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Archive for the ‘Pormpuraaw (Edward River)’ Category

Pormpuraaw Artists Go Walkabout in Canberra

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The Pormpuraaw Artists and Cultural Centre took six artists, Elliot Koonutta, Sid Bruce Short Joe, Patricia Coleman, Rhiannon Edward, Christine Holroyd and Marlene Holroyd to Canberra in October 2013.  Paul Jakubowski the art centre manager and trainer Theo Tremblay played tour guide.  People were afraid of the cold but quickly saw the benefits to all that free air conditioning. We spent six full days visiting important cultural sites such as tent city, parliament house and the war memorial. School children from all over the country were visiting our nations capital at the same time. I was glad our mob was having the same opportunity.


Sid Bruce Short Joe tells about his uncle who made these law poles in the National museum

I believe it is important for artists to get out and travel and experience new things. An artist needs to see and collect ideas and techniques. We went to every art museum, art school and art studio available to us. To visit an artist’s studio can be especially important. It shows how artists work; how they think and put “it” all together to complete a finished work. We went to the mint, commercial galleries and the National museum. Here we were able to see artifacts from our area made by descendants.  Tina Baum the head curator of the National Art Museum Indigenous Section brought us into the back achieves and pulled out large canvases for us to view.  It was a great privilege. We thank her, Theo Tremblay and many others who went out of their way to share their resources and time with us.  

I think visiting the Canberra School of Art was a real eye opener for many of our artists. The school is filled with individual workspaces and studios. One artist might be working with shaped plywood. Another might be making bronzes. A different artist was working with tissue paper dipped in wax. All the painters had different styles and mediums. It demonstrated that anything goes with art. Artists need to experiment to find what works for them to make it uniquely their own.

One of the most important cultural sites we visited was “Tent City” which has been manned since 1972. This is where aboriginal brought attention to land right issues. They planted their flag bringing national attention to their plight.  Our people understand the cultural significance of this place for all Australians. It was important to go there.

Going walkabout has always been an important part of aboriginal life style and culture. In the old days walkabout was for gathering food and knowing country. Our trip to Canberra was not to collect tucker but to collect ideas and experiences. It was a way of experiencing art and its application; to “connect” and share experiences. ???????????????????????????????

Arts Queensland sponsored our trip and Skytrans gave discounted airfare assistance; thank you for your support.


Monday, November 5th, 2012

Don’t wait for a disaster to happen before you think about how you and your family are going to survive.


In a major disaster, high winds, rising floodwaters, debris or damaged roads can prevent emergency services from reaching you.

Your community could be isolated and essential services disrupted for up to three days or more.

During a large scale event emergency services will focus on assisting the most vulnerable in the community.

You may not have immediate access to support and will need to rely on the supplies and equipment you have on hand at home.

If you were isolated right now, would you be prepared?


 For more information contact;

Emergency Management Queensland

Community Engagement Officer Christopher Wegger or 40328682






Vote for the RIHP Rubies Hockey Team!

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The Remote and Indigenous Hockey Program (RIHP) is an initiative in conjunction with Hockey Queensland and Hockey Australia, aimed at creating playing opportunities and development pathways for Indigenous youth in remote Queensland regions. By providing greater support and opportunities to Indigenous players, coaches and umpires, the RIHP is also working towards the goal of getting more Indigenous players in state and national squads.

Photo by Hockey Queensland Sep 6, 2012

The North Queensland Rubies team is a celebration of the work and achievement of the RIHP program. As the first Indigenous hockey team to complete internationally (coming in 3rd at the Singapore Sixes competition) and also receiving a nomination for an international Beyond Sport Award, the North Queensland Rubies have gone from strength to strength.

Australian Women’s Health Magazine have now nominated the RIHP North Queensland Rubies for TEAM OF THE YEAR in their WOMEN AND SPORT FEATURE. We’d like to invite you to get on board and support this great team and initiative.  



Skytrans are proud to support the transport of RIHP Program staff throughout remote Far North Queensland


Cape United Represent in Mount Isa

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

On Saturday the 14th of July, a specially selected representative team of players was chosen to represent Cape York in a one-off special rugby league event against a Queensland Outback side at Mount lsa.

With the support of Cape PCYC, the team known as Cape United flew into Cairns from remote communities throughout Far North Queensland for training and team building exercises on the 12th & 13th, before boarding a chartered flight operated by proud sponsor Skytrans to Mount lsa.

The Cape United team, coached by Dave Kennedy bonded well from the start and morale was high prior to the big game, despite the chilly weather! The players and coaching staff also enjoyed watching the Northern Pride defeat the Souths Logan Magpies in a great game and were particularly thrilled that such a high profile game would be played as a “curtain raiser” to their own event.

Unfortunately for the Cape United team, they were not strong enough to come away with a win, going down to the Queensland Outback side in a whitewash finish.

They were able to find satisfaction in the experience however, through realising where the bar was set for them to compete at that level again. Each player left Mount Isa with a commitment and a strong resolve to train harder and improve their game so they can turn the tables next year.

