Wujal Wujal is a small Aboriginal community on the north and south sides of the Bloomfield River in northern Queensland, Australia. It has an area of 19.94 square kilometres of land. At the 2006 census, Wujal Wujal had a population of 326, it is located 30 kilometres north of Cape Tribulation and 60 kilometres south of Cooktown. Access to the community is via sealed road from Cooktown, or by the Bloomfield Track, an unsealed road from Cape Tribulation, only suitable for four wheel drive vehicles; this is due to the gradient of the terrain and the many streams and rivers that make up the Daintree drainage basin which cross the path at regular intervals. During high waterflow the road from Cape Tribulation is impassable; the rare Bloomfield River Cod is found only in the Bloomfield River and is named after this community. The community of Wujal Wujal is located in the Cape York region with the surrounding environment and cultural tourism attracting many people to the region. Wujal Wujal is part of the traditional homelands of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji.
The name ‘Wujal Wujal’ or ‘many falls’ is derived from the local language. There are several Indigenous languages spoken within this community; the Bloomfield River mission was established on land belonging to the Kuku-Yalanji people. The first recorded Europeans to visit the Bloomfield River were Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Frederick Bedwell and Captain Phillip Parker King on board the HMS Mermaid on a hydrological survey of the east coast of Australia. In June 1819, HMS Mermaid anchored in Weary Bay and:"Mr. Bedwell was sent to examine the opening, called Blomfield's Rivulet …Near the entrance upon the bank of the inlet several huts were noticed, near them Mr. Bedwell found a canoe. In 1872, William Hann was commissioned by the Queensland Government to explore Cape York Peninsula to assess its mineral and land resources. On their return, the party reached the coast at Weary Bay and followed the Bloomfield River upstream. Hann was responsible for discovering and naming the Palmer and Daintree rivers.
One of Hann’s party discovered gold on the Palmer River. After hearing of the discovery, James Venture Mulligan led an expedition to the Palmer River in 1873. Mulligan reported that the sandbars of the river glittered with gold, which started a huge gold rush to the district. By late 1873, the first government officials and prospectors came ashore at the Endeavour River accompanied by a detachment of Native Police. In 1874, Cooktown was established. Within 4 months and the Palmer River goldfield had a population of about 3,000 people, many of whom were Chinese immigrants. By 1880, the population of Cooktown had grown to about 7,000. Conflict between the Europeans and local Aboriginal people began immediately. In October 1873, 93 miners set out from the Endeavour River to blaze a track to the Palmer River. There were several skirmishes along the way, culminating in a pitched battle between about 150 Aboriginal warriors and the expedition members at their camp near the Normanby River; the site of this encounter was subsequently named ‘Battle Camp’.
A contemporary newspaper published the following account of the battle from one of the expedition members:"Blacks surprised us at daybreak, about 150, all were armed. They were unable to penetrate the thick scrub; the Native Police officer reported that they had found the Aborigines "exceedingly daring appearing in most threatening attitudes" and had to disperse them on three or four occasions". In 1875, a prospecting party on the Bloomfield River was attacked and driven back to Cooktown by Aboriginal people; the Native Police established a camp at Laura in 1875. A further detachment under the command of Sub-Inspector O’Connor arrived in January 1876; the first pastoralists in the Bloomfield River district were Frederick Bauer. Bauer established the Bloomfield River Sugar Company on the north side of the river with imported Malay labour; the town of Ayton was established around the sugar mill. The Kuku Yalanji people continued to resist the invasion of their lands by the miners and timber getters.
