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Governor-General David Hurley launches inaugural Kapani Cup in Aurukun, connecting young people and veterans across remote communities

22 Jul 2019

Media Release: Kapani Warrior

The Kapani Cup was a bush skills competition held in Aurukun on 12 & 13 July 2019. There were teams from the Communities of Wujal Wujal, Doomadgee, Yarrabah and Aurukun. Each team consisted of 6 young Aboriginal men supported by a Kapani instructor and a Community Elder or Traditional Owner. All four communities involved have previously hosted the Kapani Warrior Program. 

The Kapani Cup course required teams to complete the following challenges:

  • A mud crawl
  • A stretcher carry
  • A spearing activity using traditional spears;
  • An improvised trailer push;
  • A wheel changing initiative test;
  • An auxiliary engine repair activity;
  • An equipment carrying challenge
  • An obstacle crossing; and
  • Overall endurance race between stands.

The fastest team to complete the Kapani Cup and crowned inaugural Champions was Team Yarrabah. 

The Kapani Cup provided participants with a safe competitive opportunity to display their skills, confidence developed from their participation in Kapani Warrior Program. The Community were also provided with entertainment from the 1 Field Regiment Band and John Schuman and The Vagabonds (previously known as Red Gum). Veterans from all major conflicts since Vietnam have travelled from across Australia to volunteer for this event. 

His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia has been a supporter of Kapani since its inception as the Kapani founders and many of the veteran instructors served together in the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. General Hurley officially launched the Kapani Cup on Saturday 13 July in Aurukun, a remote Aboriginal community on the west coast of far north Queensland. This was part of his first official trip since becoming the 27th Governor-General on 1 July 2019. His Excellency was joined by his wife Mrs Linda Hurley, as well as the Finnish Ambassador to Australia, Lars Backström and his wife Mrs Bridgitta Backström.

Dr Tim White, Operations Director and co-Founder of Kapani said “the Kapani Cup is about the celebration of these communities and the strong relationship nurtured between the veterans and the graduates over the years. The trust and bond between defence veterans and the young Aboriginal men is truly unique. We are hosting the event in Aurukun because we’re not afraid to tackle the tough issues that people often shy away from. The community of Aurukun have been supportive of Kapani since we delivered the first program in 2017 and valued the opportunity to host inaugural Kapani Cup. In the near future, we are hoping to expand the Kapani presence across Northern Australia. As a result, this should increase the number communities participating at the next Kapani Cup. For communities interested in the Kapani Warrior program, please get in touch with us to have a conversation”.

Derek Walpo, Mayor of Aurukun said “it is programs like Kapani that provide the building blocks for social capital and the community capacity of our young people”. 

Congratulations to all the teams for successfully completing the inaugural Kapani Cup. From our perspective, all the teams are absolute champions for the courage and resilience they demonstrated to complete such a challenging course. We are proud for the respect and energy they displayed during the week.

About Kapani Warrior

The Kapani Warrior Program is an anger inoculation program for men between the age of 18 to 30 delivered in remote and regional communities. Kapani aims to collaboratively contribute to improved community harmony through reduced domestic violence and improved employment opportunities. We focus on building confidence and self-esteem during the course and channelling ‘graduates’ into valuable employment opportunities such as Defence, SES and other local and regional employers.

For more information about Kapani Warrior Program: visit the website or follow the Facebook page.

The inaugural Kapani Cup was possible with the support of our partners including:

  • Founding Partners: Cogent Business Solutions and Murumal
  • Platinum Partners: National Indigenous Australians Agency (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet)
  • Gold Partners: The Australian Army
  • Silver Partners: Downer, Glencore, Far Northern District RSL, Queensland Police Service and Aurukun Shire Council.



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