Noelene has worked tirelessly with numerous Aboriginal communities throughout Cape York Peninsula (CYP) over the past four decades on multiple projects. Through her PhD research, Noelene developed strong relationships with the Aboriginal community at Laura, and after submission she obtained funding for further rock art recording with Ang-gnarra Aboriginal Corporation and the Laura Rangers. Over the following years the rangers and Noelene conducted community archaeology projects, involving oral history and site recording at rock art sites, on cattle stations, at railway sidings, cemeteries, fringe camps and police camps.
Noelene has undertaken a range of community projects to study the archaeology and rock art of the post-contact period. The most prominent of these is a detailed study of frontier rock art focusing on depictions of the Native Mounted Police, a study which provides rare evidence from ‘the other side of the frontier’, extending in the recently awarded LP led by Lynley Wallis. Noelene was critical to the National Heritage Listing in October 2018 of Quinkan Country rock art, the culmination of more than a decade of research and lobbying. Together with Emeritus Professor Bruce Rigsby Noelene wrote citations for the award of James Cook University honorary doctorates to distinguished Kuku Thaypan elders, Dr George Musgrave and Dr Tommy George – with letters of support supplied. Noelene is an exceptionally worthy recipient of the Bruce Veitch award for Indigenous engagement.