The Puuya Foundation is committed to creating and delivering opportunities for training and career-developing employment to the local community in Lockhart River. In order to ensure the Foundation has access to the expertise it needs, noting these skills are not always to be found in such a remote community, the Foundation engages highly experienced and passionately engaged staff from outside the community where appropriate. These staff members visit and stay in the community on a relatively frequent basis. Our CEO lives in Lockhart River for several months each year.

Pat Thorpe

Executive Officer

Pat joined the Puuya Foundation as its Executive Officer in January 2012. She held various senior positions in both the State and Federal governments in more than 10 departments. Her career spans more than 30 years with many highlights. Prior to leaving government, Pat held the Project Manager position for the implementation of two whole-of-government initiatives – Project 2800 – Indigenous employment; and the Voluntary Separation Program. Pat was recognised in 2011 with a public service Australia Day award for her contribution to the public service. Pat is passionate about what she takes on, and endeavours to assist others to make a difference. Pat has also spent about 10 years involved in community organisations in various senior positions including Treasurer and Vice President of a community led child care centre.

Cathy Murray

Company Secretary

Cathy has worked for the past 24 years in various senior roles in tertiary education including as the former Finance Manager, Faculty of Law, Bond University. She has worked in senior positions in numerous areas including; Finance, Operations, Commercial Services, Facilities Management, Risk Management, Legislative Compliance, Business Continuity Planning and Internal Audit. As a founding staff member of Bond University, Australia’s first private University, Cathy is well versed in the effort required to commence a new enterprise and build its governance to both a strategic and sustainable standard complying with all relevant legislation and best practice. Cathy has a Masters of Accounting (Bond) and is an Associate Certified Practising Accountant.

KUUNCHI KAKANA (Families Together) Staff

The Puuya Foundation has four staff in Lockhart River working in Early Years services. They are working in collaboration to deliver some great programs to Mums and Bubs – Montessori Program, Families as First Teachers, Parents and Learning and other early years initiatives.

Tanya Koko

My name is Tanya Koko, I am 33 years old and have a teenage son currently in boarding school and a daughter who has just turned 3yrs. I have lived in Lockhart all my life. I am honoured to have been brought up in the Kuuku Ya’u clan as well as Umpila (chester) clan groups. My mum’s mothers side is the Taepithiggi clan group situated on the western side of Cape York as well as Thursday Island Torres Strait. My Father’s side is of the outer eastern Islands, Darnley of the Torres Strait.

I started the Family Together Programme 2 years ago and have grown since. In 2013 I won the employee of the year award within the community development department of the Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council. Since then I have been made the Kuunchi Kakana (Family Together) Manager and have three brilliant workers, working alongside me.

Since moving over from the local Aboriginal Shire Council to the Puuya Foundation we have much higher standards and needs for community based programmes.

Kuunchi Kakana Team Vision Statement: To build capacity and confidence of parents and children in their early years, 0-4 years to provide the same opportunities as mainstream society, with a culturally appropriate approach.

Moira Macumboy

My name is Moira Macumboy. I come from Lockhart River, my clan group is Wuthathi that’s in the Shelbourne Bay, North of Lockhart River. I have 2 sons, the eldest is 41 years and my youngest is 37 years. I have many grandchildren, my youngest being just 2 years of age. I enjoy spending time with her, sharing my knowledge with her, when she learns something new and shows me it brings a smile to my face.

I’m working for the Puuya Foundation, Kuunchi Kakana Team. I love working with the early years 0-4 years. I enjoy working with the mum’s and bubs, because seeing the difference it makes with our children is uplifting.

In my vision I want to see them grow up to be smart educated young adults. I want them to go to school every day to accomplish the things they want to be in life.