The Kookaburra

Issue 14 - 24 July 2018 Posted: Tuesday 24 July 2018


This year’s NAIDOC theme – Because of her, we can! – celebrated the inspiring legacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women past, present and emerging.

The theme has been among the most powerful in living memory by shining a spotlight on the extraordinary – yet often untold or unknown – achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women hold an important place in our shared history and in the heart of families and communities as leaders, social change advocates, teachers and nurturers, paving the way for generations to come.

The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) implemented a NAIDOC Week community awareness campaign, which included the popular children’s activity packs (PDF, 3.9 MB) and a heart-warming digital campaign #celebratingdeadlywomen.

The department also proudly sponsored a number of events and initiatives including:

  • Various local NAIDOC Week events across the regions, including the state’s flagship event Musgrave Park Family Fun Day on Friday 13 July 2018.
  • Celebrations at 1 William Street in Brisbane from Monday 9 to Thursday 12 July 2018, including comedy, spoken word, First Nations artisan markets, trivia and traditional dance.
  • Light, artwork and banner displays on key landmarks, infrastructure and public spaces including those in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville, Cairns and the Torres Strait.

Our state continues to be influenced by positive change brought about by strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and this is worth celebrating not just during NAIDOC Week, but beyond.

For more information about the DATSIP’s NAIDOC activities visit our website and take a look at our recap video on MobTube.

Young, Black and Proud

Young people from across Queensland have been recognised through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane Young, Black and Proud Scholarship program.

The Queensland Government, through the Queensland Family and Child Commission, has partnered with ATSICHS Brisbane this year to contribute $60,000 towards these scholarships for young people who exhibit outstanding promise in education, sports or the arts.

With more than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples under 25, this is a significant investment towards closing the gap on education.

Scholarships have been awarded to young Indigenous Queenslanders from Saibai Island to the Gold Coast and everywhere in between, to help them to pursue their future careers.

Recipients include budding pilots, nurses, electricians, and community workers; artists, dancers, singers and actors; and students of law and medicine.

For more information about the Young Black and Deadly Scholarship program visit the ATSICHS website.

10th Anniversary for Cape York milestone

Queensland is celebrating a 10-year milestone for joint national park management in Cape York which combines traditional and modern practices to care for Country.

In July 2008, the Lama Lama National Park south-east of Coen became the state’s first jointly-managed national park on Aboriginal land, followed that same year by Marpa National Park, and has become the blueprint for all national parks on Cape York Peninsula.

This huge step towards reconciliation recognises the enduring connection Traditional Owners have to the land, while encouraging training and jobs for local people including the work of rangers who are helping to protect Cape York for future generations. The Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for the Science and Minister for the Arts and representatives from the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, including Acting Director-General, Tammy Williams and Director of Cape York Peninsula Tenure Resolution Program (CYTRP), Ross MacLeod joined the 10-year milestone celebrations at Port Stewart in Cape York during July 2018.

Today, there are 28 jointly-managed national parks in Cape York and our CYTRP team continues to work closely with Traditional Owners to return ownership and management of identified lands on Cape York Peninsula to local Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

In the spirit of this year’s NAIDOC theme “Because of her – we can!”a $200,000 Queensland Government grant with WWF Australia will also go towards creating a Women’s Land and Sea Ranger network to support more Indigenous women to share their knowledge and become rangers.

Read more about the Cape York Tenure Resolution Program.

Aurukun makes a splash

A $2.5 million Queensland Government investment in Aurukun in Far North Queensland has helped transform a community aspiration into reality.

On 28 June 2018, local council, school students and community opened the Aak Muunchanak Splash Park, which in traditional language means a place of refreshment.

The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships proudly helped council and community deliver this project to provide a place for Aurukun children and families to have fun, stay cool and play in a safe environment.

Refurbishment of the existing swimming pool site has created a positive, cost-effective and low-maintenance space for all of community to enjoy.

This project supported local jobs from young apprentices to experienced labour crew and will help deliver employment, health and wellbeing outcomes for generations to come.

The new multi-purpose, water-based recreational facility includes a kiosk, toilet and shower facilities, seating and CCTV.

By continuing to listen to local feedback and supporting community-identified projects, the department can deliver stronger, better and tailored initiatives with and for Queensland’s remote and discrete Indigenous communities such as Aurukun.

A $4 million 2018-19 State Budget investment will also help build Cape York splash parks in Pormpuraaw, Napranum and Mapoon to provide positive health and wellbeing opportunities.

Disability no barrier to dream job

Jake Gittoes hoped for a new beginning when he moved from Ipswich to Cairns to reconnect with his dad. But soon after moving to Far North Queensland, his dad was hospitalised.

Jake was part of DATSIP’s Youth Employment Program during school and when his client file was transferred to the DATSIP Far North Queensland office, staff were at the ready to help him settle into his new town.

A local youth service explored accommodation options while DATSIP staff supported Jake to pursue his career aspiration of becoming a chef through a local business, Café Centre Stage.

“Youth Link helped me get my own place and DATSIP helped me get this job. I am looking after dad’s house, my own house, doing this job and looking forward to study,” Jake said.

“I am a proud young Aboriginal vision-impaired person, who, along with other disabilities has not let it stop me from doing this job. I might just take a bit longer to do the job, but I can do it!

“I help many people and always remind myself to help myself too,” he said.

Employer Rakesh Joshi describes Josh as punctual, enthusiastic and positive – always with a smile.

Rakesh and Jake have been working together ahead of an exciting next chapter as Jake gets ready to balance both work and study when he starts his chef’s apprenticeship through TAFE. Jake is proof that having a disability is no barrier to achieving your dream job! For more great stories like this follow our YEP Facebook page.

Return to results


Information contained in The Kookaburra e-bulletin was published using information provided to the department by contributing government organisations. While every attempt was made to ensure its accuracy, the department did not accept responsibility for any errors, omissions, inaccuracies, or delays in publishing the information that was provided. The department reserved the right not to publish articles submitted via inclusion in The Kookaburra e-bulletin.