Frontier violence in the region was a frequent occurrence during the 1870s, resulting in hundreds of casualties. During the 1880s there was a gradual change in north Queensland in the government policy of taking the country by lethal force. Instead, Aboriginal people were removed off their country on to missions, where they would not trouble the settlers and provided a cheap source of labour; this policy change resulted in a decision to establish two Aboriginal reserves in the Cooktown district. In 1885, Lutheran missionary Johann Flierl was travelling to New Guinea to establish a mission, when he was unexpectedly delayed in Cooktown. While there, he negotiated with the Queensland Government to establish a mission close to Cooktown at Cape Be
Cooktown is a town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Australia. Cooktown is located about 2,000 kilometres north of Brisbane and 328 kilometres north of Cairns, by road. Cooktown is about 857 kilometres south of Cape York by road. At the time of the 2016 census, Cooktown had a population of 2,631. Cooktown is at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. Both the town and Mount Cook which rises up behind the town were named after James Cook. Cooktown is one of the few large towns in the Cape York Peninsula and was founded on 25 October 1873 as a supply port for the goldfields along the Palmer River, it was called "Cook's Town" until 1 June 1874. In the local Guugu Yimithirr language the name for the region is Gangaar Aboriginal pronunciation:, which means " Rock Crystals." Quartz crystals were used in various Aboriginal ceremonies across the continent and are found in the vicinity. The site of modern Cooktown was the meeting place of two vastly different cultures when, in June 1770, the local Aboriginal Guugu Yimithirr tribe cautiously watched the crippled sailing ship – His Majesty's Bark Endeavour – limp up the coast seeking a safe harbour after sustaining serious damage to its wooden hull on the Endeavour Reef, south of Cooktown.
The Guugu Yimithirr people saw the Endeavour beach in the calm waters near the mouth of their river, which they called "Wahalumbaal". The captain of the Endeavour, Lieutenant James Cook, wrote: "... it was happy for us that a place of refuge was at hand. The British crew spent seven weeks on the site of present-day Cooktown, repairing their ship, replenishing food and water supplies, caring for their sick; the extraordinary scientist, Joseph Banks, Swedish naturalist Daniel Solander, who accompanied Cook on the expedition, collected and documented over 200 new species of plants. The young artist Sydney Parkinson illustrated the specimens and he was the first British artist to portray Aboriginal people from direct observation. After some weeks, Joseph Banks met and spoke with the local people, recording about 50 Guugu Yimithirr words, including the name of the intriguing animal the natives called gangurru. Cook recorded the local name as "Kangooroo, or Kanguru"; the first recorded sighting of kangaroos by Europeans was on Grassy Hill, which rises above the place where the ship was beached.
Cook climbed this hill to work out a safe passage for the Endeavour to sail through the surrounding reefs, after it was repaired. "The visit on the 19th of July 1770 ended in a skirmish after Cook refused to share the turtles he kept on the Endeavour with the local inhabitants. They set fire to the grass around Cook's camp twice, killing a suckling pig. After Cook wounded one of the men with a musket, they ran away. Cook and some others followed them and caught up with them on a rocky bar near Furneaux Street, now known as Reconciliation Rocks. A “little old man” appeared from the group of Indigenous Australians and they were reconciled; this was an important historic event as it is believed that this is the first recorded reconciliation between Europeans and Indigenous Australians ever."Cook named the river the "Endeavour" after his ship, and, as they sailed north, he hoisted the flag known as the "Queen Anne Jack" and claimed possession of the whole eastern coast of Australia for Britain. He named Cape York Peninsula after the then-Duke of Albany.
"In 1886 the people of Cooktown were anxious to recover the brass guns of the Endeavour which were thrown overboard, in order to place them as a memento in their town. The next recorded European expedition to the area was nearly 50 years when another botanist, Allan Cunningham, accompanying Captain Phillip Parker King, visited the remarkable region in 1819-20, he collected numerous botanical specimens for the British Museum and Kew Gardens. In 1872, William Hann discovered gold in southwest of Cooktown, his findings were reported to James Venture Mulligan who led an expedition to the Palmer River in 1873. Mulligan's expedition found quantities of alluvial gold and thus began the gold rush, to bring prospectors to the Endeavour River from all over the world; the Queensland government responded to Mulligan's reports, soon a party was dispatched to advise whether the Endeavour River would be a suitable site for a port. Shortly after, a new township was established at the site of the present town, on the southern bank of the river and Cooktown Post Office opened on 1 January 1874.
