Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

Hammond Island

About Hammond Island

Location

Hammond (Kirriri) Island is located in the southern or Prince of Wales Island group of the Torres Strait.  

Languages

The main language spoken on Hammond Island is the dialect of Kala Lagau. Torres Strait Creole and English are also spoken. The use of an interpreter may be necessary to assist complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.

History of Hammond Island

Hammond Island facts and figures

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

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

While Hammond Island does not have an airstrip, its proximity to Thursday Island provides easy access by ferry. The ferry service also connects with Horn Island, the gateway airport for the Torres Strait. Contact the TSIRC for further details about ferry timetables.

Seasonal considerations

The wet season in the Torres Strait starts around October and ends in April-May. The region may be subject to cyclones during this time.

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. 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 bad news

On Hammond Island, the entire community shuts down when it is informed of the Bad News and also on the day of the funeral. When a death happens in the community, the announcement to members of the family and the community is first made by an elder, a local priest or the councillor.

In-laws (both male and female) referred to as Marigeth [Mari-get] play a very important role during the time of Bad 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. A feast is held after the funeral to conclude the initial stage of the mourning period from the death until the funeral.

During this time business does not generally take place in the community, however this does not apply to essential services such as policing, child safety, health, education and justice.

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

There is no community justice group for Hammond 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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