Francis Tapim


I am from Dowareb tribe on Murray Island, which is a group of Islands in the Torres strait, Queenslander and an Australian.


I played for Garbutt Magpies in Aussie Rules, Rugby League, Basketball, Cricket, and was involved with the organisation from 1960-1987. Ruck Rover (position). I represented Townsville Australian Football League (Wing). I represented Queensland Australian Rules All Blacks team to play against other States and Territories in All Blacks Carnivals held nationally. I represented First Australian All Blacks Rugby League Team to tour New Zealand 1973


  • Council Member of James Cook University Council 2002-2014
  • Chairman of National Secretariat of Torres Strait Islander Organisation Ltd on the Mainland 1997-
  • Member of Queensland Ministerial Council for Older People (Queensland Seniors Council) 2001-2005
  • Chairperson Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Advisory Board 1997-2001
  • Trustee Member of Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre Unit Trust 1999-
  • Inaugural Townsville Regional Councillor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) 1990-1993
  • Board Member of Queensland Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency (QIAMEA)


  • Waiben State School Thursday Island
  • Innisfail State School
  • Townsville West State School
  • Town High State School
  • James Cook University


  • First job Cleaner for Queensland Government Railways
  • Hornibrook Rail Contractors
  • MMK Western Australia Railway Dampier to Tom Price (labourer)
  • Queensland Government Railways (labourer)
  • Townsville City Council (labourer-truck driver)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care (Child Care WorkDepartment of Children’s Services (training officer Cleveland Youth CenMagani Malu Kes Torres Strait Islander Community Organisation (CEO)


Married to Agnes (nee Ross). One son Francis Mel, employed by ABC Radio as a Journalist. Grandson Francis John Hosea Aven, Granddaughters Angelina Agnes May Atita, Tetei and Tanya.

Father Melpal and Mother Seriana Tapim (nee Lui). I am the only Son. Sisters Lily (deceased), Mabel (deceased) Mary Horope and Lily Wailu.


  • Ensuring that I maintain my cultural identity and pass that teaching to my son and grandchildren
  • Being able to give my son the education and chances in life my father gave me
  • Love the company of being with my wife Agnes, Grandchildren and families.
  • Representing First Australian All Blacks Rugby League Team to tour New Zealand in 1973Francisq
  • Representing Queensland All Blacks Australian Rules Team to compete against other States and Territories nationally


This is your world now. Grab it by the horns and make it yours. The challenges confronting you today are no less tough than the one that ever faced new generation coming into their time. Each had to stand up to it and make it theirs. You too have the same challenges in front of you. You can either fold it up and forget about it or you can take a more active role in it. But either way, it is yours now to do what you want.

Respect your Elders. They were in your shoes once and can remember what it felt like to be young. Respect your culture and other cultures. Respect others that are around you.