The Palmer goldfields and its centre, were growing quickly. The recorded output of gold from 1873 to 1890 was over half a million ounces. Cooktown was the port through which this gold was exported and supplies for the goldfields brought in. Word of the gold spread, Cooktown was soon thriving, as prospectors arrived from around the world. Population estimates vary but there were around 7,000 people in the area and about 4,000 permanent residents in the town by 1880. At that time, Cooktown boasted a large number of hotels and guest houses. There were 47 licensed pubs within the town boundaries in 1874 although this nu
Tully is a town and locality in the Cassowary Coast Region, Australia. It is adjacent to the Bruce Highway 140 kilometres south of Cairns by road and 210 kilometres north of Townsville. In the 2016 census, Tully had a population of 2,390 people; the Tully River was named after Surveyor-General William Alcock Tully in the 1870s. The town of Tully was named after the river when it was surveyed off when the sugar mill was erected in 1924. A settlement known as Banyan had grown up on the other side of Banyan Creek during the previous decade. Tully is one of the larger towns of the Cassowary Coast Region; the economic base of the region is agriculture. The sugar cane grown at the many farms in the district is processed locally at the Tully Sugar Mill to give raw sugar, shipped elsewhere for refinement; the Tully River area was settled once Cardwell, to the south, was established. The river was renamed in 1872 in honour of William Alcock Tully under-secretary for public lands and chief commissioner of crown lands in Queensland.
The first settlers were the nephews of James Tyson. It was not until the government constructed a sugar mill in 1925. Tully was within the Cardwell Division, which became the Shire of Cardwell in 1903; the original headquarters for the division/shire were in older town of Cardwell. In 1929, the decision was taken to relocate the shire council's headquarters to the newer but more populous town of Tully; the first council meeting held in Tully was on 27 June 1929. A new shire chambers was built in 1930 on the south-east corner of Morris Streets. At the 2011 census, Tully had a population of 2,436. Tully remained the administrative centre for the Shire of Cardwell, until the shire was amalgamated into the Cassowary Coast Region in 2008; the regional council has its headquarters in Innisfail. In March 2015, a farm at Tully tested positive for the soil-borne Panama disease. Follow-up testing confirmed the results. One of the strains of the disease affects all types of bananas and has only been detected in the Northern Territory.
Harvesting continued on the property with strict protocols allowing the farm to continue to operate and distribute product without posing a threat. Tully has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: 17 Mars Street: Tully State School 69 Bryant Street: Tully Court House Tully has a tropical rainforest climate. With an average annual rainfall exceeding 4,000 millimetres, the highest annual rainfall in a populated area of Australia, Tully is arguably the wettest town in Australia – a rivalry exists between Tully and the nearby town of Babinda for said title in which most years Babinda wins. Although Tully's average rainfall is less than Babinda, in 2003 a giant gumboot was erected as a monument to the town's climate. Buildings in Tully were badly damaged by Cyclone Yasi on 3 February 2011. According to residents, Tully was "...a scene of mass devastation". An unknown number of homes were destroyed as intense winds, estimated at 300 km/h, battered the area. Many other homes not destroyed or roof damage.
As daybreak came, reports from the town stated that about 90 percent of the structures along the main avenue sustained extensive damage. The Cassowary Coast Regional Council operates the Dorothy Jones Library at Tully; the Tully branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the CWA Hall at 5 Plumb Street. Tully railway station is a prominent station on the main North Coast Railway Line, situated just over halfway between Townsville and Cairns. By 10 December 1924, Tully was connected with both Innisfail. Tully State High School has serviced students in the Tully district since its establishment in 1964. Tully State High School has an enrolment of 630 students; as of 2016, Richard Graham is the principal of the school. Tully State High School has been accredited as a Centre of Excellence in Mathematics and Technology and is one of only a few Reef Guardian schools; the campus is situated on extensive grounds, 38 hectares, includes an aquaculture centre, a worm farm, an arboretum, a herd of cattle and several sports fields.
