30 October 2023

New director appointed for Cape York NRM

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Community members seated facing away from the camera

Cape York Natural Resource Management welcomed a new director at the 2023-24 AGM. Photo: Starrlia Colley.

The Cape York Natural Resource Management (CYNRM) welcomed a new director at its recent AGM as the previous director focuses on her role as CEO.

Cape York Land Council senior community and stakeholder engagement officer Michelle Friday-Mooka has joined the CYNRM board of directors in place of Pip Schroor.

“We’re very excited about her,” CYNRM board chairperson Sally Gray said.

“She comes with lots of experience, lots of knowledge and lots of connections across the Cape York region. We now have a really diverse and skilled board of directors.”

She explained it was a positive time of change for the NRM, which had appointed its first female CEO this year and will be changing its funding base.

“The five-year round of federal funding across Australia for NRM bodies have concluded, so we’re at a moment of change of our base funding and a moment of change of priorities of what’s delivered across the region,” she said.

She said it had especially strengthened ongoing projects unrelated to that stream of funding, such as the Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance and the Feral Pig Management Strategy.

“It’s really significant that the groups are so engaged and it’s a real flagship program for the communities and for CYNRM.”

The conclusion of federal funding does bring about some financial challenges for the NRM, but Ms Gray was confident that it would be an exciting new chapter to explore other opportunities.

“The challenges are that we are now starting new programs because the programs that were funded in the previous five years have concluded, but I know that there’s going to be really great new opportunities for different priorities and different focuses with different communities.”

She said CYNRM would continue to tackle one of its biggest challenges, the booming tourism industry.

“One of the biggest issues is managing the huge increase in the tourist populations that are coming in and the impact that has on our environment, resources, water and garbage,” she said.

She explained that CYNRM was in a significant place to work with other organisations across the region in tackling these issues.

“CYNRM is the organisation that is able to connect all the other organisations across the Cape. Most other organisations are representing a community or a geographic area or an industry or particular group, whereas we work across the whole of the Cape.”

CYNRM would like to thank all community members who attended the AGM, as well as the staff and board for their work in the past year.

The organisation is welcoming new members, with free membership available through https://capeyorknrm.com.au/about/membership.

Michelle Friday-Mooka is a proud Eastern Yalanji, Olkola, Kabi Kabi, Wakka Wakka and Bwgcolman woman, and is also chair of the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation.

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