people across the Cape York Welfare Reform (CYWR) communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge to improve their financial skills and wellbeing. Of these, 1,993 (89%) are still current members. Between January and June 2018, 927 members took part in one or more MPower session.

Strong Families has now helped 483 people across the CYWR communities to improve their positive parenting skills. Of these, 449 (94%) are still current members. Between January and June 2018, 381 people attended 223 positive parenting workshops and accessed 715 case management sessions to access emotional and practical support around daily parenting and family matters.

Pride of Place (POP) has now had 427 members across the four CYWR communities, of which 382 (89%) are still current members. Between January and June 2018, 138 individuals participated in one or more POP activity. 42 members are currently signed up to complete a Backyard Blitz, and have contributed $11,869 towards their projects.


Student Education Trusts (SET) has now helped 615 parents and carers from the CYWR communities provide 1,107 students with the educational goods and services they need to succeed at school. Since SET began, over $3.1M has been diverted to support children’s educational needs; and there is currently $1.197M sitting in SET accounts ready to be turned into educational opportunities for Cape York children.

Cape York Leaders Program Academic Leaders phase now supports 117 Indigenous Cape York students to attend high schools and universities across Queensland. Retention rates among Academic Leaders remain consistently high, and as of June 2018, 98% of our Secondary Leaders and 100% of Tertiary Leaders remain on the Program.

Djarragun College now supports 280 students to undertake their primary and secondary schooling, 98% of whom identify as Indigenous. 35% of the student cohort are boarders from a range of locations across Cape York, the Torres Strait Islands, Yarrabah and the Northern Territory. Djarragun’s onsite medical facility, D Health hosts case managers, a registered nurse, general practitioners and allied health professionals to support the health needs of Djarragun students and their families.

Cape York Girl Academy in 2018, 18 of whom remained enrolled at the end of June. 25% of these students did not attend school at all during the 12 months prior to coming to the Girl Academy, a further 40% had very poor attendance and the remainder very patchy attendance histories. This makes it all the more remarkable that Girl Academy students achieve an average 76.7% attendance rate, which represents significant progress towards re-engaging with school.

Employment and Economic Development

Cape York Employment (CYE) currently supports 469 jobseekers to build the capabilities needed to move away from passive welfare dependency and into employment. By the end of June 2018, 598 jobseekers had been placed into employment. Many of our past jobseekers have now progressed in their current roles, having been promoted or beginning apprenticeships.

Cape York Enterprises continues to work with Indigenous entrepreneurs to support them to grow their businesses and increase opportunities for Indigenous employment. Across Cape York Enterprises’ portfolio businesses, it now supports 80 Indigenous jobs. Incubatory businesses that have received support and advice from Cape York Enterprises also continue to grow and thrive.

Bama Services now has 40 staff (75% of whom are Indigenous); and 81%of our permanent staff have been employed with Bama for over 12 months. Since its establishment in 2010, Bama has supported 175 Indigenous employees. In 2014 most of Bama’s staff had not completed a qualification; now all staff have attained or are in the process of attaining their trade qualifications.

Cape York Timber (CYT) employs 9 staff, 77% of whom are Indigenous and from Cape York. None of CYT’s staff had previous experience in the timber industry; now, many hold key operational positions and have gained work experience at some of the industry’s leading facilities.

The Cape York Institute (CYI) Land Reform and Home Ownership Project team continues to work closely with Traditional Owners, trustees and government at all levels to pursue collective objectives for home ownership in Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge. The Institute works closely with Hope Vale Congress Aboriginal Corp to support its mission to improve rental and home ownership choices to 38 families living on rural residential blocks around Hope Vale, in addition to creating new rural residential lots so that other families can build new houses. The project will provide a first-class form of home ownership through leasing, with up to 200 existing and new rural residential blocks on Congress Aboriginal freehold land. CYI has also worked closely with Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Aboriginal Corp (BBNAC) to progress land-reform on BBNAC-owned land. This has involved assisting BBNAC to settle housing lease negotiations with the Queensland Government and finally gain control over local housing policy and normalise local infrastructure arrangements to support home ownership outcomes for Mossman Gorge families.

Language, Culture and Leadership

Pama Language Centre now works alongside language nations with a combined membership of over 3,400 people. Between January and June 2018, 46 speakers participated in recording, revitalisation and maintenance of 7Aboriginal languages through the Centre’s Ancestral Language Action Teams (ALATs). 106 children at Hope Vale Primary School and 40+ adult community members benefit from Guugu Yimidhirr songwriting, choir and recording workshops and Guugu Yimidhirr language and teaching materials. 60+ people in Aurukun benefit from ongoing art and recording activities with the Chivaree Centre (aged care facility), while 172 students at the Aurukun State School benefit from Wik-Mungkan songwriting workshops.

TheCape York Leaders Program (CYLP) Adult Leaders phase now supports 20 Youth, Skilling and Excelling Leaders from across Cape York and Yarrabah to build their leadership and business skills. Of these, 40% of our Leaders are from the Cape York Welfare Reform communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge. Since inception, CYLP has supported 400+ adult leaders to walk with confidence in two worlds and become leaders in their families, communities, workplaces and beyond.

Recognition and Reconciliation

The Cape York institute (CYI) Constitutional Reform Project continues to drive and lead the national policy debate around constitutional recognition for Australia’s Indigenous peoples. The Institute believes that constitutional recognition should enable Indigenous empowerment and guarantee Indigenous people a voice in political decision-making.

Cape York Institute has engaged with the 2018 Joint Select Committee on Indigenous constitutional recognition, chaired by Senator Patrick Dodson and Julian Leeser MP, through Committee hearings and submissions advocating the reforms sought in the Uluru Statement.

The Institute has also contributed to the debate through multiple appearances on television panels and discussions, the publication of several media and research articles, and participation in several public forums.

CYI will continue to advocate for and work towards achieving genuine bipartisan support for the Uluru Statement From the Heart, particularly from the political right.