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Thursday Island Secondary - Waybeni Koey Ngurpay Mudh

Head of Campus: Suberia Bowie
Phone: 07) 4212 0222 | Fax: (07) 4069 1914
Campus enrolment: 392 Students
Year Levels:Year 7 - Year 12
Community Snapshot
Population: 2,938*
Cluster: Inner Islands
English Name: Thursday Island
Traditional Name: Waibene
The island takes the name Waiben meaning ‘no water or place of no water’, owing to the scarcity of fresh water on the island. It is also known as Thursday Island or TI. Waibene comprises of a number of communities. Port Kennedy is the name given to the community living on the north western side of the island. The communities found on northern side of the Island - namely the suburbs of Tamwoy, Rose Hill, Aplin, Waiben and Quarantine - are often grouped together under “TRAWQ”.
The traditional language spoken on Thursday Island is Kulkalgal Ya (KLY), but the campuses cater for all languages.
Thursday Island State High School was built in 1985 on the area known as Kaiwalagal, the traditional lands of the Kaurareg Nation. Students’ transition to the secondary campus from 16 outer and inner island schools and approximately 70 students board at two residential colleges on Thursday Island. The Secondary campus has a total student enrolment of 391 students with the majority being of Torres Strait Islander and/or Aboriginal descent whilst a very small percentage of students are from non-Indigenous backgrounds. The Indigenous students speak a number of traditional languages and this great gift is valued within the school and embedded into the curriculum offerings. The Secondary campus offers a co-educational service from Years 7-12 and works closely with the P&C Association to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment is provided for all students
In 1877, the Queensland Government developed Waibene as the administrative centre for the Torres Strait. By 1883, over 200 pearling vessels were based on the island. The lucrative pearling industry attracted workers from around Asia and the South Pacific. The fear of Russian invasion lead to the building of a fort on Battery Point in 1892. To protect the island during World War II, Waibene became the military headquarters for the Torres Strait and was a base for Australian and United States Forces.
*Source: 2011 ABS Census
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