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Apunipima was incorporated under the Corporations Act in 2013. Apunipima is able to have up to 10 Elected Directors and three skills-based Directors under its constitution.

Elected Directors represent the four regions of Cape York; the regions are based on cultural linkages and kinship, community populations, health profile and geography. Board representation is determined by the number of members in each region.

Board members must be a member of Apunipima and undergo a nomination, selection and election process before they can become a Director on the Board. Directors serve a term of three years.

Directors do not receive remuneration for their services but do receive travel expenses.

The Board holds eight meetings per year - four face to face and four via phone and video conferencing.

Becoming a Board Member

Cape York residents wishing to join the Board must first become a member of Apunipima. 

Members are able to nominate themselves for Board positions by filling out a nomination form prior to the Board elections.

The form (which is posted to all members) asks nominees to outline their skills, experience and what they will bring to the role.

Nominations are assessed against selection criteria by an independent nomination assessment panel. If nominations meet the criteria, the nominee becomes a candidate for the election.

Members for each region are then sent a profile of their regional candidates along with a ballot paper. Only members are able to be nominated or vote in the election.

Once all of the votes have been cast, a count is undertaken by officers of Apunipima with the outcome reported to the Board. The newly elected Directors are then sworn in at the next Annual General Meeting.

Elected Directors

Region One: Bamaga, Horn Island, Injinoo, New Mapoon, Seisia, Umagico

Patricia Yusia - Deputy Chairperson, Bamaga

Patricia Yusia is passionate about health and has dedicated most of her life to building community development initiatives to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

In the past she has successfully advocated for indigenous issues through participation in many different non-government organisation boards and at a government executive level.

Demonstrating a keen interest in the health and wellbeing of our children, Patricia currently holds the position of Director of the Child Protection Peak body and is also a Director for the Remote Area Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care Program.

With over 26 years’ experience in health, not only as a senior health worker but also as a senior executive at Bamaga Hospital, Patricia is committed to involving community in the development of initiatives and programs designed to improve their own health. 

Mary Yoelu, Umagico

Mary Yoelu is a member of the Northern Peninsula Area Family and Community Services Board of Directors, a position she commenced in 2002. During this time she has held the positions of President and Vice-President. Her current role with the Board is that of Health and Children’s Services.

Mary is passionate about the health and wellbeing of the people of Cape York. Working with Apunipima to help deliver high quality health care services to the community has become her lifelong work. Mary believes that her values align well with Apunipima’s model of care and values.


Patricia Yusia Deputy Chairperson Image





Mary Yoelu

Region Two: Mapoon, Napranum, Weipa


Aileen Addo - Chair, Mapoon

Aileen was elected as Chair of Apunipima Cape York Health Council in March 2018. Aileen has worked in the health service arena for over 30 years and is currently a councillor for Mapoon Shire Council, holding the position of Mayor. 

This experience combined with previous Board directorships have led Aileen to develop effective communication, negotiation and influencing skills that will support Apunipima to position itself as the lead agency for health service delivery through community control across the Cape.

   Aileen Addo cropped

Region Three: Aurukun, Pormpuraaw, Kowanyama


Thomas Hudson - Kowanyama

Thomas Hudson has previously held the role of Chair and Deputy Chair. He has been a proud part of the Board for many years.

Thomas also is Chair of the Kowanyama Health Action Team and has 27 years’ experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, Indigenous councils and as a health lobbyist.

For 18 years Thomas managed Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council’s Community Development Employment Projects Program which develops skills and improves the capacity of job seekers living in remote communities.

Dereck Walpo - Aurukun

Currently Mayor of the Aurukun Shire Council, Dereck Walpo has been involved with the Aurukun Shire Council since 1994. He served first as a Councillor (1994-97, 2004-2008, 2012-present) and then elected for Mayor in 2012 and re-elected unopposed in 2016. During his time at the Council, Dereck’s involvement has included dealings with health, businesses development, community safety and the environment.

Dereck is currently the Aurukun Shire Council representative for a number of organisations including Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance (TCICA), Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG), Western Cape Communities Trust (Southern Region) and the Aurukun Health Action Team.

Dereck demonstrates strong leadership and commitment to improving health for Cape York including strong advocacy of training and job creation for local people.  


Thomas Hudson 2 cropped


Dereck Walpo Image

Region Four: Coen, Lockhart


Ethel Singleton - Lockhart

Ethel Singleton is Coordinator of Lockhart River's Pytham Women’s Shelter, Chair of the Lockhart River Community Justice Group and Chair of the Lockhart River Health Action Team.

Her interest in health was sparked through holding the role of Chair with the Health Action Team and the high incidence of chronic disease in her community.

Ms Singleton believes community controlled health services have a positive role to play in improving health in remote communities and wants to see more people taking responsibility for their own health.

She was elected Director of Region 3  in 2016 and is looking forward to further contributing to the health of Lockhart River, Laura and Coen in this role.



 Ethel Singelton cropped

Region Five: Cooktown, Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal, Mossman Gorge, Laura


Trevor 'Shane' Gibson - Cooktown

Trevor Shane brings a broad range of skills and experience to the position of Director. Trevor has worked as a Director of an Arts and Culture Centre, BRACS Community Radio and as a community police officer.

As a traditional owner, Trevor Shane is well aware of the health issues of his people and brings community heart and spirit to the Board. Trevor sees his role as standing up for the people of Mossman Gorge, Cooktown, Wujal Wujal and Hopevale to ensure they get the health services they deserve.



Trevor Shane Gibson cropped