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Sha-lane Gibson:

My culture means to me that I respect and value my elders, family and community. My culture means I am rich in knowledge and strong in values.
A portrait photo of Sha-lane Gibson, 2020 Indigenous Projects Officer at Cook Shire Council.

Cultural affiliations/language group: Guugu Yimithirr

Community focus: Hopevale, Queensland

Position: 2020 Indigenous Projects Officer

Employer: Cook Shire Council

Interests: Indigenous empowerment, education, project support, mentoring.


Ngathu gutil Sha-lane. Ngayu Waymburr, Nuguul, Gamaay Warra bama Guugu Yimithirr ngun.

My name is Sha-lane. I am a Guugu Yimithirr Indigenous person descending from the Waymburr, Nuguul and Gamaay clan groups in Far North Queensland.

I spent most of my childhood growing up in Hope Vale and attending the local primary school with family. Throughout secondary education I attended boarding school down south in Toowoomba where I learnt the importance of education and using it as a tool to further myself in life.

After completing my secondary education, I moved back home to start a career in money management, assisting Indigenous people throughout Cape York to build financial literacy and make informed decisions about money.

After six years it was time to come home and work directly with family to support local Indigenous peoples and Traditional Owners to have input into the Cooktown Expo 2020.


The Cooktown Expo 2020 is a regional platform that will showcase the Daintree to the Torres Strait Islands.

2020 will mark the 250th anniversary of the interactions between the Guugu Yimithirr people and Lt. James Cook on the shores of what is now known as Cooktown. From this encounter came the first recorded act of reconciliation, prompted by a Waymburr Warra Elder.

Cooktown Expo 2020 will showcase Indigenous art, culture, language, dance and history. There will also be a showcase that will highlight what it was like for an Indigenous person before 1770.

The first week of the Cooktown Expo 2020 will feature the Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival. It provides a platform for local Indigenous and non-Indigenous performing artists throughout Cape York.

The expo will also provide platforms for Indigenous businesses to market and provide services over the festival weeks.

As the 2020 Indigenous Project Officer it is my role to engage and collaborate with Indigenous traditional owners throughout Cape York.

Banner photo: Steve Back Photography

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