Skytrans Blog

Archive for April, 2012

Burketown 34th World Barramundi Fishing Championships 2012

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The 34th Annual World Barramundi Fishing Championships took place in Burketown over the Easter weekend 6 – 8 April.  The weekend was a great success with 332 competitors from as far as Melbourne and Darwin including many places in between. The fishing conditions were good and the catches reflect this.

Final Figures have not yet been tallied, however but early indications are that the proceeds will be of the order of $5,000 – 6,000 which will be donated to the local school, kindergarten and health clinic.

The boat motor and trailer nomination prize for the adults went to Cody Zahl from Alpha and the Junior nomination prize a Ninetendo Wii went to Shakiah Douglas from Burketown.

The Skytrans voucher for 2 return fares Burketown to Cairns was won by a local – Miss Mayaar Yanner


Shania Hookey & Mibbi Yanner                         Kobe & Maddison Marshall

Congratulations to all the winners :

Event Place Winner Address Fish Weight (kg)
Open Barra Adults 1 Lee Carmichael Burketown


  2 Zach Duff Burketown


  3 Ian Kennedy Burketown


Senior All Round Angler 1 Paul Rossi Burketown

7 species -


Mystery Weight 1 Geoff Darrach Burketown

Barra – 2.68

  1 Kevin Anderson Burketown

Jew – 2.68

Men’s Bream 1 Tyler Frousheger Charleville


Men’s Fingermark 1 Robert Sullivan Townsville


Men’s Grunter 1 Peter Sheehan Melbourne


  1 Orrie Sawczak Mount Isa


Men’s Jew 1 Trevor Duncan Mount Isa


Men’s Queenfish 1 Troy Williams Richmond


Men’s Salmon 1 Greg Portch Burketown


Women’s Bream 1 Cheryl Portch Burketown


Women’s Fingermark 1 Renae Baker Sydney


  1 Haley Booth Burketown


Women’s Grunter 1 Gloria Beaver Brisbane


Women’s Jew 1 Gail Barton Mount Isa


Women’s Queenfish 1 Jamie Firth Mount Isa


Women’s Salmon 1 Madison Marshall Burketown


Junior Barra 1 Reece Zahl Alfa


  2 Sage Marshall Burketown


  3 Kobe Marshall Burketown


Junior Bream 1 Sharleigh Cunningham Mount Isa


  1 Harry McLaren Burketown


  2 Darby Cunningham Mount Isa


  3 Shania Hookey Burketown


  3 Darby Cunningham Mount Isa


Junior Fingermark 1 Tyronne Cooling Burketown


  2 Grace Adams Cloncurry


  3 Brittney Hadden Narramine


Junior Grunter 1 Shania Hookey Burketown


  2 Preston Ah Wing Burketown


  3 Sharleigh Cunningham Mount Isa


  3 Brittney Hadden Narramine


Junior Jew 1 Ellie Lavis Burketown


Junior Queenfish 1 Jerome Shadforth Burketown


  2 Jerome Shadforth Burketown


  2 Pemnluny Yanner Burketown


  3 Darby Cunningham Mount Isa


Junior Salmon 1 Brodie Hadden Narramine


  2 Tyronne Cooling Burketown


  3 Brodie Hadden Narramine


Junior All Round Angler 1 Shannyn Anderson Burketown

6 Species


“Deadly Story” Eugene Dorante

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Eugene Dorante grew up on Hammond Islandin Torres Strait where his interest in repairing engines and motor vehicles grew out of a necessity.

“I was raised by my grandfather and he taught me how to repair engines and motor vehicles that our family owned, like a small generator, an out-board motor and a Mini Moke which we depended on,”Eugene said.

When he was 17 Eugene met and married his wife Roxanne and, with little baby Alex on the way, they moved to Thursday Island where Eugene took a job at Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ).


