History and Achievements

BALKANU CAPE YORK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Pty Ltd has had unprecedented success in the facilitation and management of joint initiatives between local Indigenous leaders, regional entities, Commonwealth and State and Governments, Corporate Australia, philanthropic and other private industries as well as a wide range of interest groups since its inception in 1996.

Our main objective is in the facilitation and implementation of initiatives that are guided by principles established by Aboriginal Leaders and Elders based on their vision –  “We dream of a time when our people do not have to rely on welfare but can be economically independently” –  that Cape York Indigenous peoples and communities will attain economic sustainability, self-sufficiency as well as preservation of their cultural heritage.

The mission of Balkanu, with its trustee organisation Cape York Corporation,  is underpinned by the vision of Aboriginal Leaders and Elders of Cape York – and that is to

support the advancement of economic and social development of Aboriginal people of Cape York and for individuals and communities to achieve self-determination.

In line with Balkanu mission to support the Aboriginal people of Cape York to attain economic independency, the underlying principle for the programs we manage is to provide opportunities that enable Indigenous people get stable long-standing work or build up sustainable enterprises that result in economic stability so they can have the resources essential to have a healthy lifestyle.    As such we engage in programs that place huge emphasis getting ‘real jobs’ through on-the-job training and education (traineeships leading to nationwide accreditation) so trainees gain practical knowledge and experience that can be transferred into other areas of work employment or enabling  entrepreneurship.

Over the years, Balkanu has formed working partnerships stakeholder such as regional organisations, local businesses, Government agencies, universities, research institutions, service providers to facilitate and coordinate programs that deliver on enterprise development,  financial management,  preservation of Indigenous culture, caring for the country and environment,  tenure resolution.

At the same time, our organisation recognise the socio disadvantage in most of Cape York’s communities and a critical need to create new beginnings for the young people – most of these children grew up in depressing environment with habitual smoking, drugs usage, alcohol drinking and domestic violence.  Under the guiding principles of the Cape York Agenda, Balkanu is one of the five not-for-profit organisations that support the Welfare Reform Initiative.  We have been initiating programs that offer assistance to young people and their families improve their wellbeing and health – the key to a healthy mind and educational attainment.

Balkanu’s unprecedented success in delivery of many of its services has been achieved through synergetic efforts with its strong network of partners (e.g. local, regional, non-government and philanthropic organisations, Indigenous clan groups) and with the favourable support from Federal and Queensland Government agencies. Jointly, we have been able to identify solutions to Aboriginal issues while gaining the capacity from all our interactions to roll out programs that empower Indigenous people/ communities achieve lasting improvement to their socio-economic environment.

Our key services offered to the Cape York Indigenous people that support their aspirations include:

  • maximising Indigenous ownership and economic and social outcomes on Cape York Traditional lands, ensuring indigenous access to land managements are recognised and supported by State and Federal government legislations and policies
  • facilitation of negotiations towards settling mutually beneficial agreements between Traditional Owners and the Government agencies that enable Indigenous land trusts and clans to manage their own land and build up enterprising entities for possible economic development on their land ;
  • helping Traditional landowners to care for their country through successful Land-Sea management objectives with provision of relevant training and education that improve skills of Indigenous people so they can advance toward developing their own business service;
  • investigate, develop, promote and mentor business opportunities for Indigenous people and communities across Cape York Peninsula through our offer of services in business consultancy, corporate governance, administrative and  financial management, business development, feasibility studies, market research, business planning,  grant submissions to enable generation of sustainable commercial businesses;
  • facilitating training programs for Cape York people to advance their learning, knowledge, education, and know-how to improve their environment, health, accessibility to jobs and other economic development opportunities;
  • fostering economic development solutions for Cape York communities through facilitating and development of regional initiatives such as job opportunities, improvement to social framework;
  • supporting Aboriginal clan groups to protect and strengthen their heritage and culture using the methodology of digital Traditional Knowledge Recording
  • supporting Indigenous community pride encouraging skill development by building low cost housing structures that promote economic opportunities on their homeland
  • Supporting and develop young Cape York Indigenous leaders
  • Taking a lead role in the economic development stream of the Welfare Reform Initiative to help Cape York people achieve greater financial independence and improve their social environment.

Your support is greatly appreciated

Help us help the Cape York community.