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Recent History

For the most part of the 20th Century, aboriginal people in Coen were forced from their lands and became cheap labour around their country on the establishing cattle properties of the area. This helped maintain a connection to country but always on the terms of others.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s our remaining elders fought hard for the return of traditional lands and with the support of the Cape York Land Council, land negotiations began in earnest in the 1990’s. By the mid-1990’s the first parcels of land were handed back to Traditional Owner groups at the Coen sub-region.

Between 1990 and 2005 Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation (CRAC) was the peak organisation representing the interests of indigenous people of Central Cape York Peninsula. It provided more than 100 jobs across the spectrum of social services, housing, land and sea management, employment programs, and importantly the outstation development that provided access to country for hundreds of Coen traditional owners. In 2007, CRAC went into voluntary administration, which had an immediate negative impact for Coen. People struggled to stay on their country, resulting in a sharp decrease in elders and their children visiting and accessing country and passing on cultural knowledge.

With the establishment of Kalan in 2009, it created a fresh enthusiasm and re-ignited the hopes and dreams of people wanting to take up real jobs to look after and manage their country.

For more information on Kalan Enterprises, contact our head office in Coen on phone (07) 4060 1038 or email office@kalan.org.au

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