However, he continued to work on his car and his in-laws’ cars in his sparetime and soon others in the area began to ask Eugene to repair their cars. “It gave me an insight into what I could do with my future,” he said.

Another move, to Cairns, saw Eugene secure a mechanical apprenticeship with Ganes Mechanical. It took six years for Eugene to finish his apprenticeship, due to illness and moving away from home and other challenges, but his ability was always apparent.

He was Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year for

2011 and chosen to tell his story before more than 200

people at the institute’s official National Closing the Gap

Day celebration.


Finally he is on top after completing his apprenticeship and receiving a Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology.

Eugene believes that education is a way to a better life and leads toan understanding of where you come from, where you want to go and the courage to believe in yourself.

“Because of my education, I know I can do this,” he said. “I can do anything and I don’t have to rely on anyone anymore because I am an educated man.”.

Eugene’s future goals centre on being an effective ambassador for his industry and community.  He is already trying to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous youth in Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands when he speaks at job networks and youth group meetings.

He intends to continue his motivational speaking and one-on-one work with the job networks and various Indigenous youth mentoring groups. True to his nature, Eugene wants to pass on his knowledge and skills to make a difference in the lives of members of his community.

Eugene also buys broken down cars that no one wants, fixes them up and sells them to people who need a car but can’t afford to buy a new one. “It’s fun for me, I usually break even but it’s a hobby and I get to spend time in the garage with my son,” he said.

Eugene has just bought his nineteenth vehicle he says that one day he will own his own car.

“I’ve learnt that what you put into life, you get out of life,” he said.

The deadly stories campaign celebrates the many achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities.

To read other stories or post your own, visit


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


Crocs snap up 8 Ball win

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

THE NPA Crocs 8 Ball team has had a big win in a major pool competition in Babinda. Team member Gabriel Bowie joined 10 players who travelled to Babinda to participate in the competition on May 19-20, 2012.

He said the team’s performance in the lead-up to the final between NPA Crocs and Cairns was outstanding. “It was very entertaining to watch through those two days,” Bowie said. “Our team took to the challenge, and it was our first experience playing on that level.” The NPA Crocs team is Gabriel Bowie, Phillip Bowie, Johnny Tamwoy, Michael Solomon, Stanley Addo, Frankie Walker, Levani Nedredre, Gordon Solomon, Harvey Morseu, and Patrick Ropeyarn.

“To our major sponsors Skytrans and PCYC, we the NPA Crocs 8 Ball team would like to forward to a very big thanks or eso for made everything possible to us,” Bowie said. “Without you this would have never happened.”

NPA Crocs 8 Ball team members at the competition in Babinda.












- Article and Photo Courtesy of the Torres News



Normanton Barra Classic 2012

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Who would have thought that with the roads only opening days before, and in some cases the night before, that 381 keen fishermen/women/kids would be lining the banks of the mighty Norman River to keenly contest the Annual Normanton Barra Classic?  Who would have also thought that the Barra would go off like they did?  What a fabulous weekend of fishing was enjoyed by all.

With 381 nominations, and 344 fish weighed-in, why would you be anywhere else? We would like to say that the weigh-ins reflected the amount of fish caught, but also the huge catch and release numbers (the amount unknown).  The stories of how many fish were actually caught were mind boggling.  Our winners were…


1st – Siti Stroud with 14.89kg/110cm (the fish was almost as tall as her) *Pictured

2nd – Clint Spry with 11.54kg/106.5cm (this ripper was weighed in on Saturday, but pipped on Sunday)

3rd – Robyn Busch with 11.04kg/110cm (was weighed in on Sunday also)

Heaviest Catfish 6.92kg weighed-in by Gwendoline Callope

Heaviest Other Fish with Scales was a bream by Warren Rossow


Lachlan Anderson took out all the honours with Heaviest Barra, 1st – 8.47kg, 2nd – 7.64 kg, and 3rd – 7.19kg weighing in late Sunday afternoon *Pictured

