The township of Coen is approximately halfway between Cairns and the tip of Cape York. It is not a discrete Aboriginal community and is part of Cook Shire. The township had an estimated resident adult population of 234 people as at 30 June 2014.
Commissioner Peter Pedro PETER
Commissioner Peter Pedro PETER (Lama Lama Clan) is an Elder of great significance within the Lama Lama Clan and the wider community. Coen Commissioner Peter is a valued member of the Coen Men’s Group who pass on their skills and knowledge in leatherwork and woodwork to the younger men and produce goods for sale. He teaches the traditional art of carving spears and woomeras, as taught by his Elders, and passes on traditional wisdom. Coen Commissioner Peter is also a member of the Coen Justice Group whilst providing respect and leadership as a Local Commissioner. On 26 January 2015 Coen Commissioner Peter was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his services to the community.
Commissioner May Mary KEPPLE
Commissioner May Mary Kepple (Winchanum Clan) is a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) and the Recognised Entity for Child Safety in Coen. Coen Commissioner Kepple has had a variety of positions in retail and sales and currently works part-time at Mulley’s Market. She enjoys painting on canvas and previously managed the Wunthulpu Visitor Centre in Coen. As an accredited foster carer since 2007 she remains committed to the welfare of children, ensuring they receive opportunities for self-development and a bright future. Commissioner Kepple has been working part-time since February 2014 with RAATSICC (Cape York/Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Care) as a Community Recognised Entity. On 26 January 2015 Coen Commissioner Kepple was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of her services to the community. Coen Commissioner Kepple spends her weekends on country with her daughter and grandchildren passing on culture and the ways of the Elders.
Commissioner Garry Lloyd PORT
Commissioner Garry Lloyd PORT (Lama Lama / Kuku Yalanji / Awapathu Clans) is from a well-respected Coen family and son of Barry Port, the famous Aboriginal police tracker. Coen Commissioner Port is a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) and works at the Hope Vale Campus of Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA) as a School Behaviour Officer. In his role with the CYAAA he works with the children encouraging attendance, conducting the breakfast program, dealing with behaviour issues and liaising with parents. He is deeply involved with supporting young people to ensure they reach their full educational potential, and also volunteers his time to junior sports development, providing guidance for young boys. On 26 January 2015 Coen Commissioner Port was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his services to the community.
Commissioner Elaine Louise LIDDY
Commissioner Elaine Louise LIDDY (Lama Lama Clan) was born in Cairns. She is a fluent Umpithamu language speaker and has contributed to the dictionary of the Umpithamu language. Coen Commissioner Elaine Liddy has been pivotal in establishing the Lama Lama Rangers who live and work on the Lama Lama homelands of Port Stewart and is now a fulltime Cultural Heritage Adviser. She is a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) and is a highly respected leader of the Lama Lama Clan. On 26 January 2015 Coen Commissioner Liddy was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of her services to the community. Coen Commissioner Liddy devotes her spare time to the care of her homelands, and to passing on tradition and culture to future generations.
Commissioner Maureen LIDDY
Commissioner Maureen LIDDY (Lama Lama Clan) is one of four new Local Commissioners who commenced with the Commission on 14 May 2015. Coen Commissioner Maureen Liddy has worked extensively with families and children across Cape York. Since July 2013 she has been employed at the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Prior to her work with the RFDS Local Commissioner Liddy has held the positions of Coen Opportunity Hub Manager for Cape York Partnership, Teacher/Cultural Coordinator at the Coen State School, Coordinator Family and Community Support at the Indigenous Student Support Unit, Cluster Project Manager for Cooktown Prep to Year 12, Principal (Band 7) at the Hope Vale State School and Coordinator Cape York Strategy Unit in Cairns. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Education and is a member of the Coen Justice Group. Her personal interests include camping, fishing, reading, 4 wheel driving and meeting people.
Commissioner Alison LIDDY
Commissioner Alison LIDDY (Lama Lama Clan) is one of four new Local Commissioners commencing with the Commission on 14 May 2015. Coen Commissioner Alison Liddy has born in Cairns and completed most of her schooling in North Queensland. Furthering her educational qualifications, Coen Commissioner Liddy attained a Certificate III in Indigenous Community Service and Primary Health Care. She has held many positions over the years, working in administrative positions as an Indigenous Health Worker with the Coen Primary Health Care Centre, Community Engagement Officer with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Apunipima Health Council at the Coen Wellbeing Centre. Local Commissioner Liddy is currently employed at the Yintjinnga Aboriginal Corporation and the Lama Lama Ranger Service. She is also a General Foster Carer. Working locally in Coen for many years and being involved in the community has enabled her to gain a broad understanding of the issues that affect those living in Coen. Her interest in becoming a Local Commissioner was inspired through her sister, Elaine Liddy, who has been a Coen Local Commissioner since the commencement of the Commission in 2008.
COEN Local Coordinator – Sandra RYE
Sandi was born in Brisbane and is one of seven children. After completing year 10 at Woodridge State High School she attended Seven Hills TAFE College to study business. Before joining the Commission Sandi was employed as a certified fitness instructor/personal trainer and a qualified swimming instructor. She has completed a Diploma of E-Business Support and in 2013 completed her Diploma of Community Services (Case Management). In 2014 Sandi commenced a Degree in Social Work through James Cook University. Sandi’s hobbies are finding new ideas to enhance her health and fitness, playing netball, creative organic cooking and making natural cleaning products. Sandi has chosen to work and study in the humanities field because she loves working with people and empowering them to find the very best within themselves.