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Badu Island - Badhulgaw Ngurpay Lag

Head of Campus: Peter Hincks
Phone: (07) 4214 8444 | Fax: (07) 4069 4233
Campus enrolment: 181 students
Year Levels: Pre-Prep to Year 6
Community Snapshot
Population: 813*
Cluster: Near Western Islands
English Name: Mulgrave Island
Badu Island is one of the largest Torres Strait Islands and is partly covered with mounds of basaltic rocks and lightly vegetated open areas. The island is also fringed with extensive mangrove swamps.
The traditional language spoken on Badu is Kulkalgal Ya (KLY).
Badu once had a feared reputation as an island of head hunters. Warfare, turtle and dugong hunting were the main occupations of Badu men until the 1870’s. Pearlers established bases on the island during the 1870’s and by the early 1880’s, the islanders were becoming dependent on wages earned as lugger crew. At the same time, the first missionaries arrived at the people’s request. At the peak of the shell industry in the late 1950’s, the Badu fleet of 13 boats employed a workforce of 200. The eventual decline of the shell trade resulted in many Badu people moving to the mainland for work.
*Source: 2016 ABS Census
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