Normanton is a small cattle town and locality in the Shire of Carpentaria in Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Normanton had a population of 1,210 people of whom 743 were Indigenous Australians; the town is one terminus of the isolated Normanton to Croydon railway line, built during gold rush days in the 1890s. The Gulflander motor train operates once a week. Normanton is the administrative centre of Shire of Carpentaria. Among Normanton's most notable features is a statue of an 8.64 m long saltwater crocodile named Krys, the largest taken, shot by Krystina Pawlowska in July 1957 in the Norman River. Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon may be caught in the river; the Big Barramundi, 6 m long is located in the town. Normanton is in the Gulf Country region of northwest Queensland, just south of the Gulf of Carpentaria, on the Norman River. An unusual feature 106 km southwest of Normanton is Bang Bang Jump Up, one of the few hills located in the middle of an expansive, flat grassland; the town takes its name from the Norman River, named in honour of William Henry Norman of the Victorian Naval Force, who commanded a ship in the search for the explorers Burke and Wills and conducted hydrographic surveys of the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Torres Strait to identify reefs and other marine hazards.
The site for the town was selected because Burketown was abandoned owing to flooding. Settlers moved into the town in 1867. Normanton attracted people including Chinese drawn to the gold fields. Norman River Post Office opened on 13 June 1868 and was renamed Normanton by 1872; the town contains operating Burns Philp store in Queensland. The general mercantile store and agency office was opened in 1884; the population reached 1,251 by 1891. The gold boom was short-lived. By 1947 the town's population had declined to 234. In the early years there was a large Aboriginal population as well; some Aboriginal people were moved to Mornington Doomadgee in the early 20th century. The Normanton library was opened in 2004. In 2006 census, the town's population was 60 per cent of whom were Indigenous Australians. Normanton has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Burke and Wills Access Road: Burke and Wills Camp B/CXIX Burke Developmental Road: Normanton Cemetery 27 Haigh Street: Normanton Gaol cnr Landsborough Street and Caroline Street: Burns Philp Building Landsborough Street: Westpac Bank Building Matilda Street: Normanton railway station Normanton to Croydon: Normanton to Croydon railway line Like other Gulf communities the prawning industry makes an important economic contribution to the town.
Tourism has become an important part of the economy of Normanton, with Gulflander a significant draw-card. Normanton has a sports centre, golf course, bowling green, gun club, rodeo ground, an aerodrome. Normanton public library and visitor information services are located in the historic Burns Philp Building at the corner of Caroline and Landsborough Streets; the Normanton branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association has its rooms in Landsborough Street. Normanton State School opened on 8 September 1882; the school celebrated its centenary in 1982. Six kilometres south of the town is the start of the Gulf Developmental Road, part of the Savannah Way tourist drive. A 151km remnant of historical railway operates weekly to Croydon; the Normanton railway station features a large steel frame with an open canopy to provide shade. Normanton has a tropical savanna climate with two distinct seasons. There is a hot and uncomfortable wet season from December to March and a hot and rainless dry season extending from April to November.
During the wet season most roads in the area are closed by heavy rainfall, which on several occasions has exceeded 650 millimetres in a month or 250 millimetres in a day from tropical cyclones. On occasions, as with all of Queensland, the wet season may fail and deliver as little as 240 millimetres between December 1934 and March 1935Temperatures are uniformly hot, ranging from 36.8 °C in November just before the wet season begins to 29 °C at the height of the dry season in July. In the wet season, temperatures are marginally lower, but high humidity means conditions are uncomfortable and wet bulb temperatures averages 25 °C and can reach 28 °C. In the dry season, lower humidity, cloudless days and cool nights provides for more pleasant conditions. Normanton Airport "Normanton". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19. 1911. P. 765. University of Queensland: Queensland Places:Normanton Normanton Normanton page from Carpentaria Shire Council website Town map of Normanton, 1983
Malanda is a town and locality on the Atherton Tableland in the Tablelands Region, Far North Queensland, Australia. In the 2011 census, Malanda had a population of 2,052 people. Malanda first developed in the 1900s after the discovery of tin and copper at Herberton saw a steady stream of miners and engineers moving over the mountains from the coast. Malanda is located 732 metres above sea level; the town is located downstream of the Malanda Falls on the North Johnstone River. The name Malanda is synonymous throughout North Queensland with cheese. Local promoters, noting that Malanda milk is sold in the Northern Territory and as far north as Weipa, declared Malanda to be'the headquarters for one of the largest and longest milk runs in the world'; the milk is exported to Indonesia and Malaysia. Malanda Milk is now a part of Dairy Farmers, but with a shorter milk run, only as far south as Mackay and as far north as Darwin. Malanda formed part of Ngajanji territory. In 1886 a decision was made to build a railway into the area but the problems of construction were enormous.
