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SERIOUS BUSINESS The Kalan Rangers, led by Dion Creek, are a shining example of Indigenous empowerment. This highly motivated team has evolved from a modest ranger group into a Land Management organisation conducting and owning research, running commercial enterprises, and driving cultural revival.

ANYONE FOR TEA? Irene Bambie’s garden is turning heads in Hope Vale. Irene started with a Pride of Place (POP) project and there’s now no stopping her. “Many locals say they love it and it is giving them ideas about doing things in their gardens. It’s very nice having people come by, stopping and looking at it, and admiring it.”

FROM CAPE YORK TO NEW YORK Mavis Ngallametta’s art has taken her from Aurukun in Cape York to New York to exhibit her grand-scale artworks. “I started using acrylic paint but was thinking about using our traditional painting. I used to watch my uncle cook the colours.”

I learnt patience and


GROWING OPTIMISM Through POP, Derek Deemal of Hope Vale learned about growing and maintaining his garden. Now he is reaping the rewards. “It made my home more happy. When my family, my children and grandchild come over it’s rewarding. We spend more time outside together. I get compliments from other people about my yard.”




Janet Ross-Kelly of Mossman Gorge was struggling with her son’s behaviour so she turned to Strong Families for support.

Lynesse Ludwick is the owner of Lynz Coffee and Food Bar in Hope Vale, which she registered as a business after spotting a gap in the local market.

Joel Johnson from Yarrabah joined CYLP in 2011 and successfully graduated high school in 2015.

“I feel good about what I’m doing and how much I am improving.

“As long as you’ve got commitment you can reach your goal.”

“I’m giving my children quality care. I am learning how to manage my children in a happy way.”

“I know I am a lot more independent. I have gained this from being at boarding school, the CYLP camp and my experience at school. All these experiences have helped me to grow.”




Phillip Marpoondin from Aurukun is now Supervisor of the Shady Place activities at the Ngoounk Mut Pam’ed—a partnership between CYE and the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Phillip hasn’t had a day off in six months.

Vivian Pearson from Hope Vale has a Student Education Trust (SET) account for her nine year-old daughter, Chuva May. The account was established in 2013, and Vivian has been consistently contributing ever since.

Clive Kooka from Mossman Gorge is a man on the move and pleased to learn how to use his mobile phone to check his bank balance whenever he needs.

“Every morning I set up the tasks— art, mechanical work, and yard work, for the men.”

“It’s great that I don’t have to worry about saving for educational expenses because it’s already taken care of.”

“I signed up to MPower so that I can do internet banking and order over the phone and pay for things. It also makes it much easier with paying bills.”

SET MAKES SAVING EASY Mother of five, Bertha Wolmby of Aurukun, is one of the many Cape York aboriginal women making a difference for their children and making education a priority. “I know the money is there when we need it, they can take it from our SET. I have my children on my mind all the time. I look after my children. I am so proud of them.�

I know the money is there.

OPEN TO LEARNING Jason Soloman and Patricia Olbar from Mossman Gorge say you are never too old or have too many children to learn better parenting skills. “I am still learning and growing with my parenting. We like to learn new ways of dealing with behaviour. We are learning new skills, getting support for my family and building positive relationships with each other and our children.”

CREATING CHRISTMAS CHEER Kayla Kulla Kulla is setting a good example for other young mothers in Coen. She is a member of MPower and feels like she is in control and making progress. “I have learned a lot. I have learned how to manage money better through budgeting, and how to do internet banking. I am working on savings to buy Christmas presents.”

GETTING AHEAD Donna ‘Rosie’ Rose Johnson, is a Community Engagement Officer at Cape York Employment (CYE) in Coen. “I am proud of the way I am improving. I have enough money from week-toweek. Then I have money left over to enjoy the weekends and take my family out for a picnic.

DRIVING TOWARDS SUCCESS Murray Korkatain from Aurukun was placed by CYE with Rio Tinto at Batavia Downs Station. He has now transitioned to full-time employment with Rio Tinto at Weipa, and has now been employed for a total of eight months.

