Yarrabah is an independent Aboriginal community situated approximately 7km in a straight line South East from Cairns CBD on Cape Grafton. Separated by the murray prior range. While its proximity is close as the crow flies, it is approximately 45 km by road from Cairns. The road is bitumen sealed and is accessible all year round despite weather conditions.
An Anglican mission was established in 1892, with a policy of dormitories for children and a ban on all traditional activities. Gradually many people removed from their own homelands were relocated to Yarrabah.
In 1965 an advisory Aboriginal Council was established which reported to the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Yarrabah received a Deed of Grant in Trust similar to other communities in Queensland in 1979.
The first Yarrabah Community Aboriginal Council was established. In 1986, Yarrabah Community received its Deed Of Grant in Trust land tenure status making the Yarrabah Community Council self-governing.
The area has a population of around 4,000 persons however this can vary due to the transient nature of the people. Yarrabah, as with most Aboriginal communities, suffers from high unemployment and high rate of alcohol abuse.