About Badu Island


Badu, also known as Mulgrave Island, is situated in the western island group of Torres Strait and is one of the larger islands in this region.  


The predominant language spoken on Badu is Kala Lagau Ya. English and Torres Strait Creole are also spoken. Torres Strait Creole is a language derived from a mixture of traditional languages and English. As English is not a first language, assistance may be required for complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.

History of Badu

Badu facts and figures

For 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for Badu Island, build a statistical profile on Know Your Community.

Native title information

Search for native title information on the National Native Title Tribunal website.

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Visiting Badu

Badu Island is part of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC). The TSIRC asks all visitors to Badu Island to register their visit before they arrive. It is also recommended that visitors read the TSIRC's information on culture, protocols and heritage.

Getting to Badu

Badu is very remote and can be accessed by air or sea. A number of flight companies including private charters offer air services to the Torres Strait.  

Seasonal considerations

The Torres Strait can experience cyclonic weather, which can often restrict travel to the area.

Quarantine restrictions

When visiting the Torres Strait you need to observe the quarantine regulations. It is against the law to move plant and animal material, including fruit, from the Torres Strait to the mainland.

For more information visit the Australian interstate quarantine website.   

Alcohol restrictions

There are no alcohol management plans for islands in the Torres Strait. However, please check with the local council as some island communities may have preferred protocols in relation to the consumption of alcohol. 

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Torres Strait Island Regional Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Sorry business and sad news

When there is a death in the Badu community, the families of the deceased gather from the day of passing until the funeral. This is known as the period or time of mourning. Families, including extended family members are not usually engaged until after the funeral. In-laws (both male and female) referred to as Marigeth [Mari-get] play a very important role during the time of Sad News. Their tasks are to organise the meals, funeral arrangements and to ensure family and community members are safe and supported.

The term used when referring to the wake in the western islands, including Badu, is Thoerbaw-Ay [Thur-bow Ya]. For Torres Strait Islander cultures, ‘Tombstone Openings’ are a time for celebration and symbolise the point that brings closure for the family of the person that has passed. It is a celebration of the person’s life. There is a lengthy mourning process from the time of the person’s death, culminating with the unveiling of the tombstone ceremony, which is followed by feasting and dancing. This process usually takes place about 1 or 2 years after the funeral; however some families may take longer to prepare for this event. 

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Community justice group

The role of the Community Justice Group (CJG) is to ensure that clients of the service are given appropriate cultural support for court matters. The CJG also provides cultural reports to the courts at sentencing and bail applications, assistance to the courts in managing community-based offences, and networking to implement crime prevention initiatives.

Members of the CJG work closely with a number of justice agencies including the Queensland Magistrates Court, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland Police Service, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. The CJG works to support the community’s understanding of and access to the justice system by working in conjunction with Shire Council by-laws and victim support agencies.

Key ways the CJG is able to assist the community and the courts include:

  • participation in community consultations relevant to the CJG’s role within the criminal justice sector
  • preparation and presentation of written and oral sentencing submissions to the court
  • defendant support and referral (including court support)
  • victim support and referral (including court support)
  • support for debtors wishing to access the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry.

For more information about your local Community Justice Group:

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Community services

Use the Queensland Government's one place service directory to find up-to-date contact information for local support services including:

  • legal advice and support services
  • youth justice and support groups
  • domestic and family violence support
  • drug and alcohol services
  • mens' and women's groups
  • accident, emergency and medical services

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More information

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