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Erub

About Erub

Location

Erub (also known as Darnley Island) is situated in the eastern island group of Torres Strait approximately 260km north of Cape York and 60km south of Papua New Guinea. Erub is 1 of the 3 islands known as the Murray Group, which also includes Mer and Ugar islands.The closest major service centre to this remote island is Thursday Island, which is approximately 220km away.  

Languages

The eastern Islands, including Erub, continue to communicate in their traditional language of Meriam Mir. Assistance may be required for complainants, witnesses, victims and defendants who come before the courts.

History of Erub

Erub facts and figures

Key social indicators from the 2016 Census for the Erub community include:

  • 41.6% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 27% of households with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were overcrowded.

The following figures are from the 2011 Census and will be updated later in 2017:

  • 33.6% of dependent children in families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were from jobless families
  • 7.9% unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years
  • 40.5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years worked in the Public administration and safety industry

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

Erub Island is part of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC). The TSIRC asks all visitors to St Paul's 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 Erub

Erub Island is very remote and is accessible by air and sea. Severe weather often hinders access. A number of flight companies offer air services to the Torres Strait. Private charters and transfers are also available. 

Seasonal and other considerations

The outer islands, including Erub, have limited water supplies which are highly dependent on annual rainfall. Water conservation is essential.

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

Regional Director (Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships)

Phone: 07 4169 5928
Mobile: 0400 769 868

Torres Strait Island Regional Council (head office)

Phone: 07 4034 5700
Fax: 07 4034 5750
Email: info[at]tsirc.qld.gov.au

Sorry business and sad news

When a death occurs on Erub, the community shuts down when first informed of the Sad News and also on the day of the funeral. The announcement to members of the family and the community is made by an elder, a local priest or a councillor. In-laws (both male and female) referred to as Neubet [Nay-bet] 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 community gathers together daily to share, comfort and support each other until the day of the funeral and a feast is held after the funeral to conclude the initial stage of the mourning period. The terminology used to mark this period in the eastern islands cluster (including Ugar and Mer) is referred to as Izurzur-Lewer [E-zurr-zurr Lair-Werr]. The English translation is ‘cry-calm-feasting’.

For Torres Strait Islander 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

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.

The local CJG for Erub is:

Erub Island Community Justice Group
C/- Erub Island Council, 4875

Coordinator: Bert Matysek
Director/Chairperson: Dick Pilot

Phone: 07 4083 2300
Fax: 07 4069 4001
Mobile: 0429 012 964
Email: bert.matysek[at]tsirc.qld.gov.au

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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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Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.