Supplementary prizes went to Tyler Neilson and Kailan Rainbow

Junior heaviest catfish went to Jaylen McMullen with a ripper 7.14kg catty

Heaviest Other Fish with Scales was Cameron Millard with a Garfish

Teams Winners were Team ‘Don’t Know’ with 89.56kg of Barra between them – Scott McDowell, Greg Smith, Clint Spry, and Jett Spry *Pictured

Our $10,000 cash Raffle went off on Sunday night, and an extremely enjoyable weekend of fishing, entertainment, prizes and raffles (over $25,000 in cash and prizes) was had by all.  The Skytrans flights were won by Dawn and Brad Bird.

A huge big thank-you to Skytrans for their ongoing support for our fishing comp and region as without their support we cannot keep producing not only the fantastic prizes, but the donation back to the community from the proceeds, which will be approximately $9000, going to Normanton State School, Gulf Christian College, Normanton Day Care Centre, Normanton Gun club, and the Normanton Cricket Club this year. We hope to have to see you all there next year, with your fishing rods in hand.










- Coutesy of the Normanton Social Fishing Club

Carbon Tax Annoucement

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Effective 1 July 2012 the Australian Government will implement its carbon tax legislation.

Therefore, for flights departing on and after 1 July 2012 a Carbon Tax of $3.85 will be charged on Skytrans flights.  The amount collected will be passed on in full to the Government to be used for industry and household assistance.  The tax equates to an approximate increase of 5% on our fuel costs.

At this stage, the Carbon Tax only affects the following routes:  Bamaga, Kowanyama, Edward River, Lockhart River, Coen and Aurukun.  Further ports will be added in the coming months prior to 1 July 2012.

It is important to note that the payment of the Carbon Tax does not offset your flight and you will not be flying carbon neutral unless you purchase this option online at the time of booking.

Normanton Crocs Oztag Team Make their Mark

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

It’s not an everyday event when a group of Normanton youth have the opportunity to travel to the Sunshine Coast and represent their region in a sporting event.   This is exactly what happened in February with 14 boys aged between 11 and 14 representing North Queensland at the Oz Tag Queensland Junior State Titles. 

The trip can only be described as a resounding success with the boys being great ambassadors for Carpentaria Shire and the Gulf region.  All the boys had to attend many weeks of training before the trip, and they should all be commended for their willingness to participate and the high level of enthusiasm and commitment.  Many of the boys had never travelled on a large plane or been to Brisbane, so this in itself was a reason for much excitement.   To the delight of the boys, and the adults as well, there was a brief photo opportunity with some of the Melbourne Storm players at Brisbane airport en route to the Sunshine Coast. 

Over the weekend the boys had as much success off as on the field.  With 74 teams comprising 1000 players in the competition the boys made it to the quarter finals.  Isaac Owens was named Best and Fairest player for Saturday and Sunday games.  Jesse McPherson and Isaac were selected to represent Queensland in the under 14’s Oz Tag Team in June 2012. 

Due to their commitment the two boys were also selected to play in the Far North Queensland Senior Open Men’s team to play in the Queensland Oztag Senior State titles.  Skytrans were proud to provide the boys with return flights from Normanton to Cairns at no charge, in order to compete at such an advanced level. Both boys displayed skills beyond their years and competed extremely well against mature aged players. 

It is hoped that this is the first step on the path to establishing an OzTag competition in Normanton and the wider Gulf region and providing other youth with opportunities to also play at high levels of competition.  

Congratulations to the Normanton Crocs:  Gasmun Kampf; Jesse McPherson; Renee Turner; Carl Casey;  Nicholas Casey; Rakeem Rainbow; Juwan Fraser; Zachary Gilbo; Troy Kumsing; Isaac Owens; Collis Casey; Kelean Logan; Raymond Dalton; and Isaiah Callope.