Over 3,412 kilometres of railway was installed into the region in the next six years. By 1890 the Tablelands railway line had reached Kuranda, it pushed on to Mareeba in 1893 and Atherton in 1903 and did not reach Malanda until 1911. The line closed in 1964. In 1908, James English and James Emerson both moved into the area. Both saw the district's dairy potential. English brought cattle from Kiama and the Richmond River areas in New South Wales and Emerson had a herd of 1,026 cattle overlanded from Lismore, they only 560 survived the journey. Despite this arduous start the industry grew and by 1919 Malanda had its own butter factory. In 1973 this amalgamated with the factory in Millaa Millaa to form the Atherton Tablelands Co-operative Dairy Association. In 1910, in response to a developing local industry, John Prince established a sawmill in Malanda, it was from this mill. Malanda Post Office opened by January 1912; the northern entrance to the town passes the Malanda Falls. In comparison to the spectacular gorges of the escarpment the falls were created by the last flow of lava from the Malanda Shield Volcano with a cascade of only 4 meters.
The town's swimming pool lies at the bottom of the falls. The name'Malanda', according to some sources, was the local Aboriginal word meaning'waterfalls'; the Malanda Library and Customer Service Centre building opened in 1990. At the 2006 census, Malanda had a population of 1,009. Malanda has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: 1 Eacham Place: Majestic Picture Theatre Malanda Falls Park: Malanda Falls Swimming Pool Monash Ave: St James Catholic Church The Malanda Falls Conservation Park — just opposite the Malanda Falls the park offers a short walk through the rainforest and an opportunity to see a wide range of rainforest trees; the Peeramon Hotel — 6 kilometres to the east of the town is the Peeramon Hotel, once a siding for the Tolga-Millaa Millaa railway. Today the solitary pub is the only reminder of a once-thriving town, surveyed in 1907; the publican has a collection of antique telephones. The hotel suffered some serious damage from Cyclone Larry in March 2006; the Malanda Art Trail starts at the town library.
Nine vibrant artworks commemorate the rich history of Malanda's community - the Original Inhabitants and Struggles, Commerce, Early Settlers, the Dairy Industry and Looking Ahead. Close study of the individual mosaics reveals many details camouflaged in the intricate designs, the handmade ceramic border tiles tell more about the theme of the central mosaic. Mosaics were made by former resident Felicity Wallis. Swim with platypus at the base of Malanda Falls in the crocodile-free North Johnstone river. Drive right over the top of Malanda Falls, where tree-kangaroos have been noted crossing the road; the Majestic Theatre is said to be the oldest continually-operating cinema in Australia and has potato sack seating on 14 December 1929 it was dedicated by Fred Browning, Superintendent of the Atherton Ambulance centre. Mr. Browning produced, stage performed in the opening concert; the Malanda Hotel has a grand ballroom and staircase and is claimed to be the largest wooden structure in Australia. The Historical Resource Centre in Elizabeth Street is the meeting room and archival repository for all printed and photographic collections of the Eacham Historical Society.