BLOSSOMING FAMILIES Marilyn Kepple from Coen tends people and plants. As a community counsellor with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, she knows the value of regular exercise—and gardening enables her to help both her yard and her children to flourish. “I will continue doing my garden up, so it is a lovely, relaxing place to be. I’ve got a nice garden to spend time with my family.”

BETTER LIFE FOR HER FAMILY Anastasia Sagaukaz from Mossman Gorge signed up for MPower to learn to budget her money, to help with her family and to make a good life. “I want to be a good role model for my son as he grows up. I found it easy to stay on track with the support of family, friends, and staying positive and confident.”

LEADING BY EXAMPLE It was the vision of Kuku Yalanji elder Roy Gibson to capture the tourism market at Mossman Gorge to create employment and a better future for his people. His vision was brought to life with the Mossman Gorge Centre, an Indigenous eco tourism development and gateway to Mossman Gorge. “Without MPower I guarantee I wouldn’t have a car—here now where I am today. MPower is the best.”

The changes that I see, I’ve never seen before.




Shirley Wolmby from Aurukun is a member of MPower and regularly uses the internet banking self service kiosk.

Liam Kerindun from Aurukun is 17 years old and has been disengaged from school and work. He came to CYE with a clear goal: he wanted to complete his white card training so he could obtain a job.

Since joining MPower and SET, Maude Olbar of Hope Vale has learned new money management skills that have allowed her to achieve goals that are important to her and her family.

“Liam breezed through the online modules” said CYE employee, Gebro Buli. “He really didn’t need my help at all.”

“I feel less stressed, I am able to save [and] I have managed many things such as home ownership. I feel independent and free.”

“MPower has taught me how to balance money and put money into a savings account rather than keeping it in a transaction account.”




Kayla Mallie of Mapoon became a mother at 14 and, as a result, left school.

It’s never too early to get SET for school. Kollene Bray of Mossman Gorge signed up as soon as her son was born.

Kailung Hudson of Aurukun is a mother of 12 children. She self-referred to the Strong Families program to get some support and advice around learning positive parenting tips.

“You have to deal with people judging you—people thinking that your life was over… and that’s where I had to prove them wrong.” Kayla wants to “get qualifications now, and help other young mothers and Indigenous people—that’s what drives me… and to be a good role model for my children.”

“The best thing about SET is the fact that if I really need something, I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to stress.” “I like my kids to have good things.”

“I attended every day, doing activities and meeting other women and sharing stories.”




Sharina Wolmby from Aurukun has education expenses covered with her SET contributions.

It was through the Coen grapevine that Olive Pratt heard about MPower and online banking.

Jobseeker, Alfred Thompson, was formerly unemployed but is now working for Kalan Enterprises.

“It helps me to provide for my daughter’s school needs when l don’t have money.”

“I’m less stressed because I can pay my bills online. It has made me feel good.”

“It’s good to try learning different skills, I like to try anything… I have completed my civil training and [am] keen to work on the PDR.”

I’d do anything for my kids.

MAKING MONEY STRETCH FURTHER Daveena Thomas’ goal is to live a healthy and happy life with her partner and to provide a good quality education for her son Davis. She has been a member of MPower for several years, shops regularly through Wise Buys and uses her Student Education Trust to keep her son Davis in educational supplies. “I know money is being put to use in a good way. I know it’s a positive thing and that’s my kid. I’d do anything for my kids to get a good education.”




Courtney Perrier from Coen is online and on track to make the most of her gap year. She joined MPower to start researching university courses via the Internet on the O-Hub computers, and also learn how to manage her finances.

Laurelle Poonkamelya is an Aurukun mother of five children. While four have now finished school each child has had a Student Education Trust to help support their educational needs.

Andrew Gibson from Mossman Gorge won the runner-up prize in the Best Garden In The Village competition.

“[I] started using MPower understand my income better.”


“SET has been very useful. It helps to save money for all of my kids.”

By growing pride in his home, he has also grown home ownership aspirations. Andrew’s dream is “to keep this beautiful home that we have created. To own the house and encourage others to do the same”.




Along with a successful business in Aurukun, Keri Tamwoy and her husband, Gerald, are building a new generation of high-achievers.

Grace Rosendale from Hope Vale has children and grandchildren of her own.