The high school has since been rebuilt. Tully State School caters to the educational needs of the town's primary school children; when erected in 1924, it was known as Banyan Provisional and has since gone through a number of name changes: Tully Provisional. The school's current motto is "Work well and succeed". St. Clare's Parish School is a Catholic primary school, erected in 1928. Tully Tigers, is the local Rugby League club. One of their most famous juniors is former Cowboys forward Peter Jones. Tully was once one of the biggest sporting hubs in Far North Queensland, but since the economic crisis has hit, they are looking for more and more ways to support their clubs. Tully is the last place; the Golden Gumboot is in the park on corner of Hort Street. Built in 2003, the Gumboot is 6.1 metres long and 7. 9 metres high.
Yungaburra is a town located on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, not far from Cairns. In the 2011 census, Yungaburra had a population of 1,116 people; the name'Yungaburra' comes from the local Yidiny word janggaburru, denoting the Queensland silver ash. The landscape around Yungaburra has been shaped by millennia of volcanic activity; the most recent eruptions were 10,000 years ago. Notable geological features nearby include: Seven Sisters and Mount Quincan are volcanic cones. Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are lakes inside volcanic craters. Mount Hypipamee Crater is a diatreme. Tinaroo Dam submerged the old town of Kulara is visible, on whose cricket-pitch, when drought conditions drastically lower the water-level, locals play cricket matches. Prior to European settlement the area around Yungaburra was inhabited by about sixteen different indigenous groups, among them the Ngatjan, with the custodians being Yidinji people and neighbouring Ngajanji people; the Queensland police and native troops carried out extensive massacres in the area to rid it of blacks.
In one incident in 1884, at Skull Pocket just north of the town, a group of Yidinji were surrounded at night, at dawn mowed down after they fled on hearing the first shot. The children were stabbed to death by native troopers. In the early 1880s the area around Allumbah Pocket was used as an overnight stop for miners travelling west from the coast. In 1886 the land was surveyed, in 1891 settlers moved in. In 1910 the railway arrived, the town was renamed Yungaburra, to avoid confusion with another town called Allumbah. By 1911 indigenous numbers had fallen to 20% of the pre-settlement population due to disease, conflict with settlers and loss of habitat. At the 2006 census, Yungaburra had a population of 932; the population of Yungaburra is 1,034 persons as of 30 June 2009. In 2006, The Atherton Tableland region was damaged by the Category 4 Cyclone Larry. Of the 19 heritage listed sites in Yungaburra, only the roofs of the community hall, police station and one of the bush cottages were badly damaged, as were the front of the Yungaburra Butchery and Gem Gallery sign.
The town was restored quickly. Yungaburra has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: 27 Atherton Road: Bank of New South Wales 6-10 Cedar Street: Yungaburra Court House 7-9 Cedar Street: 7-9 Cedar Street, Yungaburra 12 Cedar Street: Residence 15-17 Cedar Street: Yungaburra Post Office 16-20 Cedar Street: Williams' House 19 Cedar Street: Yungaburra Community Centre 32 Cedar: Billy Madrid's House 34 Cedar Street: Barber's Shop, Yungaburra Curtain Fig Tree Road: Curtain Fig Tree 7 Eacham Road: St Marks Anglican Church 25-33 Eacham Road: Cairns Plywood Pty Ltd Sawmill Complex 20 Gillies Highway: Eden House Restaurant 2 Kehoe Place: Butchers Shop 6-8 Kehoe Place: Lake Eacham Hotel 7 Mulgrave Road: Allumbah 4 Oak Street: Residence 1 Penda Street: St Patricks Catholic Church on the shores of Lake Tinaroo, the Afghanistan Avenue of Honour Yungaburra's economy today revolves around tourism, the town contains a primary school, post office, library/telecentre and a range of businesses and services for the use of residents and visitors.