It houses a comprehensive library of books pertaining to the history of North Queensland. These books are available for perusal and study at the centre by students and members of the general public. Books can be borrowed by members of the society; the Land Settlement Registers, which contain the names of all the first settlers in the Atherton Land Agent's District, are available for perusal and research. The handwritten registers contain a wealth of information about the early settlement of the Atherton tablelands; the Resource Centre is open Tuesday evenings 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Thursday mornings, 9.00 am to noon. Malanda State School caters for students from Prep to Year 6, it opened on 4 August 1913. Malanda State High School is for students from Year 7 to Year 12, it opened on 23 January 1961. Tablelands Regional Council operates the Malanda Library at Malanda, it is open Tuesday to Saturday. The Malanda branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the QCWA Hall at 3 Elizabeth Street.
Charles English, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly Jack M
Chillagoe is a town and locality in northern Queensland, Australia. It is within the local government area of Shire of Mareeba, it was once a thriving mining town for a range of minerals, but is now reduced to a small zinc mine and some marble quarries. In the 2011 census, Chillagoe had a population of 192 people. Just out of town is the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park containing limestone caves. There are between 1,000 caves in the Chillagoe-Mungana area; the caves, the spectacular karst landscape and the mining and smelting history are the main tourist attractions to the region. It has been stated by leading geologist Professor Ian Plimer that the Chillagoe region has the most diverse geology in the world. Chillagoe was named by William Atherton in 1888; the name is taken from the refrain of a sea shanty: "Hikey, Psyche, Chillagoe, Walabadorie". James Mulligan had explored the area in 1873 and Atherton backed up his reports of rich copper outcrops in the area. Mining pioneer John Moffat sent prospectors to the field in 1888 and monopolised the field.
A receiving office opened in 1891 but closed in 1893. A post office opened in 1900 with F. Donner as the postmaster; the Chillagoe Railway and Mining Company's line opened from Mareeba in 1901 and a Town Reserve was proclaimed 27 October 1910. Chillagoe is sometimes remembered for its involvement in the Mungana affair, a mining scandal which brought down the government. In 1919, after fluctuating fortunes and closures, ownership of the smelter was transferred to the Queensland Government; this acquisition by the Labor Government brought allegations of political corruption which persisted for many years. Closures plagued the smelter again in the late 1920s; when the Labor Party lost power in 1929, the new government ordered a Royal Commission into the incident. The political careers of two former Queensland Premiers,'Red' Ted Theodore and William McCormack, were ruined by the Commission’s report. Read the famous book by Frank Hardy: "Power without Glory"; the Chillagoe Public Library opened in 2002.
Chillagoe State School opened on 1 April 1902. At the 2006 census, Chillagoe had a population of 227. Chillagoe has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Chillagoe smelters Mungana Archaeological Area Woothakata is a property on beautiful Chillagoe creek named after the early Tableland shire which Chillagoe was a part of. Woothakata is an Aboriginal word which describes the way Aborigines traveled to Ngarrabullgan/Mount Mulligan, an important meeting place; the heritage-listed Chillagoe smelters, the cemetery and the many old mines attract history buffs to the area. The Mareeba Shire Council operates a public library in Chillagoe at 21-23 Queen Street. University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Chillagoe and Chillagoe Shire
Far North Queensland
Far North Queensland is the northernmost part of the state of Queensland, Australia. Centered on the city of Cairns, the region stretches north to the Torres Strait, west to the Gulf Country; the region has Australia's only international border, with the independent nation of Papua New Guinea. The region is home to three World Heritage Sites, the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics of Queensland and Riversleigh, Australia's largest fossil mammal site. Far North Queensland lays claim to over 70 national parks, including Mount Bartle Frere; the Far North region is the only region of Australia, home to both the Aboriginal Australians and the Torres Strait Islanders. Far North Queensland supports a significant agricultural sector, a number of significant mines and is home to Queensland's largest wind farm, the Windy Hill Wind Farm. Various government departments and agencies have different definitions for the region; the Queensland Government department of Trade and Investment Queensland defines the region as an area comprising the following 25 local government areas.