Craig Koomeeta secured full-time employment in Aurukun with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

“I personally believe and know that education begins at home. We, the parents, are the first teachers of our children. Always discipline them and make sure there are consequences for doing the wrong thing.”

Reflecting on the differences between when she grew up, and how things are today, Grace admits: “There are a lot of differences… They were hard days. We had respect and that’s what’s lost today.”

The RFDS sought him out for the role due to his qualifications and strong work ethic. He has already proven to be an impressive employee.

A HELPING HAND Dawn Koodumbin of the Winchanum clan in Aurukun came to the O-Hub for assistance accessing her deceased partner’s money held with the local Art Centre. “I was having big problems with this issue and I got the help that I needed at the O-Hub.”

WORKING ON COUNTRY It’s been years since Loucian Creek has had a full-time job in Coen. With his Cert II in Civil Construction, he is now working with Kalan Enterprises on the road, clocking up his hours. “My ideal job would be working on country. I would be fifth generation working on country…”

LESS STRESSED ABOUT MONEY Katrina Douglas from Mossman Gorge has taken responsibility for her finances and is in control. “I use MPower, it is better for me. It’s made my life better for me and my family. There’s no other service that can provide us with that. It’s good to have a service in the community to help my community.”

It makes me feel proud of myself.

A PROUD MUM Paula Fullagar of Hope Vale says before SET she always had to budget to reach the amount of money she needed to buy uniforms and shoes and could only afford to buy individual items a bit at a time. Through SET she has learnt budgeting skills and is a lot more organised, building up her money and saving it for important purchases. “It makes me feel proud of myself. I feel a better person—especially when I’m on top of everything and the new school year is just around the corner.”

GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT Susan Joyce Bamboo ‘Joyce’ from Mossman Gorge signed up for POP to make her garden look “beautiful”. “My father was a keen gardener and would grow all sorts of fruit and veges and I want to do the same. I grow wild tomatoes and chillies. The tomatoes are good to eat—we cook them or put them in a salad.



Jeniece Pratt from Coen and her husband started SET accounts for their daughters several years ago and haven’t looked back.

Ronald Wilson from Mossman Gorge has been working hard for his family, both past and present. O-Hub staff have been assisting him.

“It made me feel proud to be able to send my kid off to boarding school with everything she needed and wanted.”

“They (MPower consultants) helped us pay and keep on top of all our bills. Since joining, no debts or overdue bills.” “Everything we ever owned, MPower helped us.”




Gerald Nandy of Mossman Gorge has SET accounts for his children, which he has used predominantly to purchase school uniforms, school bags, shoes and socks, and books.

Heather Woolla, a mother of five from Aurukun, joined POP and has transformed her empty backyard into an inviting playground for her children and a welcoming space where the family can spend time together.

Selina Bowen of Hope Vale joined the Program as a Skilling Leader in 2014. She has now graduated from this phase is looking forward to her future plans.

“When the kids get to pick the school stuff they want, it makes them happy and it satisfies their needs and emotions. It makes me feel good that I did something for them.”

“The kids are enjoying themselves with the playground. My children are the most important part of my life.”

“…I’m even prouder to be a Bama that comes here to be the link, the bridge for our young children to meet the outside world and to live in the wider society.”

I’ve planted out the front yard.

PROUD HOME OWNER Cheryl Cannon from Hope Vale retired from teaching to build a family home. “I did a budgeting course through MPower, found out that I was spending on silly things.” “I wanted to show my community and family that you have to care for your home. The house is a joint family venture.”




Trixie Kerr from Mossman Gorge is creating something very precious for her children and grandchildren— a book of memories. Earlier this year, she began attending sessions organised by a Strong Families consultant, to help mothers produce scrapbooks about their lives.

Terry Woolla from Aurukun signed up to Strong Families to support his partner, Mildred Karyuka, as she starts using positive parenting strategies at home.

Harold Bowen from Hope Vale is about to send his son on an exciting educational journey. The electrician fitter mechanic has been saving up through SET to send 13-year-old, Ezekial, to boarding school next year.

“I like to attend sessions as well—it straightens things out in my mind too. I’m glad I went because now I feel like I don’t need to yell out to my children to get them to respond to me.”