Other facilities include a bowling club. The town has 18 Heritage Listed buildings, is the largest National Trust village in Queensland; the Yungaburra Markets, held on the fourth Saturday of each month, are one of the largest in Far North Queensland, each year around the end of October, Yungaburra holds the two-day Yungaburra Folk Festival, featuring concerts from Australian folk musicians. Yungaburra is the site of the war memorial to soldiers lost, opened 22 June 2013. There is a network of walking tracks around the town including Peterson's Creek. Allumbah Pocket is a picnic area on Peterson's Creek, it is the centre for a series of walking tracks along the creek. Tracks lead to Frawley's Pool, a popular swimming hole and picnic area further to Yungaburra's historical train bridge. In the opposite direction there is a track to the platypus viewing deck. Aside from this all of the tracks are easy and short enough for anyone to do; the site is dedicated to Geoff Tracy, a local renowned environmentalist who died in 2004.
Yungaburra has access to the southern arm of Lake Tinaroo, popular for fishing, sailing, water-skiing and camping. The other main places to get to Tinaroo are the township of Tinaroo; the Curtain Fig Tree, just out of Yungaburra, is a giant rainforest fig tree with roots hanging down, giving it the appearance of curtains. There is a short boardwalk around the tree. Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham are crater lakes, formed from volcanoes. Lake Eacham is popular for swimming and Lake Barrine has a teahouse and gift shop as well as cruises around the lake however is unsuitable for swimming due to the cruise boats. Both lakes have walking tracks around them. Lake Barrine's track is Lake Eacham's is 3 kilometres. There are a number of places to dine, from takeaway to fine dining. Yungaburra State School is a government primary school at 4 Maple Street. In 2017 the school had an enrolment of 213 students with 13 non-teaching staff; the nearest public secondary school is Atherton State High School. Yungaburra has a library at Maud Kehoe Park operated by the Tablelands Regional Council.
The Yungaburra branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the QCWA Hall on the corner of Cedar Street and the Gillies Highway. Notable people from or who have lived in Yungaburra include: George Alfred
Georgetown is a town and locality in the Shire of Etheridge, Australia. In the 2011 census, Georgetown had a population of 243 people. Georgetown is on the Etheridge River in Australia; the Gulf Developmental Road passes through the town, linking Cairns - 380 kilometres to the east - and Normanton - 301 kilometres to the west. Georgetown is the administrative headquarters of the Shire of Etheridge, a local government area encompassing the nearby settlements of Mount Surprise and Einasleigh. Georgetown area may have been part of North America 1.7 billion years ago based on the characteristics of rocks found in Georgetown matching those of northern Canada rather than the rest of Australia. Researchers at Curtin University have postulated that 100 million years this landmass collided with what is now northern Australia, at the Mount Isa region, forming the Nuna supercontinent. Georgetown was on the northern border of Ewamin lands; the Etheridge River was the site of a gold rush in the 1870s. Known by the name Etheridge, the town's name was changed in 1871 to honour an early gold commissioner, Howard St George.
Georgetown Post Office opened on 15 January 1872. Georgetown State School opened on 14 September 1874. By 1900 grazing had replaced gold mining as the region's primary source of income; the Georgetown Public Library opened in 2003. At the 2006 census, Georgetown had a population of 254. Georgetown has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Gulf Developmental Road: Aspasia Mine and Battery South Street: Antbed House Georgetown has a racecourse, swimming pool and a tourist information centre and camping/caravan park; the Etheridge Shire Council operates a public library at Georgetown. The Georgetown branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association has its rooms on the Gulf Developmental Road; the Terrestrial Information Centre contains the Ted Elliot Mineral Collection, comprising over 4500 local and international mineral specimens. In 2014, Georgetown State School had an enrolment of 57 students with 3 teachers. Georgetown is one of the real locations mentioned several times in the novel A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute.
