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Yorke Island - Masig Muysaw Ngurpay Lag

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Head of Campus: Deborah Steele

Phone: (07) 4214 8555 | Fax: (07) 4069 4075

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

Campus enrolment: 55 Students

Year Levels: Kindy to Year 6

Community Snapshot

Population: 270*

Cluster: Central Islands

English Name: Yorke Island

Traditional Name: Masig

Masig is a coral cay about 2.7kms long and 800m wide at its widest point. It is located in the west-central Torres Strait.

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

The Masig people are renowned as skilled navigators with a detailed knowledge of the reefs and have always occupied a central position in the Straits trading network. In 1845, Masig people could be found trading from the west of the Straits to the east. Before the arrival of teachers from the London Missionary Society in the 1870’s, Masig was attracting a diverse community of immigrants, some brought by the pearl and trochus shell industry. The Queensland Government moved the people of Aureed to Masig after it was declared a government reserve. Luggers owned by Masig families continued to operate until the shell industry collapsed in the 1960’s. The people then shifted successfully into commercial mackerel fishing, prawning and crayfishing. A highly profitable fish factory has operated on the island since the late 1970’s, freezing the catch and air-freighting it to southern markets.

*Source: 2016 Census

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Last reviewed 22 May 2020
Last updated 22 May 2020