Shire of Aurukun

Shire of Aurukun
Aurukun LGA Qld.png
Location within Queensland
Population1,269 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density0.17207/km2 (0.44565/sq mi)
Area7,375.0 km2 (2,847.5 sq mi)
MayorDereck Walpo
Council seatAurukun
RegionFar North Queensland
State electorate(s)Cook
Federal Division(s)Leichhardt
Aurukun Shire Council Logo.png
WebsiteShire of Aurukun
LGAs around Shire of Aurukun:
Cook Cook Napranum
Gulf of Carpentaria Shire of Aurukun Cook
Gulf of Carpentaria Pormpuraaw Cook

The Shire of Aurukun is a local government area in Far North Queensland, Australia. The shire covers part of western Cape York Peninsula, the most northerly section of the Australian mainland.

It covers an area of 7,375.0 square kilometres (2,847.5 sq mi), and has existed as a local government area since 1978.


According to the earliest records, Cape Keerweer, located on the Gulf of Carpentaria coast, was the first site where Europeans wished to settle in Australia. A Dutch ship with Captain Willem Janszoon was the first recorded Dutch landing at Cape Keerweer. Captain Janszoon wanted to build a city at the site but the exploitative action of his crew led to a fight between the local Aboriginal people and the sailors. It resulted in the killing of various crew members and the ship had to leave.[2]

The territory of the Shire of Aurukun was previously an Aboriginal reserve administered under the Queensland Aborigines Act by the Presbyterian Church. The Aurukun Mission was established in 1904 and Aboriginal people from all over Cape York were relocated there.

In 1978, the land was taken over by the Queensland Government, who enacted the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act 1978, proclaimed the Shire of Aurukun and granted to it Aboriginal Land Lease No.1. An elected Aboriginal council lasted just one month and an administrator was appointed. The State's media at the time generally was of the opinion that bauxite revenues were a major factor in the Government's decision making on the issue.[3]

In the 1990s, an elected council once again took charge.

Towns and localities

The Shire of Aurukun includes the following settlement:


The Aurukun Shire Council operate the Wik Mungkan Indigenous Knowledge Centre in Aurukun.[4]


The population of the Shire of Aurukun, along with Cook, Torres and Mornington, have been singled out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), who conduct the quinquennial census, as particularly difficult to measure accurately. Reasons for this include cultural and language barriers, transport and geographical spread of the population, who are mostly located in isolated communities. As such, all figures are likely to be lower than the actual population on the census date.

Year Population
1981 791
1986 937
1991 784
1996 781
2001 1,032
2006 1,043

Chairmen and Mayors

Start of term End of term Chairman/Mayor Notes
2008 2012 Neville James Pootchemunka [5]
2012 current Dereck Walpo Elected on 16 June 2012 in a postponed election due to the death of one of the original candidates.[6] Re-elected unopposed in 2016.[7]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Aurukun (S)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 December 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "History". Aurukun Shire Council.
  3. ^ Cribb, Margaret (December 1978). "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 1978". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 24 (3): 371–372. ISSN 0004-9522.
  4. ^ "Aurukun Shire Council". Public Libraries Connect. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  5. ^ "2008 Aurukun Shire - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  6. ^ "2012 Aurukun Shire - Postponed Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  7. ^ "2016 Aurukun Shire Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.

External links

Coordinates: 13°21′30″S 141°43′41″E / 13.35833°S 141.72806°E / -13.35833; 141.72806

This page was last updated at 2019-11-16 06:57 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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