The main population and administrative centre of the region is the city of Cairns. Other key population centres include Cooktown, the Atherton Tableland, Weipa and the Torres Strait Islands; the region consists of many Aboriginal and farming groups. The northeastern point of Highway 1 passes through the region in the city of Cairns and connects the southern-running Bruce Highway to the western-running Savannah Way. Highway 1 circumnavigates the continent at a length of 14,500 kilometres and is the second-longest national highway in the world after the Pan-American Highway. Despite being Highway 1, not all sections of the Savannah Way are designated as a federally funded National Highway and certain sections remain unsealed. Significant industries include tourism, cattle grazing and mining of both sand and bauxite. Agricultural products generate between $600 and $700 million a year. Sugar cane, tropical fruits including bananas, papaya and coffee are grown in Far North Queensland; the region is home to the world's biggest silica mine at Cape Flattery.
The mine was established in 1967 and was damaged by Cyclone Ita in 2014. Rio Tinto Alcan operates a bauxite mine on the western coast of Cape York Peninsula near Weipa which contains one of the largest bauxite deposits in the world. In recent years, Far North Queensland has become known for its artistic and creative offerings, with the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns Festival both held annually. Active arts organisation include the Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns Civic Theatre, Cairns Art Gallery; the region supports a large tourism industry and is considered a premier tourist destination in Australia. Nearly one third of international visitors to the state come to the region. Attractions include the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and other Queensland tropical rain forests within the Wet Tropics of Queensland heritage area, the Atherton Tableland, Hinchinbrook Island and other resort islands such as Dunk Island and Green Island. Major attractions around and in Cairns include The Reef Hotel Casino, Kuranda Scenic Railway, Barron Falls and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Towns and localities attracting large numbers of tourists include Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas, Mission Beach and Cardwell. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the region's population at 280,638 in 2014; the region contains 25.6% of the state's Indigenous population, or 28,909 people, making up 11.8% of the region's population. Far North Queensland is the location of the first amber fossils to be found in Australia; the four-million-year-old fossils were found on a beach in Cape York Peninsula but were washed ashore after drifting with the currents for about 200 km. In the 1860s, Richard Daintree discovered gold and copper deposits along several rivers which led early prospectors to the area; the region suffered Queensland's worst maritime disaster on 4 March 1899 when the Mahina Cyclone destroyed all 100 ships moored in Princess Charlotte Bay. The entire North Queensland pearling fleet was in the bay at the time of the cyclone. 100 Aboriginals assisting survivors and 307 men from the pearling fleet were drowned.
Its pressure was measured at 914 hPa with a recorded tidal surge of 13 m, the highest in Australia. The 1918 Mackay cyclone hit the Queensland coast in January of that year. In March 1997, Cyclone Justin resulted in the deaths of seven people. In early 2000, Cyclone Steve caused major flooding between Mareeba. Cyclone Larry crossed the Queensland coast near Innisfail in March 2006; the storm damaged 10,000 homes. 80% of Australia's banana crop was destroyed. Cyclone Monica was the most intense cyclone on record in terms of wind speed to cross the Australian coast, it impacted the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland in April 2006. In January 2011, Cyclone Yasi passed over Tully and resulted in an estimated $3.6 billion worth of damage, making it the costliest cyclone to hit Australia. The name Tropical North Queensland is sometimes used to refer to the region. However, the phrase is ambiguous and may be used to name a wider area including parts of North Queensland, or Mackay. Proposal for a new state of North
Mornington Island is the northernmost of 22 islands that form the Wellesley Islands group. The island is in the Gulf of Carpentaria and is part of the Gulf Country region in the Australian state of Queensland; the Manowar and Rocky Islands Important Bird Area lies about 40 kilometres to the north-west. Mornington Island is the largest of the islands, the largest settlement of, Gununa on the south-west of the island; the general topography of the island is flat with the maximum elevation of 150 metres. The island contains 10 estuaries, all in near pristine condition; the population was estimated to be 1,143 in 2016 and the majority of the citizens live in the township of Gununa. Mornington Island is included in the Shire of Mornington local government area; the majority of the islanders are Aboriginal. Lardil are the predominant clan group on Mornington Island and are the traditional owners of the land and surrounding seas; the Kaiadilt clan arrived more from nearby Bentinck Island, when that island's water supply was contaminated by salt after a cyclone.
