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Horn Island - Narupay Ngurpay Mudh

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Head of Campus: Matthew Deady

Phone: (07) 4069 0111 | Fax: (07) 4069 2116

Email: the.principal@hornislass.eq.edu.au

Campus enrolment: 71 Students

Year Levels: Kindy to Year 6

Community Snapshot

Population: 531*

Cluster: Inner Islands

English Name: Horn Island

Traditional Name: Narupay

Narupay, also known as Horn Island, is a relatively flat island spanning approximately 54km². The island is separated from Waibene (Thursday Island) by the Ellis Channel. The island provides the water supply for Horn Island, Thursday Island and Hammond Island communities. Water is piped via underground and undersea pipelines from the Loggy Creek dam.

For most travellers, Horn Island is the gateway to the Torres Strait. The island also hosts the regions only domestic airport, with daily flights to Cairns and the outer islands.

The traditional language spoken on Horn Island is Kulkalgal Ya (KLY).

Matthew Flinders gave the island its European name “Horn Island” in 1802, based on the geographic shape of the hill. After the 1871 massacre on Muralag (Prince of Wales), remnants of the people settled on Narupay for a short while, until the government relocated the Kaurareg to Kiriri (Hammond Island) where they remained until 1922. Gold was mined on Narupay in the 1890’s. In the early 20th Century, the islands’ small village flourished into a town as a result of the pearling industry. World War II also had a large impact on the island. All non-islander residents were evacuated to southern Queensland. Approximately 5000 service people served on the island between 1940-1945. The Japanese bombed the island 8 times and flew constant surveillance missions over the area. In 1946, some of the Kaurareg people moved back to Narupay and settled in present-day Wasaga Village at the western end of the island. In the late 1980’s, the community experienced a rapid expansion of its population and building activity, as land on neighbouring Thursday Island became scarce.

*Source: 2016 Census

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Last reviewed 22 May 2020
Last updated 22 May 2020