About me

A born & bread Cairns local I have been Deputy Mayor and Councillor (Divison 4) for the past 8 years, advocating and delivering for my suburbs and Cairns to make our tropical paradise more liveable.

With my roots firmly in community and a vast history in volunteering I hold Cairns close to my heart and truely believe it is a great place to live. 

As a councillor I have worked hard to deliver many projects for our division, which includes the suburbs of Earlville, Mooroobool, Kanimbla and parts of Manoora and Manunda: 

Balaclava Road refurbishment $1.5m

Moody Creek flood mitigation basin $9.7m

Sewer Main replacement and the construction of a new pump station at Earlville $7.6m

New playground equipment throughout

Numerous road shoulder seals, new footpaths & street trees throughout

New BMX pump track – Moody Crk detention basin

Refurbished Manunda Library


Building Designer

1976 to Current

Director, Principal Building Designer, Interior Designer, Property and Planning

 Consultant for:
• Residential, Multi-Residential, Commercial, Hospitality and Industrial Designs
• Project Management and Contract Administration.

In his capacity as a building designer/consultant, for the last 43+ years Terry has worked with many local councils such as:
Cairns, Cook, Tablelands, Cassoway Coast, old Mulgrave Shire (prior to amalgamation) and Townsville.


Deputy Mayor of Cairns

2012 to Current

Earlville, Kanimbla, Mooroobool and part of Manoora

Cairns Regional Art Gallery – Board Member
Cairns Sister City – Representative
Local Disaster Management Group – Chair

Arts Precinct – Committee Member
Botanical Gardens Master Plan – Chair
Cairns ‘City Centre Alive’ – Steering Committee – Member
Cairns Chamber of Commerce CBD Revitalising Taskforce – Member
Cairns Esplanade/Lagoon – Chair, Building Committee
Cairns Museum – Chair, Sheering Committee
Cairns Water Committee – Chair
Collins Avenue realignment Committee – Chair
Infrastructure Committee – Chair
Munro Martin Park Redevelopment Committee – Member
Performing Arts Centre – Steering Committee Representative
Planning & Environment Committee – Chair
Shields Street Redevelopment Committee – Member
School of Arts – Steering Committee – Chair
Tobruk Pool – Revitalisation Committee – Member
Urban Design Reference Group – Committee Member





Date: 2009 – 2015

Position: Building Consultant providing technical reports to MCS Group.

MCS Group is a privately owned Australian national company specialising in the provision of independent specialist technical reports to the Insurance Industry, Government Agencies and private individuals.

Terry prepared and submitted many reports relating to the damaged caused by Cyclone Yasi (2011).

Building Designer

Date: 1974 – 1978

Business: Channer and James – Architects and Engineers Cairns



Deputy Mayor / Councillor Division 4

Date: 2012 – Current

Positions: Councillor Division 4
(Earlville, Mooroobool, Kanimbla & parts of Manoora & Manunda)

Cairns Regional Art Gallery – Board Member
Cairns Sister City – Representative
Local Disaster Management Group – Chair


Councillor Division 7

Date: April 1999 – March 2008

Positions: Councillor Division 7

Cairns Works Committee
Cairns Water Committee
Planning and Environment Committee
City Safe Committee
Building Committee for the Lagoon
Botanical Gardens Master Plan/Collins Avenue Realignment Committee
FNQROC (Cairns Rep,) Manoora Urban Renewal Programme
Cairns Traffic Advisory Committee

Deputy Mayor: 2006 – 2008


Date: 1994 – 1995

Position: Alderman

                        Committee Member Cairns/Mulgrave Water Supply Board



Institution: Parramatta State Primary School, Cairns

Excelled:           Spelling, Counting, Drawing


Institution: Trinity Bay State High School, Cairns

Excelled: English, Maths, Technical Drawing


Institution: Barrier Reef Institute

Level: Diploma

Field: Architectural Technology


Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation

Dates:  2019


• Support Vehicle for the Cairns to Cooktown Fund Raising Cycling Marathon

The Cardiac Challenge mission fundraises for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation to buy specialised equipment for improved cardiac care services for Far North Queensland.

• Donated Building Design Services Voucher for a Fund Raising Raffle.

Harald’s House for Homeless Children/Young Adults

Dates: 2006 – Current

Position: Committee Member & Building Sponsor – Donated building concept designs (free of charge).

Harald’s House is a community solution for homeless children and young people.  It will provide a safe, stable home in Cairns for local children – removing them from the risks of living on the streets and helping them to turn around their troubled lives.

Far North Queensland Youth Assistance Fund

Dates: 1999 – Current

Position: Member

 The Fund was formed to assist disadvantaged youth in Far North Queensland to live a normal life and take advantage of education, sporting and youth club activities available to them.  The Fund also assists children and youth with any personal, health, education or welfare problems with the help of other agencies or through major youth welfare facilities established and conducted by the Fund.

Cairns and District Youth and Recreation Centre

Dates: 1992 – 2000 (8 years)

Positions: Committee Member – Vice President – President

 The Cairns Youth and Recreation Centre is a non-profit incorporated community organisation that provides a venue of the pursuit of sporting, cultural and health and well-being activities at a rental that is made affordable so as many groups as possible have access to it.  Principally  focussing on the health and development of young people, there are also avenues where this venue is utilised by people of all ages.

Australian Volunteer Coastguard

Dates: 1980 – 1999 (19 years)


Staff Officer (Secretary) / Section Leader / Coxswain (Rescue Skipper)

Vice Commander

FNQ Squadron Board (Staff Captain)

New Coast Guard Building Committee – Designer / Project Manager (Voluntary)


5th Cairns Scout Group

Boy-Scout to Scout Patrol Leader

Building Designers Association of Queensland

Founding Member

Australian Volunteer Coast Guard

National Medal for 15 Years Service to the Community

Local Government Association of Queensland

Certificate for Long Service – 15 Years

Cairns Regional Council

Certificate of Recognition for 15 years Service


Project Planning

Extensive Building/Design Industry Knowledge

Strategic Planning

Sustainability Design

Business Strategy


Business Planning

Policy Making

Construction Management

Property/Planning Feasibility Studies

Business Development


Account Management

Strong Interpersonal Skills

Contract Management/Negotiation

Team Building/Leadership

Plays the Piano

Professional Contributions

Housing Industry Association

Judge for Far North Queensland Housing Awards

Cairns Regional Council

Publication: Cairns Style Guide
Contributor to the Council’s ‘Cairns Style Design Guide’ for all building designs from residential, commercial and industrial to:
‘Retain and enhance the distinct tropical style and character of Cairns’.

Document: CairnsPlan – Planning Scheme
• Hillslopes Code
• Multiple Dwelling and Holiday Accommodation Code
• Character Precinct Code




0417 562 660 | terryajames@bigpond.com