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MCYL 06 Desmond Tayley

Desmond Tayley is a Cape York leader, who has the rare distinction of being one of Australia’s youngest and longest-serving mayors.

As the Mayor of Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, he describes his community as the place “so nice you’ve got to say it twice”.

Wujal Wujal, on southern Cape York, is where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. It’s an Indigenous community located in lush country on the banks of the Bloomfield River.

Wujal Wujal is south of Cooktown, north of the Daintree, and home to about 500 people.

Desmond was in his mid-twenties when he first became mayor in 1998, and he was re-elected to the position in 2016.

And Desmond is a Traditonal Owner of Yalanji country, which takes in Wujal Wujal and Dawnvale.

Like so many people on the Cape, Desmond has more than one job. He’s the Mayor, he is a Director for Cape York NRM, and he sits on many local and regional committees and organisations.

Cape York NRM spoke with Desmond at Wujal Wujal in January – he tells us about the joys and challenges of living in and leading a small Cape York community.

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