A new interactive exhibit by Kholan Mairu-Kaczmarek.
Choose a section you wish to learn
About the Torres Strait.
Schooling in the Torres Strait.
What kids do for fun.
Info on Torres Strait families.
Torres Strait traditions .
Test you’re knowledge on Torres Strait Islands facts.
Where are the Torres Strait Islands Located?
A. Off the coast of Africa
B. Between Papua New Guinea and the tip of Australia
C. Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean
The Torres Strait Islands are situated between
Australia and Papua New Guinea. The
population of the inhabited islands range
between 200 to 1,000 people. Out of 200
people on an island there are about 50 youths.
ABOUT THE TORRES
Schooling in the Torres Strait.
• Schooling in the Torres Strait is from
kindergarten to 7th grade. Students
attend secondary and tertiary education
on Thursday Island or on mainland
• Classroom lessons include most
subjects as well as traditional lessons
such as language, singing, dancing and
arts and craft.
Schooling in Torres Strait.
For sports and other activities
they play rugby league,
volleyball and basketball. Inter-
school sports are held each year
which then leads to inter-island
sports for example Bammoa
Sports Day which is a fun
sports carnival with
representatives from each of
the island schools competing.
Girls are expected
to help with
house duties like
and taking care of
elders or siblings.
What kids do
FUN IN TORESS STRAIT.
When school is finished
the kids play playstation
games or other video
games for fun. They watch
television or listen to radio.
They like to listen to
modern music and
Kids also spend a lot of
time outdoors exploring
the islands and swimming
in the sea.
FUN IN TORRES STRAIT.
Because the islands are
surrounded by seas and
reefs, many older boys
like to go out hunting
with adult men. They
enjoy going out on fast
dinghies to the reefs to
dive for fish and hunt for
Torres Strait Islanders have big families. It is normal for
grandparents to live in the same house as their
children, usually their eldest son or daughter. Parents
usually hope for a baby boy because he can carry on
the family name. Most families are close because they
live in the same villages on one island.
Traditions and customs are most important to the youth in
their upbringing. Many people may not know that
Christian names are very important in Island culture and
Islanders often keep the same name in the family for
Language has the same importance in youth upbringing
therefore songs and dances in language are taught to youth
even as young as toddlers.
Feastings are held for celebrations such as milestone
birthdays, engagements, weddings, christenings,
tombstone unveilings, first shaves and other traditional
The most important tradition for young boys is the
manhood test. This is an initiation in which boys become
At the age of 17 or older a boy is taken out to a reef by older
men to hunt for a turtle, if he succeeds then the village
women gather at his mother’s house singing and crying
tears of joy. They take over the house by cooking a meal
and eating with her and then as they leave they take one
item from the house to keep.
This means her son who has become a man is now able to
provide for the family and replace the items that were