“You have to invest in your child. SET does benefit your child in their educational dreams and goals they may have. This is the starting point for their education.”

“I’m making a story album for my kids. It gives me something to do during the week. I like art and craft.”

COMMUNITY COMPLIMENTS Anthony Yunkaporta of Aurukun will have his Pride of Place project completed in time for Christmas celebrations. “I signed up for Pride of Place this year and it has helped my family in a big way because they’re learning about gardening and the kids want to help when I’m pushing the wheelbarrow, which is good exercise.”



Maryann Kerindun of Aurukun didn’t want to just sit around during her retirement. Now, thanks to MPower, she is really going places.

Sherona and Travis Bally Olbar from Hope Vale are dedicated to the Strong Families program and attend all sessions.

When she approached the O-Hub staff, they put her on the fast track to achieving her transportation dreams. “Without their help, I wouldn’t have purchased my vehicles and boat.”

“Our skills in parenting are better and it has helped dealing with daily life challenges at home.” “We both are growing, and are learning to build a safe and happy home that allows family members to stay with us.”



Robina Pamtoonda from Aurukun wanted to make sure her three children, had all they needed to succeed at school, so she signed them up to SET. Robina has been putting money aside through SET for over seven years now.

When Leah Kerr of Hope Vale’s fridge broke down she had no way of storing her lifesaving insulin, or food and bottles for her two year-old.

“SET is very helpful, my kids get educational items when they need them.”

“Through MPower I learned that there are other advances, and ways of getting items, without paying back a high payment with no excess fees or extra costs.”

HOME MAKEOVER Susan and Phillip Baru have been living in their home in Hope Vale for more than 20 years and they feel that it needed a facelift to ‘make it feel better’. They have attended Parenting sessions and thought it was a great idea to sign up to Home Pride as well. “I now have a happy clean and bright home that we all enjoy. My family think is it nice and lovely and want to do the same thing.”


STRONG WORK ETHIC IMPRESSES EMPLOYER Angus Pambegan commenced work as a carpenter’s apprentice with Strategic Builders. So far, he’s impressed the Site Supervisor with his work ethic. Angus is continuing to build his work-ready skills; he’s on the right track.


SETTING AN MPOWER EXAMPLE Sandra Grace Bowenda said she is currently saving money so that she can buy a lawn mower, car, bed and mattress. “I decided to sign up for myself so that I could learn to manage my money and show a good example to others in my community.”

AWARDED ELDER Peter is an Elder of great significance within the Lama Lama Clan in Coen and the wider community. He received a Order of Australia Medal for his work as an FRC Commissioner. “I’m happy to receive the award and thank my family for their support.”

It was challenging and all about the determination.

SALUTING PRIVATE AMBER Former Djarragun College student, Pamela Amber, used all her grit to launch a career in the Australian Defence Force. “I’ve always wanted to join the Army, since I was small, to challenge myself. It was challenging and all about the determination, but I just took it day by day”

PARENTING TOGETHER Errol Pamtoonda and Sherylene Yunkaporta from Aurukun have four children. “We communicate about the children. Even though Errol is the main carer of the girls we still consult each other when making any decisions regarding their welfare.”

EYES OPENED TO LEADERSHIP Herbert Yunkaporta from Aurukun says: “It was a very eye opening experience for me. I was very local, community minded, I never thought more broadly. The Cape York Leaders Program broadened my thinking. It helped me to identify the potential that I have – it helped me to reveal my true self. I had no idea what leadership was all about.”

TRAINEE OF THE YEAR Kia Yeatman from Yarrabah was awarded Trainee of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards for Far North Queensland and went on to represent Far North Queensland at the state finals in Brisbane. “Education and training opens up so many opportunities and I want to be able to inspire other young people to pursue their dreams, just like I am doing.”

