Aurukun is on the western coast of Cape York and is approximately 900 kilometres northwest of Cairns, and about 200 kilometres south of Weipa. The community had an estimated resident adult population of 933 people as at 30 June 2013.
Commissioner Edgar KERINDUN
Commissioner Edgar KERINDUN (Sara Clan) was born and raised in Aurukun and is a traditional owner of the area. Aurukun Commissioner Kerindun was elected to the position of Aurukun Shire Councillor in the Local Government elections conducted on 28 April 2012 and subsequently retired from the position of Engagement Officer at Queensland Health. He was one of the original Community Police Officers in Aurukun and continues to promote justice and rehabilitation for ex-offenders. Together with his partner, Aurukun Commissioner Doris Poonkamelya, they have in their care three children from their extended family. Aurukun Commissioner Kerindun has a strong belief that if you show respect to everyone, everyone will have more respect for you.
Commissioner Doris POONKAMELYA
Commissioner Doris POONKAMELYA (Putch Clan) was born at the Kendall River Outstation and her family moved to Aurukun when she was a child. Aurukun Commissioner Poonkamelya retired as a senior health worker from Queensland Health in 2009 where she worked for 29 years. She is a founding member of the Aurukun Community Justice Group and is also deeply committed to education as the pathway to employment and a promising future for young people. As a recognised Child Safety Carer, Aurukun Commissioner Poonkamelya believes in ensuring a safe environment for children to grow and mature.
Commissioner Sarah WOLMBY
Commissioner Sarah WOLMBY (Aplach Clan) was born and raised in Aurukun, only leaving her home community to attend boarding school to obtain a year 11 education. Aurukun Commissioner Wolmby previously worked for 15 years as a community health worker with Queensland Health and has worked in child care and teaching centres. She is an avid supporter of children receiving a strong education to allow them to successfully graduate from senior and tertiary education and gain employment either in Aurukun to enrich the community, or outside of Aurukun in their chosen career.
Commissioner Ada Panawya WOOLLA
Commissioner Ada Panawya WOOLLA (Winchanum Clan) was born and raised in Aurukun, leaving the community to attend boarding school and later Cairns Business College. Upon election to the position of Councillor of Aurukun Shire Council in April 2012, she retired from her position as a Recognised Entity where she worked alongside the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services to assist families and children in Aurukun.
She is also a foster and kinship carer, an office bearer in the church, a founding Member of the Aurukun Community Justice Group, a respected mediator and community Elder. Aurukun Commissioner Woolla and her husband, Mayor Derek Walpo, support the education and training of young people and strive to improve opportunities for their community.
Commissioner Dorothy POOTCHEMUNKA
Commissioner Dorothy POOTCHEMUNKA (Winchanum / Aplach Clans) was born, raised and educated in Aurukun, and now has 10 children, 15 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Aurukun Commissioner Pootchemunka’s interests span the full spectrum of traditional activities including fishing, camping and the customary female craft of basket weaving using Pandanus and Cabbage Palm leaf. Her baskets are on display in national galleries in Australia and overseas. Aurukun Commissioner Pootchemunka is also a registered Wik interpreter and her expertise is utilised within the court system and also by the Department of Human Services. She views education as the key to employment and encourages all students to make the most of their education and training to enhance future job opportunities.
Commissioner Vera KOOMEETA
Commissioner Vera KOOMEETA (Aplach Clan) was born in Aurukun and attended primary school in Aurukun. Upon completing a Junior Certificate she attended Technical and Further Education (TAFE) in Cairns, obtaining a qualification in community teaching. On 28 April 2012 Aurukun Commissioner Koomeeta was elected to the position of Aurukun Shire Councillor in the Local Government elections. She is a Justice of the Peace (Magistrates Court) and a registered interpreter as well as a member of the Aurukun Community Justice Group.
As the representative of her clan group she is involved in several committees and holds positions on a number of boards. Aurukun Commissioner Koomeeta’s experience assists in her ability to make independent and informed decisions as a Local Commissioner. When not working, she can be found spending time with her granddaughter, camping and fishing
Commissioner Thomas TOIKALKIN
Commissioner Thomas TOIKALKIN (Wik Alkan Clan) was born in Aurukun. His homeland is Kenchrang and his totem is the White Cockatoo. Aurukun Commissioner Toikalkin was educated at Scots PGC College in Warwick and is currently studying to become a Minister of the Uniting Church. Previously Commissioner Toikalkin served with the Army Reserve, 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment, keeping our northern borders safe. Whilst in the Army Reserve he was employed in the following roles: patrolman, boating, four wheel drive and signalman. He has also previously worked for Queensland Health as an Engagement Officer, ACT for Kids and served as a Community Police Officer for a number of years. Thomas is a foster and kinship carer for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. He is a traditional owner and continues to work closely with young people to ensure they receive a good education and enhance their employment opportunities.
AURUKUN Local Coordinator - Dellis Gledhill
Dellis Gledhill commenced her career in the Australian Defence Force before making a sea change and returning to her hometown of Mossman in North Queensland. Dellis has worked in remote communities for twenty-one years, and for the past six years has worked in Aurukun. She has an admirable rapport with the people of Aurukun and is well accepted by community members. Dellis’ experience extends to the court system where she assists as a Justice of the Peace (Magistrates Court). She has completed her Master’s Degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice while working in Aurukun and is committed to the continuation of the Family Responsibilities Commission working with the community of Aurukun in her capacity as Local Coordinator.