Isaac Owens & Jesse McPherson with Skytrans Community Development Manager Billy Gordon

Normanton Crocs Under 14 Oztag Team




Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Embracing his spirit of fun for a good cause, the managing director of Skytrans, Simon Wild  went to jail yesterday – albeit briefly – while his staff and family raised bail to benefit the Cairns Branch of PCYC’s Time4Kids campaign.

Mr Wild was busy at work when all of a sudden he was arrested and handcuffed by the Cairns branch manager of the PCYC, Stephen Tillett.  After which, his staff followed him down the stairs before waving him off to his holding cell at PCYC’s headquarters in McNamara Street.  There, he managed to raise the minimum $500 bail and more with a total donation of $2552.65 from Skytrans and the Wild family.

Yesterday’s stunt was played out with the aim of promoting participation by local businesses in PCYC’s new Time4Kids fundraising initiative that will be held during National Youth Week commencing on Friday 13 April, 2012.  This state-wide event will see PCYC jails spring up across Queensland in more than 40 local communities.

In Cairns, the PCYC’s Time4Kids arrest event will take place on Thursday, 19 April.  This is when representatives from participating businesses are arrested and detained in Cairns’ PCYC jail that will be located on the centre stage of Earlville Shopping Centre.  The Cairns Branch of the PCYC is aiming to secure 10 local businesses.

Mr Wild said his company are proud supporters of PCYC in Cairns and the regions in which Skytrans operates.  He is urging other local businesses to get on board this initiative which is all about raising money to fund worthwhile crime prevention and youth development programs.

From left: Cairns Branch Manager of PCYC, Stephen Tillett, Managing Director of Skytrans, Simon Wild, Mr Wild’s nieces and shaking the can for bail, Skytrans Cairns Taipans General Manager, Mark Beecroft.


Breast Friends Day 2012

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

This annual fundraising event was held at Cloncurry racecourse on Saturday 10th March.  This fantastic initiative, which is now in its second year, raises funds for breast cancer awareness with all profits going to the Jane McGrath Foundation.  This is the first year that Skytrans has become involved with this event, donating a voucher for 2 x return airfares Mount Isa to Cairns.

Kylie Warrian has been the driving force and organiser behind this annual event, and tells of the success of Breast Friends Day for 2012.

 My aim was to raise $10,000 this year as last year we raised $7150 for The McGrath Foundation, who fund Breast Care Nurses for rural and remote areas throughout Australia and also educate young women about breast cancer awareness, which I believe is such an imperative issue these days, with small remote communities such as ours, that often do not get the information and medical help of some of the big cities.

This year Breast Friends Day raised $18,500 which is really amazing. We had plenty of things on, Luncheon, Guest Speakers, Fashion Parade, Mutli Draw Raffles, Lucky Door Prizes & an Auction, which proved to be a real hit. The major Auction Item being “A pass for 4 people to spend a Day with Gai Waterhouse” sold for $2,100 which was great! The auction itself raised $5815 for event.   We were so lucky that Skytrans came aboard with the return tickets for two to Cairns. It made a brilliant Major Multi Draw Raffle and sold over $1500 worth of Raffle tickets. The winner Barb Hanson, was very surprised when her name came out, although thrilled at the same time to receive such a great prize!  


Pictured are Kylie Warrian, Breast Friends Day organiser, presenting winner Barb Hanson with her prize, a Skytrans flight voucher for 2 x return airfares to Cairns.










FOGS Indigenous Employment & Careers Expo 2012

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Skytrans were pleased to participate in this year’s Former Origin Greats Indigenous Employment & Careers Expo.  Skytrans and Aerocare combined resources as exhibitors at the expo, providing information on career pathways in the aviation industry for Indigenous job seekers in the Cairns region.  It was the first time ever that Skytrans have exhibited at the FOGS Expo.   

 Pictured are Skytrans Community Development Manager Billy Gordon and Paul Rigby Cairns Airport Service Manager for Aerocare.