It is about the future generation and the new leaders.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP Jonathon Korkatain from Aurukun says: “The Leadership Academy, taught me, as a representative of the community to really fully understand what leadership is. If there are some issues happening in the community you have a role to play and how you can deal with those issues. It is about the future generation and the new leaders to make sure they know their responsibility.�

LIFE IN THE SADDLE Wik Mungkan Elder Willie Lawrence has spent the best part of 60 years working as a cattleman across Cape York and he’s still in the saddle at 78 years young and with sight only in one eye. “We lived out on Rokeby homeland. When we lost our father in 1992, National Parks took over and we left and never went back. We rode for seven weeks to Mareeba. My brother Victor was fighting to get our land back and live out on the country but it was hard. I love my homeland and all my history all left out on the country, the burial place was locked in the National Park.”

I love my homeland.

ORBIT PROGRAM Jack is a part of the Aurukun Youth Orbit Program, which is reconnecting our young people with their education and setting them up in jobs. Jack will be learning the butchery trade working in a meat factory with other boys from Aurukun. “I’ll be fine, my brother and cousin are there and I’m looking forward to it.”

IT’S TIME TO RECOGNISE Driven by his long-term advocacy of better futures for Cape York aboriginal people, Harold Ludwick joined the journey to recognition bus as it took the message of constitutional reform to communities. “My forebears include members of the Stolen Generation; my ancestors and those of many others on the Cape suffered great deprivation and grave injustices at the hands of whitefellas.”

HARD WORK PAYS OFF Joanne Bowen is a mother of five children under nine. She went through the parenting program and now she works for Strong Families. One tip she has for getting the kids to help... “I get the kids to help me at breakfast and dinner, like putting the cereal and milk on the table, and it gives me more time to prepare things. ”

WISE BUYER Hope Vale’s Delma Darkin found herself short on funds on a regular basis, especially in ‘slack week’. These days she’s got her money matters under control. Delma is an O-Hub regular and is signed on to MPower and SET. “I am very proud of what I have got today—the washing machine and that money is there for what my children need. I don’t need to wait for my next pay.”



Val Williams of Bamaga started out with the Cape York Leaders Program as an Academic Leader from 2006–2008.

Leanne Finley of Hope Vale has learnt how to use internet banking via MPower.

“My daughter is my motivation. As a single mother I keep telling myself, I have to be twice as better as the person I was yesterday. After all, I am her influence, she is with me every day.”

Leanne has also recently completed her first No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) application in order to buy herself a bed. “MPower has helped me a lot. It feels good to learn online banking. I know I can ask for support to help me out with things.”




Tanika Deemal-Parker from Hope Vale graduated from university two years ago with a Bachelor of Nursing. Throughout her studies she has been supported by CYLP.

For Mossman Gorge Family Responsibilities Commissioner, Karen Gibson, there is a constant tug-of-war between Karen’s urge to paint the stories of her family. Add to that her social commitment to help paint a brighter future for the Mossman Gorge community.

Donita Woibo of Hope Vale wanted to buy all three of her children a brand new bed, but was worried about how she could afford it. She said she felt relieved to find out about the No Interest Loan Scheme.

“God gifted me with being an artist when I was born. I just have to use it and express it more… the question is when and how?”

“This will help me with my money management so that I know where my money is going.”

“We are getting our education and university education and breaking through the stereotypes, but don’t stop there. Knowledge without action is meaningless. What you do next will define you. Never give up, ever.”

“It was an easy and convenient way to purchase three new beds for my kids.”

EMPLOYEES TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND Sonny Bin Garape from Cairns commenced employment at Bama Services in 2011 as a landscape maintenance crewmember. He is a great example of the human capacity to change. Had he not made the decision in jail to commit to his career and his reformation, he may have continued down a negative path. Instead, he has done the hard work required to change his own life and inspired many others.

OFF WELFARE; INTO WORK Vicky Yunkaporta commenced work with CYE Aurukun in 2015. Vicky is now no longer reliant on Centrelink payments. Her daily attendance and commitment to work is incredibly impressive.

ARTISANS Bruce Bell of Aurukun is a man of culture and practises the art of carving and painting. “I just started sketching cartoons, anything, then I told myself that you had better start with brush and paint—so now I tell stories through my traditional painting. I draw from my own thinking.”

EMPOWERED WITH COMPUTER SKILLS Lillian Kawangka from Aurukun says that MPower has taught her to be computer literate and independent. “The people at MPower are so friendly, welcoming and respectful which makes it a lot easier for us.”

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