 Article & photo courtesy of Glenn Dennis, CAPE PCYC – Kowanyama


Skytrans Provides Lift for Frontier Services

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The Managing Director of Skytrans, Simon Wild announced today details of a community partnership with Frontier Services that will strengthen the provider’s network of services and care delivered to remote families across Queensland.

Under the partnership, Skytrans will provide Frontier Services’ staff with flights to remote locations across Queensland to enable the provision of vital services; particularly children’s services for young families and health care in remote communities.

“Skytrans operates to some of Queensland’s most isolated and remote communities and understands

the challenges that people in these communities face on a daily basis, in terms of quality of life. Through our partnership with Frontier Services we feel that we are making a contribution that offers people access to a service that provides social and emotional support to those in need,” he said.

According to Frontier Services Regional Manager, Karen Harvey, the partnership will assist child care workers with the Frontier Services Remote Family Care Service to reach isolated families and provide relief child care for up to three weeks a year.

The Remote Family Care Service works alongside the Frontier Services Remote Area Families Service (RAFS). FiveRAFS teams of trained early childhood specialists travel out to remote properties and communities in four-wheel-drive vehicles, jam-packed with educational toys and activities for the children. They also provide resources, advice and support to the parents.

Frontier Services also has two health care services in Queensland; the Savannah Regional Health Service and the Bollon Bush Nursing Centre. The Savannah Regional Health Service, based out of Georgetown, played an active role in helping the community recover from Cyclone Yasi.

Ms Harvey said that in effect, “The families, who are a long way from mainstream child care services, can access the service when they need it most, for example during shearing, mustering or hardship.

“Being able to access the flights to get our child care workers around the state will make a huge difference. It will give us more flexibility to respond to a family’s request, particularly if there is an urgent need. It will also greatly reduce travel time for the child care workers, many of whom are on the road for weeks at a time.

“We are delighted to begin this partnership with Skytrans that will strengthen the whole region as we work together to support remote Queensland,” she said.


John Dickinson, Frontier Services National Development Manager with Skytrans Managing Director Simon Wild.

Karen Harvey, Frontier Service QLD Regional Manager; Anna Burley, Frontier Services Primary Health Care Nurse & Team Leader of the Savannah Regional Health Service; Steve Jones, Skytrans Commercial Manager of RPT Services; Billy Gordon, Skytrans Community Development Manager.


Skytrans Take Pride Holiday Clinic

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Junior Rugby League players from throughout the Gulf and Cape regions joined their city slicker cousins when the Skytrans Take Pride Holiday Clinic got underway in Cairns in early July.

Now in its fourth year, the Holiday Clinic is hosted by the Take Pride Program and features Northern Pride players and coaching staff passing on the lessons which have helped the Pride become heavyweights of the Intrust Super Cup competition.

Held at Barlow Park in Cairns, Skytrans provided the flights which allowed 12 players from the remote communities of Mt Isa, Mornington Island, Northern Peninsula Area, Aurukun & Pormpuraaw to join the Cairns based players tolearn a range of skills from their illustrious coaching staff.

Held over three days, the Clinic hosts players from 5 years of age to 14, with all participants receiving a football, kicking tee, t-shirt, hat, water bottle and boot bag, while learning all the secrets of becoming a great footballer.


Skytrans launches its inaugural ‘Social Investments Report’

Monday, July 30th, 2012


On Tuesday 17th July Skytrans officially launched the company’s first ever Social Investment Report. The Social Investment Report will be produced annually and showcases the richness and depth of the company’s giving back to the communities that give to us.

The Skytrans Community Development team has been working on the inaugural report for some time, and are proud to finally launch the document which gives a comprehensive view of the valuable corporate social responsibility work that the company is involved in throughout the state. By making social investments into the delivery of programs, activities and initiatives that support youth development, leadership, sports, health care, education and the arts, we aim to contribute to improving the quality of life that people live throughout remote Queensland. 

From our support of the Taipans and the Northern Pride here in Cairns, to the Mount Isa Rodeo, the Birdsville Races or RFDS primary health care clinics in Coen, we are giving back to communities –and with a combined financial / in-kind contribution of $846,404 in 2011 alone we are certainly punching above our weight!

If you are interested in reading more about the great work we are doing as a company, you can view the 2011 Social Investments Report on the website at or get the latest updates here on the blog.

For further information regarding Skytrans’ social investment work please feel free to contact Skytran’s Community Development team:

Chelly Hewson or Billy Gordon on 07 40406700 /


Pictured are: Dwayne Vale (Taipans), with Billy Gordon (Skytrans) & Peter Harm (Commonwealth Bank, Indigenous Banking Unit).  Steve Jones (Skytrans Commercial Manager), Chelly Hewson (Skytrans) & Robbie Bastion (Parker Travel Collection)


Cessation of Cape York Local Fare Scheme ($99 Fare)

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Skytrans has today been advised by the Qld Department of Transport and Main Roads that the State Government’s ‘Local Fare Scheme’ or commonly referred to $99.00 Fare will cease to be available effective immediately.  This is a decision that has been made by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and not Skytrans.

