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Umagico

About Umagico

Location

Umagico, originally and still locally known as Alau, is 1 of the 5 communities within the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) located on the western side of northern Cape York. BamagaInjinoo, New Mapoon and Seisia communities make up the remainder of the NPA. 

Languages

The main language spoken in Umagico is Kala Lagaw [Ka-la Lug-gow Ya]. English and Torres Strait Creole are also spoken. The use of an interpreter may be necessary to assist complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.

History of Umagico

Umagico facts and figures

Key social indicators from the 2016 Census for the Umagico community include:

  • 34.8% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 30.4% of households with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were overcrowded.

The following figures are from the 2011 Census and will be updated later in 2017:

  • 29.2% of dependent children in families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were from jobless families
  • 21.1% unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years
  • 29.5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years worked in Other services.

For more 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for Umagico, build a statistical profile on Know Your Community.

Native title information

Search for native title information on the National Native Title Tribunal website.

Visiting Umagico

Getting to Umagico

Umagico is situated on the western side of the far north of Cape York. Road conditions can be difficult in the region, especially during the wet season when large potholes will appear and roads can be washed out or completely inundated by water. During the dry season, fires can restrict vehicle access along roads.

A local radio station operates on frequency FM 91.9 from a studio in Bamaga as part of Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media. Telstra mobile phone coverage is available only in Bamaga, parts of Seisia and the Injinoo lookout.

The Northern Peninsula Airport is located on Airport Road, southeast of Bamaga. The Northern Peninsula Area is accessible by air all year round. The airstrip is also used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Royal Australian Air Force, and for local charters from Weipa, Horn Island and the Torres Strait. Regular flights from Cairns to Bamaga, which take around 2 hours, are available most days of the week. 

Quarantine restrictions

When visiting Cape York you need to observe the quarantine regulations in these regions:

  • it is against the law to move plant and animal material, including fruit, from the Torres Strait to the mainland
  • restrictions apply on moving plant material, including fruit, south from Cape York.

For more information visit:

Seasonal considerations

Umagico and the NPA are often cut off by road during certain periods of the year. Far north Queensland’s wet season typically runs from around November to May and is usually characterised by heavy rainfall which regularly cuts access to the area. The wet is followed by the dry season, with the timing and intensity of this change often varying year to year.

Alcohol restrictions

As it is part of the NPA, alcohol restrictions apply in Umagico

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Regional Director, Torres Region (Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships)

Phone: 07 4069 1243

Mobile: 0400 769 868

Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council

Phone: 07 4048 6900 (Umagico office)
Fax: 07 4069 3115
Email: info[at]nparc.qld.gov.au

Sorry business and sad news

When a death happens in Umagico, family members are notified to come together, where the family is then informed of the Sad News.

If a death occurs outside of the community, the in-laws (both men and women) referred to as Marigeth (Mari-get), gather families together and it is their role to inform the family of the Sad News.

The community shuts down when informed of Sad News and also on the day of the funeral. Until the day of the funeral, the community gathers daily to share comfort and support each other. A feast is held after the funeral to conclude the initial stage of the mourning period. During this time, business does not generally take place in the community. However, this does not apply to essential services such as policing, child safety, health, education and justice.

For Torres Strait Islander cultures, ‘Tombstone Openings’ are a time for celebration and symbolise the point that brings closure for the family of the deceased through the celebration of the person’s life. There is a lengthy mourning process from the time of the person’s death, culminating with the unveiling of the tombstone ceremony, which is followed by feasting and dancing. This process usually takes place about 1 or 2 years after the funeral; however some families may take longer to prepare for this event. 

Community justice group

The role of the Community Justice Group (CJG) is to ensure that clients of the service are given appropriate cultural support for court matters. The CJG also provides cultural reports to the courts at sentencing and bail applications, assistance to the courts in managing community-based offences, and networking to implement crime prevention initiatives.

Members of the CJG work closely with a number of justice agencies including the Queensland Magistrates Court, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland Police Service, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. The CJG works to support the community’s understanding of and access to the justice system by working in conjunction with Shire Council by-laws and victim support agencies.

Key ways the CJG is able to assist the community and the courts include:

  • participation in community consultations relevant to the CJG’s role within the criminal justice sector
  • preparation and presentation of written and oral sentencing submissions to the court
  • defendant support and referral (including court support)
  • victim support and referral (including court support)
  • support for debtors wishing to access the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry.

The local CJG for Umagico is:

Umagico Community Justice Group Incorporated
7 Wilson Street, Umagico via Bamaga 4876

Coordinator: Ms Nola Lewin
Director/Chairperson: Ms Polly Mooka

Phone: 07 4069 3094 or 4083 0333
Fax: 07 4069 3576
Mobile: 0418 851 540 
Email: pollymooka[at]yahoo.com.au

Community services

Use the Queensland Government's one place service directory to find up-to-date contact information for local support services including:

  • legal advice and support services
  • youth justice and support groups
  • domestic and family violence support
  • drug and alcohol services
  • mens' and women's groups
  • accident, emergency and medical services

More information

 

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.