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The town of Kowanyama is located 50 km inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Australia. With a population of 1017 (in 2006), it is one of the largest communities on the Cape York Peninsula, and includes the Kokoberra, Yir Yorant and Kunjen clans. Each group has its own distinct language and culture. Its location on the mouth of the Mitchell River makes it a well-known fishing site. It has a Land and Natural Resource Management Office, a health clinic, a state school to year 10, a community education and training centre and a women's shelter. Kowanyama was originally established as an Anglican Mission, formerly known as the Mitchell River Mission, in 1917. By 1958, the mission had 40 boys and 59 girls attending its school. The mission was responsible for the introduction of a cattle herd and the cattle industry grew successfully so that by 1977, the herd numbered 16,759 beasts. The mission provided skilled stockmen and domestic servants who worked on the surrounding pastoral stations. In 1967, control of the Mission was passed to the Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs and it became a government administered reserve known as Kowanyama.
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