Recent re-building work on aboriginal housing has been undertaken by the James Fraser Foundation, a non-profit organisation in Queensland. Macassan trepangers once travelled thousands of kilometres from Sulawesi to Mornington Island and other Australian mainland destinations in search of sea cucumbers; the eastern cape of the island was named Cape Van Diemen after Anthony van Diemen. Commander Matthew Flinders named the island after Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, known when younger as the Earl of Mornington. Gununa Post Office opened by 1982; the Mornington Island Airport was a temporary airfield used by the RAAF and allied air forces during World War II. Penile subincision is still traditionally performed on the island for those wanting to learn a complex ceremonial language called Damin; the Mornington Island State School opened on 28 January 1975. In 1978, the Queensland government decided to take over control of both the Aurukun and Mornington Island Aboriginal reserves. Cyclones hit the island.
In 2000 Cyclone Steve passed directly over the island. Tropical Cyclone May passed in February 1988 and Tropical Cyclone Bernie passed to the west in early 2002. Tropical Cyclone Fritz passed directly over the island on 12 February 2003. Severe Tropical Cyclone Harvey caused damage on the island in February, 2005. Mornington Island State School offers kindergarten and limited secondary schooling for boys and girls operated by the Queensland Government at 500 Lardil Street. In 2016, the school had an enrolment of 248 students with 16 non-teaching staff. Mornington Island was the site of research over several decades by British anthropologist David McKnight, described in a series of books, People and the Rainbow Serpent: Systems of classification among the Lardil of Mornington Island, From Hunting to Drinking: The devastating effects of alcohol on an Australian Aboriginal community, Going the Whiteman’s Way: Kinship and marriage among Australian Aborigines and Of Marriage and Sorcery: The quest for power in northern Queensland.
McKnight lamented the increasing levels of violence since the 1970s. Indigenous art of Mornington Island is described in The Heart of Everything: The art and artists of Mornington & Bentinck Islands, ed. N. Evans, L. Martin-Chew and P. Memmott. A tribe of indigenous people on the island have been communicating with wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins for millennium, it is said that they have "a medicine man who "speaks" to them telepathically. By these communications he assures that the tribes’ fortunes and happiness are maintained." In 2003 the Government of Queensland implemented an Alcohol Management Plan to 19 indigenous communities in Queensland where alcohol abuse was rampant. The alcohol bans are aimed at alleviating high levels of domestic violence, child abuse and child neglect; the plan restricts tavern opening hours, limits sales to only light and mid-strength beers, bans takeaway alcohol sales and home brewing. The Mornington Island community has been described as the toughest in Queensland when it comes to resisting alcohol bans.
In December 2003 police reinforcements had to be sent to Mornington Island after riots broke out when tough new alcohol laws were introduced. In 2008 more riots were feared after the Lelka Murrin Hotel, one of only two liquor retailers on the island, closed due to the proprietor being ill. Extra police were sent to the island to stop any unauthorised sale of alcohol and to quash any alcohol-fueled violence that may have erupted at a time when violent incidents on the island were common; as per 2018, alcohol continues to be a major social and health problem. The alcohol ban on the island has led to locals home brewing, which in turn is providing unlimited quantities of cheap alcohol. List of islands of Australia Sydney Island Mornington Island Weather & Community Portal Junkuri Laka Welleslaey Islands Aboriginal Law Justice and Governance Association
Port Douglas is a town and a locality in the Shire of Douglas, Australia 70 km north of Cairns. In the 2016 census, Port Douglas had a population of 3,504 people; the town's population can double, with the influx of tourists during the peak tourism season from May to September. The town is named in honour of a former Premier of John Douglas. Port Douglas developed based on the mining industry. Other parts of the area were established with timber cutting occurring in the area surrounding the Daintree River and with settlement starting to occur on lots around the Mossman River by 1880. Previous names for the town included Island Point, Port Owen and Salisbury; the town is situated adjacent to two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Port Douglas was No. 3 on Australian Traveller magazine's list of 100 Best Towns In Australia. The town is within the federal electorate of Leichhardt, within the state electorate of Cook. At the local level, it is in the local government area of Shire of Douglas.
