Traditional owners MUST make
decisions over their country

  • 30 Years Strong – We are here in good and bad times. Always have been, always will be

    In the face of uncertain times, we will stand with you.

    The world is facing uncertain times.  Corona-virus is changing our lives daily and there has never been a more important time for us to look out for and after each other.

    To protect Aboriginal people in Cape York, communities throughout the Cape are in lock down, many from today.  

    CYLC recognise that there were several of our most vulnerable Elders and family members in Cairns, away from their home community and loved ones. Doing our bit to care for Elders, their family and their health and wellbeing is a priority for Cape York Land Council so our team have put together care packages to help.   

    Complete with groceries, toiletries, sanitiser and an information booklet about the Corona Virus, we will deliver these packs to as many as we can and ensure that Elders are as looked after as they can be while being so far from home.  Our team do so, knowing that they are not putting families at risk, maintaining social distancing.

    CYLC have being supporting the Cape for over 30 years now and will continue to do so – from a distance… we’ve never been fearful of hard times in the past and this is no different.

    CYLC will do all in our power to ensure no one is left behind.

    Each week, we will be hosting a live video conference via Zoom.  Jump onto our Kicking the Dust Facebook page or our website:   You will find steps to download the Zoom App (download here) on your phone, tablet/ipad or computer.  Join us on Tuesday and Thursday for a live chat.   We will share information, and be here in a virtual world to talk, answer questions and provide you support.  Watch both pages for information updates once these start. 

    Look out for your families, please stay at home to reduce the risk of spreading this virus.

    It’s a new world, but one that CYLC will adapt to and continue to walk with you.  We have been through hard times before, this isn’t a first for First Nations people.  Together we will move through this.

    If you have any questions and cant join our video conferencing, please call our office on freecall: 1800 623 548 or email one of our team:

    Community Relations Manager:

    PBC Unit (Business Advisory):     

    Executive Assistant:

  • Reflecting on the past – a brand for the future.

    30 years on from the historic victory that catalysed the Native Title movement in Australia we take a moment to reflect on the unity, strength and achievement of our first nation’s people – particularly throughout Cape York.

    From the humblest of beginnings – momentum has built through perseverance, dedication and unity to a point where the voices of Traditional Owners and Elders now rings out loudly through the highest courts of the country and Aboriginal lore is an ingrained tenet in the future of Australia.

    On the back of this inspirational outcome, the Cape York Land Council Board (CYLC), consisting exclusively of Traditional owners were inspired to refresh the brand of CYLC to better reflect the meeting of past, present and future and to pay homage to the sacrifice of those who had come before – and to inspire the fight in those who would come after.

    It is with great pride that the CYLC board unveil a logo and corporate image that speaks to recognising the giants on whose shoulders they stand – and to the journey still left to be had.

    The new logo features two circles, coloured to reflect the earth (Ochre) and the sea (blue). This is timely noting the existing Sea Claim and the future work to be done on sea rights. The Circles overlap signifying the coming together of Aboriginal Lore and State/Commonwealth Law. It also represents the Aboriginal people of Cape York walking together in two worlds to build their future with the power in their hands.

    The Yuk Puyngk (the Wik Law Stick) is place at the centre of these circles. It is the symbol of strength and unity put forward for all the Cape York Aboriginal people as they united in 1990.

    The feathers at the top of the Yuk Puyngk form the shape of Australia with the Cape region highlighted to show the strength of our brand and recognise that the fight of Cape York has a flow on effect across the nation.

    Under this new brand we recognise and pay respect to the Giants of our past – without them we would not be where we are today. Under this new brand we look to the future and from atop the shoulders of the Giants – that future looks bright.

  • The wheels of progress are turning.

    February and March has been an extremely active period for our teams driving towards the 1 Claim – we have seen positive developments both on country and in the court.

    Her Honour Justice Mortimer said “it’s good news to hear that there’s some progress on negotiations. A negotiated outcome is always better than a litigated outcome”.

    We agree.

    Back where it all began – the work we do today is on the shoulders of these giants.

Congratulations Reginald Williams

Order of Australia Award – Saturday 14 September 2019

On Saturday 14 September, at a ceremony held in Cairns, Reginald (Reg) Williams was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia by His Excellency the Governor General for service to the Indigenous community of Queensland. 