Skytrans wishes to advise that residents of the Cape York communities of Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Aurukun, Northern Peninsula Area, Lockhart River and Coen will be affected.

Skytrans would like to notify members of the traveling public that have existing bookings under the Local Fare Scheme that these bookings will be honoured by Skytrans.  However any changes to existing bookings will be subject to normal fees and charges including the upgrading to the next cheapest available fare.

For further information in regards to existing bookings please contact our office on 1300 759 872.

For further information in regards to the Local Fare Scheme please contact:

The Department of Transport and Main Road’s Aviation Team


Phone: +61 7 3167 4483

Please feel free to contact Skytran’s Community Development Manager Billy Gordon for any information about Skytran’s Service on 07 40406732 / 0458462440.



Kids Living Safer Lives – Term 1 School Holidays

Thursday, May 24th, 2012


 Skytrans has been a generous supporter of the Kids Living Safer Lives (KLSL) Holiday program since its inception in 2008. The holiday program provides in-community diversionary activities for kids either as stand alone activities or as a supplement to other programmed activities with a view to significantly reducing juvenile offending and anti-social behaviour. The heaviest demand on the program falls during the wetter parts of the year – and on this occasion it was the Term 1 (April) school holidays. Due to the late onset of the wet season, the Term 1 holiday program was run as a wet season program as road access to most communities was cut and air travel was the only viable way of accessing those communities.

 During the 2012 April school holidays, Skytrans very kindly sponsored the delivery of some facilitator gear and fruit supplies into the following communities serviced by Skytrans flights – Pormpuraaw, Coen, Lockhart River, Aurukun and the Northern Peninsula Area communities for use as part of the Kids living Safer Lives holiday programs run by AFL Cape York.

 Skytrans carried the gear to the communities at no cost to the program. This report acknowledges that very generous contribution.



All facilitators were able to get their gear into the communities as and when required, which meant that all programs could get underway fully equipped from the outset.

 In addition, in order to match our ‘Eat Healthy’ words with action, the KLSL program supplied large quantities of fruit to the kids through the course of the program and Skytrans kindly carried the fruit supplies at no cost to the KLSL program. This fruit helped sustain the participants through the course of the activities and was well appreciated as evidenced by our young friend from Coen

 Over 8 days of activities, the various activities in the Skytrans serviced communities recorded over 1400 participants.

 On behalf of AFL Cape York, the Kids Living Safer Lives program and the participants, we say yet another big thank you to Skytrans. 

Photo Courtesy of Dominic Johns



Pormpuraaw Art & Culture Centre

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Four Artists from Pormpuraaw Art & Culture Centre travel to Melbourne and exhibit their work

On April 16th 2012 four Pormpuraaw artists Elliot Koonutta, Sid Bruce Short Joe, Romena Edwards, Christine Holroyd and their manager Paul Jakubowski traveled to Melbourne for a “Meet the Artist” event held at the our first out of state art exhibit. The exhibit was held at the Alcaston Gallery on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy.  It was the first time any of our artists had ever been to Melbourne and the biggest city they had ever experienced. The event took more than a year to plan and prepare for. Thank you Skytrans for your support and providing us with discounted tickets. The show included weavings, wood carvings, paintings and prints. The Pormpuraaw Art Centre has come a long way in the last few years. It has become recognized for having talented, motivated artists and selling inventive, quality work.

The trip was a real thought provoking, educational experience. On a normal day you would find our artists fishing in the river out in the hot sun and keeping a watchful eye out for crocs. “Then suddenly” they find themselves immersed in a huge concrete and steel multicultural city keeping an eye out for cars and trucks and not getting run over in the crosswalk.  During the first day I could see expressions of confusion and being out of place on their faces. They were looking for their relatives, homes and pet dogs. They were out of their comfort zone and experiencing something new and exciting. Home sickness was kept in check by eating out at several fantastic restaurants.   The people of Melbourne were incredibly nice and friendly to us. Everyone wanted to know where we came from who we were and all about our show.

While in Melbourne they visited the National collection of Aboriginal and western art. The artwork was overwhelming and inspiring. They visited the Natural History Museum and saw the skeleton of a blue whale and the remains of Far Lap the race horse. We even took an exciting first time ever tram ride to Luna Park.  The waters of the bay smelled and tasted different then the waters of home.  The fish living under the jetty looked similar yet different somehow connecting to their own country. 

Pormpuraaw art work is an expression of community and culture and a bridge to the outside world. The experience of artists seeing their work on display in a beautiful gallery and meeting collectors for the first time is unforgettable.  An experience that will hopefully inspire more exciting work. Collectors wanted to shake their hands and hear the culture stories behind the work. One collector was so emotional he was brought to tears.

After four days of exploring this urban environment everyone was ready to go home and be with family and friends and all things familiar. To live in a simpler life style and place called Pormpuraaw.  All readers are invited to visit our centre meet artist and see their work.  



 Arictle & Photos courtesy of Paul Jakubowski

                    Pormpuraaw Art & Culture Centre