Aurukun Shire Council is located in the territory of the Wik People and was established in 1978 under the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act (Qld) in order to facilitate exploration and mining on the former Aboriginal Reserve that was degazetted and then gazetted under this Act as a Shire. Aurukun is located on bauxite rich land. The Council manages 7,500 square kilometres of Shire land known as the Aboriginal Land Lease No. 1. The Shire 'is bounded by the Holroyd River and Pormpuraaw Deed of Grant in Trust lands to the south, Cook Shire and Archer Bend National Park to the east, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cook Shire to the north. The northern boundary however, is fragmented, with the Shire of Aurukun having jurisdiction over two separate parcels of land not joined to the rest of the Shire area' (Arukun Shire website).
The community was originally a Presbyterian mission established in 1904. In 1975 the community, comprising mainly of Wik peoples, was placed under direct State Government control. Since the liberalisation of the State administration with the passage of the Community Services Act 1984, the Aurukun Shire Council has achieved much in the way of self-management.