Thursday Island (Waiben)

The Torres Strait is part of Queensland, Australia. Although it is not a separate state Thursday Island with the largest town in “The Straits” is sort of like the capital. It is the administrative centre for much of what happens here.

Thursday Island population includes an eclectic mix of people containing Melanesian Torres Strait Islanders, people of European origin, people decended from Japanese pearl divers, Papua New Gunea, Malay and others. The language is English, Torres Straits creole and the local language, Kala Lagaw Ya. It is an interesting mix of people.

The indigenous name for the place is Waiben, thought to mean “place of no water.” The population is between 2 1/2 -3000 people. It is surrounded by other islands in the immediate vicinity. Interestingly there are other islands named after days of the week, Friday, Wednesday and Tuesday Islands. There are no towns on them though. Thursday Island is generally only referred to as “T.I.”

I have been posting up images of the outer Torres Straits islands and thought I’d better put up a view of “T.I.” before I leave later this week after having done some leave relief work here the past few weeks.


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