The award recognises Reg’s role as Chairperson of Ipima Ikaya Aboriginal Corporation and  Apudthama Land Trust (2012-2016) as well as his leadership as a board member with TSRA, ICC, TSIRC, NPARC, Bamaga Island Council and Bamaga Enterprises. 

Cape York Land Council is proud to celebrate the success of one of Cape York’s regional leaders and is proud to work with and support the Ipima Ikaya Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.

Your Land – Your Say

DEPUTY Premier Jackie Trad has been secretly lobbying aboriginal elders to lockup tribal land to mining on Cape York.

Ms Trad is spearheading a push to “protect” vast tracts of aboriginal land from mining interests as part of negotiations with traditional owners of three native title groups in remote far north Queensland.

Under the deal, a huge swath of Cape York — totalling more than one million hectares — would be nominated as protected land to shut-out any future mining exploration projects and is a possible prelude to a blanket World Heritage-listing push by the Labor Party.

It comes as a Jangga tribal elder, whose country adjoins the Adani mine, warned Ms Trad of “war” with… click here for more

Support builds for Uluru Statement from the Heart



The news that Australia’s two largest resource companies, BHP and Rio Tinto are backing the Uluru Statement from the Heart and substantive constitutional recognition including a Voice to Parliament, is welcomed by Indigenous leaders in Cape York.

BHP and Rio Tinto today announced shared support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and BHP’s commitment to investment in a public education campaign on the Uluru Statement.

The Chair of the Cape York Land Council, Richie Ah Mat, said today’s pledge shows that the Australian community is increasingly understanding that the Indigenous Voice to Parliament is essential to the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and closing the gap on disadvantage.

Only when Indigenous people are empowered to take part in the decisions that affect them will policy be properly targeted and outcomes improved.

BHP and Rio Tinto join national bodies such as the Australian Medical Association, Australian Council of Social Services, leading universities, and key influential figures across the political spectrum such as Jeff Kennett, Kevin Rudd and Alan Jones, have endorsed the Uluru Statement and the Voice to Parliament.

Big business coming together around the Indigenous Voice to Parliament shows their commitment to the key social justice issue of our time, and recognition that this is a critical step in overcoming the disadvantaged face by Indigenous communities.

We welcome this support and encourage the nation to get behind First Nations people to enable a voice in the decisions that impact their lives.

The Uluru Education Project, which BHP is committing funding towards, will be managed by a steering group that includes prominent Australians, Professor Fiona Stanley from Western Australia, Danny Gilbert of Gilbert + Tobin lawyers in Sydney and Indigenous Leaders including Professor Megan Davis and North Queensland Land Council director Terry O’Shane.

We look forward to the Uluru Education Project contributing to greater awareness in the Australian community of the Uluru Statement, and building support for a successful referendum.  BHP’s commitment of funding is a great demonstration of the good will and genuine support they have for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.



It is the voice of Traditional Owners that guides our direction. We are governed by the will of Cape York.


Cape York Land Council is a safe place where big ideas and powerful ambitions are driven by expertise and passion.


We were there from the beginning and we forged the human path to native title determination. We know where we’re going because we know where we’ve been.


The Cape York Land Council respects that all Traditional owners have autonomy and speak to their own lands.


The preservation and promotion of the traditions and cultures of Aboriginal people is a key driver for Land Council’s mission.


We are you. We too share the passion and pride of the people of Cape York and are dedicated to improving the lives of real people.


After a lengthy period of consultation on country with Traditional owners the Cape York Land Council have been given a very clear mandate on what success in this Native title space looks like:

  • Traditional owners want the return of their land, not the politics
  • Traditional owners must make their own decisions and speak for their country
  • Traditional owners want certainty and not confusion
  • Traditional owners don’t want this to take another quarter of a century. It’s time for the dispossession to end.

Any process that causes disruption or lacks unity will almost certainly delay the opportunity for this justice significantly.



Stronger Together

Native Title is an asset for Cape York’s First Nations people with potential to build livelihoods free from dependency. We will use it to build indigenous led business and enable our children to have jobs in our communities.

In supporting One Claim, we have the best chance for the native title determinations to be made efficiently and provide these opportunities for our people.

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