Pormpuraaw is on the west coast of Cape York about 500 kilometres from the tip of Australia, just south of the Edward River. It is the home of the Thaayore, Wik, Bakanh and Yir Yoront People.
Pormpuraaw Township consists of two neighbourhoods known locally as Mungkan side and Thaayorre side. They are united by schools, shops, administrative buildings and a number of shire council staff housing. The neighbourhoods originated at the time of mission settlement and reflect traditional linguistic and territorial affiliations. The majority of residents on the Mungkan side originate from along or north of the Edward River. The Thaayorre side accommodates speakers of Thaayorre, Yir Yoront and other dialects that lie along or south of the Edward River. For more information on Pormpuraaw, please visit the Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council website: pormpuraaw.qld.gov.au
Pormpuraaw Airport (EDR) is located west of Pormpuraaw on Wirran Street. Check-in for Skytrans flights takes place at the main terminal. Check-in opens 90 minutes prior to departure of the flight and closes 30 minutes prior. Baggage is available for collection outside the terminal.
Pormpuraaw (formerly Edward River) was established as an Anglican Mission in 1983. The Anglicans had established Kowanyama in 1905 but realised that there were conflicts arising as a result of bringing many tribes together from such a large area. The Anglican Missionaries then sought to establish a number of smaller missions in the area. The first mission was located at the present Pormpuraaw site and took hold. Like all cape missions, government rationed subsidies for aboriginal people at Pormpuraaw was about one-third of what was required to exist, so most of the men and boys were sent out to work on the cattle stations in the region. This enabled them to stay close to their traditional country.
At the same time, the Anglicans removed women and children from the cattle stations in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Dormitories were established to contain the women and children and provide schooling. Erratic rationing meant that most people were still required to hunt and collect food from the surrounding bush which helped maintain a cultural connection with the land. The reliance on bush food was especially critical during the war periods when rationing of fuel prevented the mission boat from going to Normanton for supplies.
In 1986 the Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Community Council gained title to the area by way of a Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT). This enabled the council to have full local government authority over the trust area of 466,198 hectares. In 2004 Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Community Council became a Shire Council incorporated under the Local Government (Community Government Areas) Act 2004.