Aboriginal Shire of Kowanyama

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Aboriginal Shire of Kowanyama
Kowanyama LGA Qld.png
Location within Queensland
Population 1,198 (2010)[1]
 • Density 0.46580/km2 (1.2064/sq mi)
Established 1987
Area 2,571.9 km2 (993.0 sq mi)
Mayor Michael Yam
Council seat Kowanyama, Queensland
Region Cape York
State electorate(s) Cook
Federal Division(s) Leichhardt
Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Logo.svg
Website Aboriginal Shire of Kowanyama
LGAs around Aboriginal Shire of Kowanyama:
Gulf of Carpentaria Pormpuraaw Cook
Gulf of Carpentaria Aboriginal Shire of Kowanyama Carpentaria
Carpentaria Carpentaria Carpentaria

The Aboriginal Shire of Kowanyama is a special local government area which is located on western Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia. It is managed under a Deed of Grant in Trust under the Local Government (Community Government Areas) Act 2004.


The area originally was set up as the Mitchell River Mission in 1916. Aboriginal people from the region were gradually drawn from their traditional lands into the mission settlement. Language groups associated with countries in the Kowanyama region are Yir-Yoront, Yirrk Thangalkl, Koko Bera and Kunjen (Uw Oykangand and Olkola dialects).

In 1967 the Anglican church were no longer able to sustain their activities in the area as a Church Mission. The Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs, a government department, under the Act continued running the affairs of the community.

On 23 July 1987, under the Community Services (Aborigines) Act 1984, a Deed of Grant in Trust was given to the Kowanyama community over the lands in the Mitchell River delta. Like other DOGIT communities of the time, Kowanyama had a town Council elected by Aboriginal people living in the community. The newly formed Kowanyama Council assumed responsibility for implementing certain conditions of the DOGIT. Seven elected Aboriginal residents hold three year terms in office.


As the Shire is not operated under the Local Government Act and operates the land on behalf of the community, the Shire Council's responsibilities are quite different from a typical local government body. This includes responsibility for fisheries, alcohol management and even operation of some commercial enterprises.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 March 2011). "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009–10". Retrieved 11 June 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 15°28′47″S 141°44′31″E / 15.4796°S 141.7420°E / -15.4796; 141.7420