Involving Traditional Owners in tourism and encouraging business investment in Aurukun are among the opportunities Aurukun Shire Council’s new Business Development Officer Alan Neilan will be pursuing for the Cape York community.
Mr Neilan has extensive knowledge of local government processes and compliance measures, skills in leading change processes and the ability to manage people of all backgrounds and professions.
He was the Chief Executive Officer of Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council for three years and previously with the Department of Communities North West Queensland Housing Service Centre, Bynoe Community Advancement Coop Society Ltd and Pormpuraaw Community Council.
Aurukun Mayor Dereck Walpo welcomed Mr Neilan to the team which he said came at a turning point for the community.
“Alan will play a key role in promoting economic opportunities for Aurukun Shire to seek employment and business opportunities for local people,” he said.
“Our community is moving forward with Telstra currently rolling out a fibre optic network which will give Aurukun reliable communications and the recent installation of CCTV to help keep our community safe.
“New facilities are available for our residents including the PCYC sports centre which is running programs for children and sports for adults.
“The Indigenous Knowledge Centre incorporating the library and community broadcasting services will open soon.”
Mr Neilan said there was much interest in tourism from fly-in day tours to meet the Wik and Kugu artists behind the internationally-renowned Aurukun Ku’ camp dog sculptures to fishing charters and Traditional Owners taking visitors out on country.
“Aurukun’s wetlands are larger than those at Kakadu so there are many possibilities to open these up to tourism and give an authentic Indigenous experience in a spectacular wilderness area,” he said.