First Peoples' information

Australia's First Peoples

Australia's First Peoples are represented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have different and distinct languages, histories and cultures.  Read more about the culture and history of the First Peoples of the Cairns area.

Cairns Regional Council respects the First Peoples who are the Bama – the Aboriginal rainforest people who are traditional custodians/owners of the lands that cover our region. We also acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who call our region home.

All Council services, programs and information are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to use so that they can participate fully in community life. It is Council's commitment to provide services and opportunities that are respectful and accessible to all members of our community.

Our Council was one of the first local governments in Queensland to have developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This RAP forms the base of our commitment to help strengthen and build relationships and understanding between First Peoples and non-indigenous people within our organisation and throughout our region.

The First People's Advisory Committee (FPAC) meets several times a year to provide comment, feedback and direction on issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities to Council.  FPAC provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the Cairns local government area to be part of a key group contributing to make a difference.

Council also seeks to create and provide opportunities that support and improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week

Cairns Regional Council is proud to support the annual celebration of both NAIDOC and National Reconciliation Week activities and events throughout the region.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.  NAIDOC originally stood for 'National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee'.  This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrated between 27 May to 3 June each year,  is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

You can find out more information by visiting the NAIDOC and Reconciliation Australia websites.

Last updated: 14 September 2018