About Dauan Island


Dauan Island forms part of the north-western island group of the Torres Strait along with Boigu and Sabai islands. The north-western island group is located close to the Papua New Guinea border and forms the most northern point of Australia’s territory.   


The main language spoken on Dauan is Kala Kawa Ya [Kal-a Kow-a Ya]. As English is not a first language, assistance may be required for complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.

History of Dauan

Dauan facts and figures

For 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for Dauan 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 Dauan

Dauan Island is part of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC). The TSIRC asks all visitors to Dauan 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 Dauan

As Dauan does not have an airstrip, travel to and from the island occurs by boat, helicopter or barge. The nearest airstrip is on Saibai Island, which is about 6km to the north-east.   

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

‘Sorry Business’ is a term used during the time of mourning following the death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Torres Strait Islanders may use the terminology ‘Bad or Sad News’. The term can also refer to the past practice of forcibly removing children from their families. The intensity of mourning is reflective of the importance of the family or person who has died. The mourning process enables healing for the family and community involved.

The death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person impacts on the whole community, however the experience of Sorry Business or Bad News can vary within each community. Commonly the name of the deceased is not used for some time or the deceased person is called by another name. In some communities, it is respectful to request permission from the relevant family members before using photographs or stories of the person who has passed.

For Torres Strait Island cultures, ‘Tombstone Openings’ are a time for celebration and symbolise the point that brings closure for the family of the deceased through the 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

There is no community justice group active on Dauan Island.

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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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