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 and Company Secretary

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 six staff in Lockhart River plus volunteers working in Early Years services. They are working in collaboration to deliver some great programs to our families including – Montessori Program, Family Wellbeing Program, Men’s Empowerment Program including our Landscaping and Maintenance team.

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.

Lorraine Warradoo

I have lived in Lockhart River my whole life. My clan group is Kuku Ya’u and Umpila and my husband is from the Solomon Islands. We have two sons, two daughters, two foster children and three grandsons. I enjoy camping and fishing with my family on the weekends. We like to drive and explore Cape York together. I was working at the school in Pre-Prep before working here.

I like working at the Kuunchi Kakana program to spend time with children in this community. I enjoy seeing the adults working together with their children and doing different activities. I think this program is important for the children of Lockhart River to prepare them for school.

I hope to see all parents of Lockhart River come and be together in this program. I would love to see the children to grown up being well educated and happy.

Rebecca Elu

My name is Rebecca Elu. I come from Lockhart River but grew up in Bamaga, while living in there I attended school in Bamaga. I have 4 siblings 2 brothers and 2 sisters. On my mother’s side I come from Lockhart River and on my father’s side I come from Saibai.

I’m a mother of 5 children, I have 3 boys and 2 girls. My three older children have finished high school and the other is graduating this year. My youngest is in Prep now in Lockhart State School.

I enjoy working with both the children and the families at the Kuunchi Kakana Centre and having a role in making leaders for the future of Lockhart River. I like to support and encourage families to come to the centre where families can learn in a safe environment.

My dream is to see the children of Lockhart River get a good education to study in Tafe or at university and return here to share their knowledge with the community. Also, I want the parents to support their kids to reach their potential, fulfil their dreams and make their parents proud.

David Jackson

I’ve been living and working in Lockhart River for seven years, five of which I’ve been working at the Puuya Foundation. Before moving to Lockhart River I was living in Wujal Wujal where I was on the Shire Council. I focused on animal management and the engagement of local people in this program.

My job is the Maintenance Supervisor where I school people in the maintenance of the centre. I work with them to teach work ethics and to instil pride in their work.  I enjoy working for the Puuya Foundation because of the results that the Kuunchi Kakana program achieves with children and adults. I believe the program is a brilliant way to engage everyone in the community; particularly with the children. 

My vision is to see the children of Lockhart River graduate from school where they can function in the world as an equal. I’d like to see the people in this Lockhart River have more skills that they can implement in everyday life. I believe the Kuunchi Kakana program is passing down skills that will enable individuals to contribute back to their community or the wider world.