Map - Darnley Island

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Darnley Island

Darnley Island or Erub in the native language, is an island formed by volcanic action and situated in the eastern section of the Torres Strait, Queensland, Australia. It is one of the Torres Strait Islands and is located near the Great Barrier Reef and just south of the Bligh entrance. The town on the island is also called Darnley but the locality is called Erub Island, both being within the local government area of Torres Strait Island Region.

Approximately 400 people live on Darnley Island. There are two stores, one school and a health centre. Accommodation is available through Norah's Guest House and the council run 'five star' dongas.

The effective community language is Brokan (Torres Strait Creole), though many people still speak Meriam Mir, the traditional language.

Darnley Island became better known around Australia in 2015 when the acting school principal asked via social media for donations of books to assist her primary school children and their education. Her efforts resulted in more than 18000 shares on Facebook and hundreds of books being sent to the island.

The island was named by Captain William Bligh in 1792 during his second breadfruit voyage to the Pacific, after his distant relative, the Earl of Darnley.

Christianity was first introduced to Darnley and the Torres Strait region by the London Missionary Society on 1 July 1871.

Before this, pearlers and beche-de-mer gatherers visited the island. Over many years, these industries attracted an influx of seamen from the Pacific Islands, the Philippines and Malaya, many of whom married local women and settled on the island.

Early in the twentieth century, the Queensland Government started installing various facilities such as a school, medical aid, post office and an Island Industries Board store.

Darnley people have been at the forefront of the movement for adequate recognition of Torres Strait Islanders' rights, with George Mye among the most prominent advocates of Islander interests from the 1960s to the 90s and Carlemo Wacando among the first to challenge the legal notion of terra nullius.

Pau Enterprises Indigenous Corporation was established in 2015 to manage and maintain the Pau family native title lands and interests on Darnley Island. It also seeks to create social enterprises on Darnley Island and other locations where community members have migrated to, such as Cairns. 

Map - Darnley Island

Latitude / Longitude : 9° 35' 6" S / 143° 46' 16" E | Time zone : UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  


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Darnley Island--Queensland State Archives 2533 Joe Rotumahs house on Darnley Island with India rubber planted in 1890 1898

Queensland State Archives 2533 Joe Rotumahs house on Darnley Island with India rubber planted in 189...

Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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