The Port Douglas township was established in 1877 after the discovery of gold at Hodgkinson River by James Venture Mulligan. Port Douglas Post Office opened on 1 September 1877, it grew and at its peak Port Douglas had a population of 12,000 and 27 hotels. With the construction of the Mulligan Highway it serviced towns as far away as Herberton. Port Douglas State School opened on 11 November 1879, but closed in 1962, it was reopened on 23 January 1989. When the Kuranda Railway from Cairns to Kuranda was completed in 1891, the importance of Port Douglas dwindled along with its population. A cyclone in 1911 which demolished all but two buildings in the town had a significant impact. At its nadir in 1960 the town, by little more than a fishing village, had a population of 100; the Port Douglas War Memorial was unveiled on 10 February 1923 by Mrs Tresize. In the late-1980s, tourism boomed in the region after investor Christopher Skase financed the construction of the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort.
Its permanent population was 3,205 at the time of the 2011 census. Port Douglas has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Macrossan Street: FDA Carstens Memorial Wharf Street: St Mary's by the Sea 6 Dixie Street: Port Douglas Wharf 25 Wharf Street: Port Douglas Court House Museum In the 2016 Census, there were 3,504 people in Port Douglas. 56.6% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 6.3% and New Zealand 5.9%. 76.6% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion, so described 41.1% and Catholic 17.4%. On 5 July 1943, a RAAF Vultee Vengeance crash landed on the beach near Port Douglas. In November 1996 United States President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton chose the town as their only holiday stop on their historic visit to Australia; when dining at a local restaurant they witnessed a couple's wedding certificate. On a return visit on 11 September 2001, Clinton was again dining at a local restaurant, when he was advised of the September 11 attacks.
He returned to the United States the following day. On 4 September 2006, television personality and conservationist Steve Irwin died at Batt Reef, off Port Douglas, after a stingray barb pierced his heart during filming of a documentary called The Ocean's Deadliest. Irwin was filmed snorkelling directly above the stingray when it lashed him with its tail, killing him immediately; the event was reported in Australia and overseas. The annual Port Douglas Carnivale is held in May and runs for 10 days over two weekends, beginning with a parade attracting over 10,000 people. In October Porttoberfest is held; the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival is held during October. Port Douglas was a popular location to view the 14 November 2012 solar eclipse that occurred at 6:38 am. Thousands travelled to Port Douglas to see the phenomenon; the music video for Kylie Minogue's 1988 single "It's No Secret" was filmed in Port Douglas. Port Douglas has a tropical monsoon climate according to Köppen climate classification, with hot summers and warm winters, with heavy rainfall occurring from January–March, the wettest month of the year being February.
The average temperature of the sea ranges from 23.7 °C in July to 29.5 °C in January. Kitesurfing is popular at the southern end of Four Mile Beach during the winter months when trade winds blow from the South. Port Douglas is near the Great Barrier Reef. Numerous companies run daily trips from the marina to the outer reef and the Low Isles for scuba diving and snorkelling. Port Douglas is well known for its many restaurants, golf courses, five star resorts; the Port Douglas Community Hall houses the Port Douglas Library, 11-29 Mowbray Street, operated by the Douglas Shire Council. The Library opened in 2010. Another branch library is located in Mossman; the Port Douglas branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the CWA Hall at 8 Blake Street. Port Douglas State School is a government primary school for girls at Endeavour Street. In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 281 students with 12 non-teaching staff. For secondary school, Port Douglas is within the catchment of Mossman State High School.
