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Our History

Apunipima Cape York Health Council was conceived at the Pajinka Wilderness Lodge, near Injinoo (at the tip of Cape York) on the 14th September 1994 following a four day health conference held by representatives from the 17 communities of Cape York and associated homelands who were concerned about the lack of improvement in the health status of Cape York Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders.

The result of the conference not only established Apunipima but gave the organisation a mandate to carry the health related issues to both the Cape York Land Council and the then Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council. 

So as a result of that resolution almost 20 years ago, Apunipima is now the lead agency representing the health needs of Cape communities and the community controlled comprehensive primary health care provider for the people of Cape York.

Although initially providing leadership in health advocacy and consultation, in 2006 a Deed of Commitment to transition health services in Cape York to community control was signed by Apunipima, Queensland Health, Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Far North Queensland Rural Division of General Practice, Queensland Ambulance Service and the Department of Health and Ageing. 

The Deed of Commitment named Apunipima as the community controlled health service for the Cape York region.

Since 2006, Apunipima has been working with communities to build capacity and capability to enable them to become more involved in the health of their community. Apunipima supports a family-centred approach to comprehensive primary health care, which differs from the current clinically-focussed model of care on Cape York. 

Apunipima has now implemented a program of primary health care delivery to the communities in Cape York via its Primary Health Care Unit. This service includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, outreach midwives, podiatrists, audiologists, physiotherapists, dieticians and nutritionists, diabetes nurses educators and several doctors.

In March 2010, Apunipima held a Cape York Health Conference attended by 150 representatives from Cape York communities. The conference discussed core service delivery, community control and the sustainability of community based Health Action Teams. There was a clear mandate from communities for Apunipima to lead the process of transition to community control.

about history1

Original Board

Apunipima was established in 1994 following a historic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health conference held in Pajinka

about history2

 The Wet

Two women walk under a wild Cape York sky