University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Georgetown Etheridge Shire Council Town information Town map, 1983 1.7-Billion-Year-Old Chunk of North America Found Sticking to Australia
, Dimbulah is a town and locality in Far North Queensland, Australia, 114 kilometres from Cairns by road, on the Atherton Tableland. It is within the local government area of Shire of Mareeba. At the 2011 census, Dimbulah had a population of 1,414; the former mining town of Wolfram is located in the north-west of the locality. There are historical ruins of early mining there as well as a present-day open cut mine; the town was established in 1876 to service the Tyrconnell Gold Mine, one of the richest mines on the Hodgkinson Gold Fields. The name "Dimbulah" is thought to have come from the local Indigenous Australian word for "long waterhole", referring to the Walsh River that runs nearby the town. Dimboola Post Office opened by 1900 and was renamed Dimbulah in 1904; the Dimbulah Public Library opened in 1995 with a minor refurbishment in 2013. The area around Dimbulah was home to the Djankun and Kuku Djungan tribe. During the 1920s the Queensland government forcibly removed most of their children, forcing the tribe to scatter.
In the early 1900s the area received an influx of Italian migrants and in 1928 tobacco was introduced, becoming the area's major industry soon after. At its peak, there were 800 growers in the area, producing over 8,000 tonnes of tobacco a year.'The Way Back In' is an Australian heritage project that documents a small selection of Australian heritage within the Italian communities in Dimbulah and Cairns. Tobacco remained the dominant crop until recent years. Recent attempts at alternative crops such as tea trees, sugar cane, lemons, avocados, papayas, soya beans, lychees and cash crops have met with mixed success. Farming is a significant employment option in Dimbulah and many travelers, including backpackers, are employed as short-term farm labourers during the busy mango harvest from November to January. Holders of a working holiday visa may be eligible for an extension to their visa after a period of work on farms in the area. Accommodation is available at the Junction Hotel. If employed on a farm, accommodation is available in small'dongas' or barracks.
Public transport from Cairns is possible, although infrequent, on Trans North's bus service which stops at Mareeba, 45 kilometres from Dimbulah. The Savannahlander tourist train does not operate year-round. Important local events include the annual Lion's Festival and the Great Wheelbarrow Race both held annually in May. On 27 September 2014, the Dimbulah P-10 State School celebrated its centenary. Local residents enjoy a tropical climate with dry, mild winters. There are many sporting clubs including swimming, horse & pony, lawn bowls, Rhee Taekwon-Do, soccer/football. Services include Police station, Queensland Health clinic, ADSL internet, 3G mobile service. In 2013, the town's retail facilities include a Bendigo Community Bank with 24-hour ATM, Australia Post office, Mareeba Discount Chemist, Funky Mango Cafe, Canzian's Restaurant, Junction Hotel, Abundant Life opp shop, Sunshine Bakery, two salons, TGT hardware store, Foodworks grocery store, One Stop convenience store and two petrol stations.
Community groups include the Dimbulah Community Centre, St Anthony's Catholic church, Men's Shed, Lions Club, QCWA, Chamber of Commerce, museum association, several other faith-based groups. The Mareeba Shire operates a public library at Shire Hall at the corner of Raleigh Street and Burke Development Road; the Dimbulah branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the QCWA Hall at 22 Brickley Street. Chris Sheppard, former NRL player Dimbulah has a number of sites listed on the Queensland Heritage Register including: Main Street, Wolfram: La Société Française des Métaux Rares treatment plant Wolfram Road, Wolfram: Thermo Electric Ore Reduction Corporation Mill Dimbulah Limited Hours Child Care, Age range 15 months - 5 years Dimbulah Kindergarten, Age range 3–5 years Dimbulah P-10 State School, Age range: 4–16 years St Anthony's Parish School Age range: 4-12 University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Dimbulah Town map of Dimbulah, 1984
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