Port Douglas Tourism Information Port Douglas News Port Douglas Visitors Guide Port Douglas Webcam Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree University of Queensland: Queensland Places:Port Douglas
Aurukun is a town and locality in the Shire of Aurukun in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is an Indigenous community. In 2019, Aurukun had part of Northern Territory’s Cyclone Trevor, no thanks to it being on the gulf. Aurukun situated 100 kilometres south of Weipa; the town faces west to the Gulf of Carpentaria, during the wet season, roads are impassable. The area is rich in bauxite. At the 2016 census, Aurukun had a population of 1,269, including 1,147 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, up from a total population of 1,043 in 2006. 95.8% of people were born in Australia. 10.6% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Cape York Peninsula Languages 61.6% and Wik Mungkan 14.7%. The most common responses for religion were Uniting Church 44.3%, No Religion 29.3% and Presbyterian and Reformed 11.0%. Aurukun has a plethora of tribal names. There are some 50 to 60 families from five major clan groups, which are split into two factions — the "top end" and "bottom end".
Violent conflict between the two groups creates problems in the community on a regular basis. The first recorded contact between Europeans and Aboriginals was near Aurukun on the Janszoon voyage of 1605–06; the Aurukun Mission was established on 4 August 1904 for the Presbyterian Church of Australia by the Reverend Arthur and Mrs Mary Richter, two Moravian missionaries and managed under the provisions of the Queensland Aborigines Act. Aboriginal people were relocated from a large surrounding area, many against their will, to the mission settlement. Aurukun was "ruled" for 40 years by Reverend William Mackenzie - as the missions Chief Protector for the Aboriginal Protection Board; the town had a sawmill and bakery. Today there is only a general store. Aurukun Post Office opened on 1 July 1972. In 1978, the Queensland government decided to take over control of both the Aurukun and Mornington Island Reserves. Both communities protested seeking the help of the Federal government. After lengthy negotiations, legislation for self-management of the two reserves was introduced into federal parliament and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Act was passed on 7 April 1978.
Further negotiations took place between State and Federal Ministers and on 22 May 1978, the Local Government Act came into force giving a 50-year lease to the Shire of Aurukun to be trustee for the land within the boundaries. Aurukun and Mornington Shire remain the only Aboriginal communities in Queensland constituted as local authorities. With the coming of the missionaries, children were confined to dormitories to isolate them from the influence of their people. However, many people remained outside the mission up until the 1950s, ensuring the culture remained strong. In 1975, the community was placed under direct State government control. In 1978, the Aurukun people were given a 50-year lease on their land under the administration of the shire clerk and an elected Aboriginal Council. Following the Wik case the land has reverted to Native Title held by the Wik people; the focal area of the Wik lies between the Archer and Edward Rivers of Western Cape York Peninsula and inland to Coen. Most Wik people still live in this triangle.
In 2007, nine Aurukun males received probation and other light sentences after being found guilty of raping a ten-year-old girl. The mild sentences received international condemnation and were the catalyst for a review of sexual abuse sentencing in Queensland Indigenous communities. In March 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that standards of justice and child safety had collapsed in Aurukun, that the local community justice group had called for children to be removed from the town for their own safety and wellbeing. Aurukun has a primary school, operated by Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy in a unique partnership with Education Queensland; the school opened on 29 January 1974 and caters for students from pre-prep to year 7. The school remains the only school in Aurukun. Classroom instruction is dedicated to teaching mainstream curriculum in English literacy and numeracy using Direct Instruction; the Direct Instruction method focuses on individual student outcomes and weekly tests with the aim to ensure students are mastering literacy and numeracy basics.
Students are taught a comprehensive Indigenous culture and language program which aims to give children fluency in their own cultures and enjoy the best of both worlds. The school provides an extended school day which involves artistic and sports programs which aims to give children increased confidence and prepare them for moving between homelands and study in the wider world. In 2008, one in three children were not enrolled for primary school. Following welfare reform trials introduced in July 2008, school attendance had risen from an average of 37 per cent to 63 per cent in September 2009. Following incidents where teachers and the principal were threatened, rocks were thrown at their housing, children as young as six tried to steal a car, all teachers were evacuated from the school in May 2016; as a result, the school was closed for six weeks with only distance education programs being continued. The incidents have drawn the effectiveness of the Direct Instruction method into question, as of July 2016 the Queensland Government is implementing an Australian curriculum into the school alongside Direct Instruction.
The Aurukun Primary Health Care Centre is run by Apunipima Cape York Health Council, a community controlled A