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 7-14 July 2019
This year’s NAIDOC week theme of ‘VOICE.TREATY.TRUTH’ refers to three of the key elements to the reforms set out in the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’, representing unified positions of First Nations Australians such as a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise treaty processes and truth-telling.
‘Makarrata’ is a Yolngu word capturing the idea of two parties coming together to heal the past and acknowledge that something has been done wrong in order to make things right.
This year’s theme is in alignment with ‘United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages’ which aims to promote and protect Indigenous languages and improve the lives of those who speak them.
Community groups, organisations and associations are invited to submit an application to access up to $4000 to help with events held as part of NAIDOC Week 2019 (7 - 14 July).
NAIDOC Week grant round is open to Not for Profit Community groups and individuals who wish to create an event that celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
NAIDOC Week events, activities and programs should align with the National NAIDOC Theme: ‘VOICE.TREATY.TRUTH’. This year’s theme is in alignment with ‘United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages’ which aims to promote and protect Indigenous languages and improve the lives of those who speak them.
Successful grants will be funded to a minimum amount of $400 and a maximum amount of $4000.
Application forms can be found at www.cairns.qld.gov.au/online/grants
Applicants are encouraged to contact the Community Services Unit on 4044 3095 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss their application prior to submission.
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.
- Community Grants
- Guidelines for Pit Oven Cooking ( PDF, 0.13 MB )
- First Peoples Advisory Committee
- Traditional Custodian Welcome to Council and Acknowledgment of Country - policy
( PDF, 0.34 MB )
- Indigenous Employment Strategy - currently under review. Due for completion during 2018.