Community Development Program

Cape York Employment is the Community Development Program provider for the regions of Aurukun, Coen and Lockhart River. Our guiding light is the Cape York Agenda.

Ending Passivity

When the old people of Cape York gathered in the early 1990s, inspiring the Cape York Agenda, they declared passive welfare as a scourge ripping apart their communities.
They saw it tearing away at the hope of the young people. They could not stand by and watch their people retreat to the evils of addiction in response to the despair of passivity.
With that thinking, they knew that a job was the best way to provide hope and turn round the dysfunction spreading across their communities.
Our challenge is to move people from welfare dependence to an economically viable future.
We do this by identifying job opportunities, building work capabilities and social norms that support a strong work ethic, and engaging potential employers. As the region is underdeveloped, the number of job seekers in Aurukun, Coen and Lockhart River far outstrips the number of jobs available locally.
Wherever possible, job seekers in Aurukun, Coen and Lockhart River are assisted to plan to get one of the limited number of the local jobs available, get on a realistic training pathway to a local or regional job, or consider taking up work opportunities elsewhere.

What We Do

We approach our challenge with a strong strategic vision that deeply understands that we will only achieve our goals for the people of Cape York through an approach that comes at the challenge from multiple and connected angles.
  • Building relationships with employers
  • Supporting job seekers
  • Linking job seekers to opppotunities
  • Opportunities to orbit outside of our communities

Work With CYE

Project Highlights

Kenneth Pootchemunka Aurukun 18032021.jpgKENNETH POOTCHEMUNKA

Kenneth Pootchemunka has been actively attending his activity in Aurukun, being one of the first people on site and working back to complete the chair below for his daughter. The use of power tools and hand tools to complete this chair has given Kenneth the confidence to approach one of our local contractors for employment. Kenneth was very proud when he came into the office to inform CYE of this employment opportunity and to tell us that he felt like a proud dad when he saw his daughter's face after he handed her the chair. - 18/03/2021





Kiki Activity 17022021 new snake pads.jpgAURUKUN SNAKE GAURDS

The guys in Aurukun have been struggling with the elements, the rain has been torrential, the heat has been unbearable and now the grass is 6ft tall, around the community. All of this has led to safety concerns within Aurukun. Families are struggling to maintain yards and snakes (Taipans) are being found around and inside houses that they reside. Cape York Employment has recognised this as an issue and have purchased new lawn mowers and Whipper Snippers to combat the ongoing concerns of the community. Due to the length of the grass, our participants engaged in this activity were constantly being confronted by snakes, so as soon as this was highlighted to us, we swiftly acted on purchasing anti bite snake guards. Some of the more willing and photogenic participants below are modelling them for you all to see. - 18/02/2021



Dreamtime Aurukun 7.jpgDREAM TIME SOLUTIONS

Cape York Employment have subcontracted Dreamtime Solutions to deliver a Horticulture and Healthy Lifestyle Workshop in the remote community of Aurukun. In under two weeks Dreamtime Solutions has been able to lift the engagement of the female activity by having the ladies engaged in creating their own sustainable community garden. Not only is Dreamtime Solutions working on increasing the community’s engagement, they are building and strengthening their rapport with stakeholders in community. Renee Schoder the Director of Dreamtime Solutions has visited the community and been hands on planting out the community gardens with the ladies in Aurukun. The ladies engaged in the program have shown appreciation to Renee in attendance and have stated that they are keen to have a community garden in which they can cook healthy meals                                                                                              from. - 10/02/2021


The ongoing relationship between the Aurukun Shire Council and Cape York Employment is strengthening each day with more pathways to employment for community members than ever before. A prime example of this is 18-year-old Kayoka George from Aurukun. Kayoka completed Year 11 and has been eagerly awaiting training opportunities within Aurukun to upskill herself into full-time employment. She approached both the Aurukun Shire Council and Cape York Employment when the Indigenous VET funding became available for the Food Handling Course at the Chivaree Aged Care Centre. Kayoka expressed an interest in being trained in the safest way to handle, prepare and serve food. 
Cape York Employment assisted Kayoka in obtaining the ID required to acquire a Unique Student Identifier, as well as the correct personal protective equipment essential to complete the training. Kayoka benefited from funding available through the Aurukun Shire Council and undertook a three-day course with an accredited trainer to complete this certificate. Congratulations, Kayoka! - 14/01/2021

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